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PhD vacancy: Societal transition to reduce the grey water footprint of human and veterinary medicines.


Location Enschede
Function types PhD positions
Scientific fields Natural Sciences, Engineering
Hours 38.0 hours per week
Salary € 2191 - € 2801
Education University Graduate
Job number 888049
About employer University of Twente (UT)

Job description

Human and veterinary medicines ending up in rivers and lakes from households, hospitals and livestock farms pose an increasing environmental and health risk. The EU-funded Dutch-German MEDUWA consortium operates within the shared river basin of the Vecht to solve a common problem: medicines entering the environment and returning to humans and animals through drinking and swimming water and food. The consortium will develop models and tools to understand the medicine chain and analyse the effectiveness of different measures to bring about a societal transformation that reduces medicine emissions to the environment and simultaneously enhances the regional economy. In the project, the Water Management Group of the University of Twente will contribute its expertise on water footprint assessment and societal learning and transition, focusing on the quantification and mapping of the medicine-related grey water footprint in the basin and the analysis of reducing and mitigating measures. Researchers from the Water Management Group published extensively on water footprints, water pollution, water scarcity and social learning in leading scientific journals. The project offers the opportunity for a new PhD candidate to join our team and expand this research in challenging and internationally appealing directions.

The position

The PhD candidate will map the water pollution resulting from the use of human and veterinary medicines in the Vecht river basin, using the grey water footprint concept. The water footprint will be expressed per person for medicine use in households, per patient for medicine use in hospitals, and per kilogram of meat, milk or eggs for medicine use in livestock farming. The effectiveness of emission-reducing techniques and practices will be estimated, and benchmarks will be developed based on best practices. These results will be integrated in a multi-actor governance perspective, to identify transitions towards more sustainable practices.


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate with an open mind, strong communicative qualities and excellent comprehension of English, both in spoken language and in writing. Speaking Dutch and/or German is an advantage. Prerequisite is an MSc degree in environmental sciences, engineering or a related specialization. Candidates should have affinity with conceptual thinking from a holistic view, have interest in grand societal and environmental challenges and transformational change, and be flexible in acquainting themselves with knowledge from new scientific fields and working in multi-disciplinary teams.

Information and application

For more information please contact prof.dr.ir. Arjen Hoekstra, +31 53 4893880. The start of the project is as soon as possible. Your written application, with a CV and, if applicable, a list of publications and references should be sent before 15 March 2017 through the vacancy website of the University of Twente: www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en.
Candidates expecting to graduate soon are also invited to apply.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position as a PhD candidate. The salary for PhD research starts at € 2191- gross per month for the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2801,- gross per month in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition, the University of Twente offers attractive fringe benefits.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, SBE and IGS.


Closing date: 15.03.2017
Closing date: 15 March 2017 Erschienen auf academics.de am 09.02.2017
In your application, please refer to academics.com

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