Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Modelling N2O emissions from soil: Explicit representation of organic hotspots (Position 1)

Please note that this description covers Position 1 of two independent, but inter-linked PhD fellowships. Position 1 has a main focus on modelling, and Position 2 (see separate announcement) a main focus on experimental studies.

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 November 2020 or later.

Title:
Modelling N2O emissions from soil: Explicit representation of organic hotspots (Position 1)

Research area and project description:
Agricultural soils are the largest source of the powerful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Despite decades of research, predicting  the extent and temporal dynamics of N2O emissions from soil remains difficult. Aggregated bulk soil conditions are uncertain as drivers of N2O emissions, since the effects of heterogeneity introduced with manure and crop residues are not accounted for. The project aims to reconfigure an existing mechanistic model to represent organic hotspots with the support of controlled experiments. Model development will be an iterative process with microcosm experiments for testing and optimisation of parameters defining model boundary conditions, and the subsequent C and N transformations. Ultimately, the results from this project will contribute towards a more accurate representation of agricultural N2O emissions, and support the development of mitigation strategies for organic sources of N2O.

The PhD fellow of position 1 will investigate organic hotspots using CoupModel, a mechanistic model with great flexibility to define scale and composition of soil strata. A hotspot model will be initialised on the basis of published results and then optimized in an iterative process with new experimental treatment combinations, to be conducted in another part of the project, and validated against field data.

In the first phase of the project, the successful candidate will interact with external partners for intensive training in use of the CoupModel under the supervision of Prof. Per-Erik Jansson, CoupModel Solutions.

Qualifications and specific competences:
The successful candidate must have a MSc in a discipline relevant to the subject of the position applied for, such as agronomy, biology, engineering or environmental science. A candidate with relevant experience in relation to modelling will be preferred, and skills in using numerical and mathematical tools for understanding data are of high importance. Knowledge of programming tecnhiques will be useful for the modelling position. Communication skills and ability to work within international research projects will be valuable.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is the Foulum Campus, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark. An exchange visit is planned in the first phase of the project.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Prof. Søren O. Petersen (email: sop@agro.au.dk)

 

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at the graduate school is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test (internet-based), minimum score: 83. The graduate school does not accept the paper-based test, nor the TOEFL ITP test. Remember to ask the test center to send your test results to Aarhus University in order to enable verification of your test results. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935.
    Currently, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test (available in selected areas) will also be accepted.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 7.0 points
    Please note, from 1 June 2020 the Graduate School of Science and Technology has split in two following the split of the faculty. For the two new schools, Graduate School of Natural Sciences and Graduate School of Technical Sciences, the minimum average score requirement for an IELTS test is 7.0 points (equivalent of a C1 level).
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to gsts@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to https://phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here/ - Note, the online application system opens on 1 June 2020.
Choose August 2020 Call with deadline 1 August 2020 at noon (11.59 AM CEST)..
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme “Agroecology”.

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: “Modelling N2O emissions from soil: Explicit representation of organic hotspots (Position 1)”
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English. A certified English translation is required for documents written in languages other than English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) languages.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. If the original documents are not in English or one of the Scandinavian languages (i.e. Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) then copies of the original documents as well as a certified English translation must be attached.
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to elaborate with own ideas and considerations, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

The graduate school reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSTS Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

19084 / i43