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Department: Department of Biology
Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp
The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20?000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (http://www.rbins.be) is one of the 10 federal scientific institutions managed by BELSPO. The institute aims to provide the scientific world, government and society with good and relevant science, appropriate advice, opening up new insights into natural sciences based on its long history and sustainable management.
The OD Natural Environment aims to be a knowledge centre in fundamental and applied research into biodiversity and ecosystems to support the protection and sustainable management of the natural environment. About 100 employees are spread over 2 locations in Brussels and Ostend. They have a wide and diverse expertise and reputation in their fields, including: oceanography, modelling, ecology, sedimentology, conservation and protection, biodiversity, chemistry, molecular biology, database management and image processing.
The department of Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Antwerp (UAntwerp) and the Operational Directorate Natural Environment of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) jointly offer a following full-time vacancy (100%). The function consists of 3 connected parts, in particular:
- A part-time (10%) appointment as Senior Academic Staff (ZAP) and a part-time (40%) appointment as postdoc researcher (BAP) at UAntwerp, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, combined with
- Part-time (50%) appointment as scientific researcher (SW2 – work leader) at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Operational directorate Natural Environment.
This senior researcher position is opened in the framework of the FED-tWIN program supported by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO). It concerns the FED-tWIN research profile ‘Prf-2020R-029 Abiograd: Abiotic and Biotic sediment dynamics along estuarine-marine Gradients in times of global change’. The position will be jointly hosted at the UAntwerp (50%) and the RBINS (50%).
Brief description of the FED-tWIN research profile
Within the framework of the FED-tWIN program for sustainable research cooperation between the federal scientific institutes and the universities, supported by the Belgian Institute for Science Policy (BELSPO), the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Operational Directorate Natural Environment) and the University of Antwerp (Department of Biology, ecosystem management research group) wish to develop new research for the interactions of estuarine and marine ecosystems. The project AbioGrad focuses on the interaction and feedback between biological, biogeochemical and sedimentological processes using in situ data and numerical modelling, more specifically on the behaviour of suspended particulate matter (SPM) and associated organic matter and biota.
A steady supply of sediments and associated organic matter is needed for mud flats, tidal marshes and banks to cope with sea level rise and maintain their spatial extent, while it also determines the rate of carbon sequestration through precipitation in estuarine and marine sediments. Human interventions largely determine the SPM concentrations, either directly through dredging and dumping, or indirectly through influencing the hydrodynamics.
SPM determines the light penetration in the water column and thus photosynthesis. Changes in SPM concentration and composition are therefore among the most important effects of human intervention on the functioning of ecosystems. A good understanding of particle dynamics, of the interaction with biogeochemistry and possibly with biota, of past changes in SPM dynamics and the existence of well adapted monitoring and observation strategies are crucial to successfully ensure further coastal and estuarine developments.
Description of the function
- The UAntwerp 10% ZAP assignment focuses on the three core tasks of Independent Academic Personnel, namely education, research and services.
- The UAntwerp 40% BAP assignment is aimed at research.
- The RBINS 50% appointment as scientific researcher is aimed at research.
- You will provide high-quality education in the area of estuarine and coastal ecology and biochemistry.
- Your teaching role will evolve along with the study programmes. You teach (among other): Estuarine- and coastal systems (5 ECTS, co-titular), River morphology and hydrodynamics (3 ECTS, co-titular)
- You will play a role in developing activating, student-centred and competence-driven programme components and study programmes.
- You will supervise students and their Bachelor and Master dissertations.
- You will expand high-quality scientific research in the field of estuarine and coastal ecology with focus on sediment transport. The research profile considers the entire continuum from the river, over the estuary towards the sea. Various methods will be applied (in situ measurements, remote sensing techniques, numerical models, laboratory experiments) to achieve the objectives of this multi-disciplinary project that will foster interactions between physical oceanographers, sedimentologists and biogeochemists. The overall research questions of this FED-tWIN profile have been inspired by unexplained observations in the Scheldt-North Sea continuum:
- What is the role of flocculation processes in (large scale) distribution patters of (suspended) sediments in the land-ocean aquatic continuum, more specifically in nearshore areas and estuaries?
- What is the ecological importance/impacts on coastal and estuarine ecosystem functioning of (changes in) fine sediment dynamics due to the combined effect of global change, changes in eutrophication status, human activities and anthropogenic morphologic changes in nearshore areas and estuaries?
- How can the understanding of causes and impacts of past changes in SPM dynamics be used to predict future impacts on the ecosystem due to human activities, global change and mitigation actions?
- You will participate in ongoing research programmes of the ECOBE group at UAntwerp and RBINS.
- You will also initiate new lines of research, coordinate the progress of scientific research projects and contribute to attracting external funding.
- You will disseminate research results to the international academic community through scientific publications and conferences.
- You will develop an international scientific network.
- You will assist in the supervision of PhD students and post doc researchers.
- You will play a role in the provision of both academic services and service to society, within the institutions and externally.
- You will participate in student recruitment, boards and committees, popular science communication, and so on.
Organisation and leadership
- You will accept coordinating responsibilities in the areas of education, research and/or services and you will contribute to policy.
- Your leadership style will be motivating and coaching. You will be attentive to your employees’ growth and development processes.
- You hold a PhD in Estuarine and coastal dynamics – ecology, biogeochemistry, sediment transport and/or physical oceanography. Multidisciplinary experience, or experience with more than one domain is required.
- You obtained a PhD no more than 12 years before the predetermined deadline for submitting the application files (February 28th 2022). This 12-year period is extended by one year for any absence due to pregnancy, parental or adoption leave, as well as any long absence due to illness of the candidate or long absence due to illness of a first degree relative.
- Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
- Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision. You are motivated to develop your teaching skills further through the professionalization opportunities
- If you do not speak Dutch, the administrative language of the university, you should be willing to obtain a CEFR B2 level of proficiency in Dutch. As soon as you take on teaching duties as a programme component coordinator, you should be able to demonstrate a CEFR C1 level of proficiency in the language of instruction. The University of Antwerp supports international staff members through an integration trajectory and offers tailor-made language coaching in compliance with Flanders’ statutory language regulations.
- You demonstrate leadership potential and organisational skills.
- You have experience in supervising PhD projects and in acquiring funding for PhD projects.
- You have experience with project acquisition, both from scientific grant agencies as from external funders.
- You have demonstrated scientific output in more than one domain (ecology, biogeochemistry, sediment transport and/or physical oceanography of estuaries and coasts),
- You have a keen interest and experience in research for policy support, preferably also experience with contract research for governmental bodies.
- You have experience with both modelling, data analysis and field campaigns in estuaries and coasts.
- You are networked in biogeochemical and SPM research communities,
- You have experience with the calibration and use of oceanographical instruments in estuarine and coastal systems (OBS, CTD, ADV, LISST, ADCP,…) and with the postprocessing and analysis of the data.
- You preferably have specific experience and knowledge of the Scheldt estuary and/or the North-Sea.
- You have a good overview of existing and historical monitoring data (in Scheldt and/or North-Sea) and concrete experience working with these data.
- You have experience with collaborative software development, and data analysis (e.g. git, GitHub, GitLab).
- You have a strong sense of societal relevance guiding research questions.
The University of Antwerp offers:
- A part-time 10% appointment as a member of the senior academic staff (Dutch: Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP) for a period of three years and a part-time 40% contract (permanent employment contract) as a postdoctoral researcher.
- The ZAP appointment is renewable after positive evaluation. The level of your appointment (lecturer, senior lecturer, professor or full professor) is determined on the basis of your professional experience and academic qualifications. Your gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scales for senior academic staff and according to the pay scale for a principal research fellow in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP). Your salary is calculated pro rata based on the employment
- Your gross monthly salary as a postdoctoral researcher is calculated according to the salary scale of a doctor - assistant in the salary scales for Special Academic Staff (BAP).
- You mainly work on Campus Drie Eiken, in a dynamic and stimulating working environment. Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here and discover all the other benefits.
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences offers:
- A part-time (50%) contract (open ended) as a Work Leader (scientific staff, grade SW2).
- Full reimbursement for public transport for commuting or a bicycle allowance.
- You mainly work in Brussels, rue Vautier 29. You join regularly on measuring campaigns on the RV Belgica or another research vessel.
The starting date of employment is foreseen on June 1st 2022.
How to apply?
- You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including February 28th 2022 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on 'apply', complete the online application form and don’t forget to include the following documents: (1) your motivation letter, (2) the completed job application appendix for ZAP, (3) your academic CV.
- The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
- If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to email@example.com. If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact: For the appointments at UAntwerp: Dr. Patrick Meire, department of Biology, firstname.lastname@example.org . For the appointment at RBINS: Dr. Michael Fettweis (email@example.com)
- Additional information about the selection procedure can be asked at firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.