HOURS PER WEEK: 36 to 40FACULTY: Faculty of GeosciencesDEPARTMENT: GEO / Dept SDAPPLICATION DEADLINE: 30 September 2023



Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate to join our team, investigating how low-value biomass residues can be used to provide clean bioenergy for industrial applications. You will be part of the Horizon Europe CBE4I project, which investigates a novel fuel-flexible, highly efficient and close-to-zero emission combined biomass gasification and combustion technology for industrial applications. Many industrial applications require medium-to-high temperature heat, which cannot easily be supplied through renewable electricity, and as such, this technology provides a solution for otherwise hard-to-abate emissions.

An important part of this work includes life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental benefits and potential trade-offs of using the CBE4I technology in different industrial applications. A broad range of environmental impact categories will be assessed, and special attention will be placed on estimating the circularity performance of the technology regarding resource efficiency along the supply chain. The LCA results will be used to guide sustainable decision-making at the development and deployment stages of the technology.

In addition, you will perform an evaluation of the competitiveness of the CBE4I technology in different industrial sectors as basis for a roadmap for the successful deployment of CBE4I. This evaluation will consider, among other factors, the technical potentials, national legislation, biomass availability and costs.

The findings of this research will contribute to the evaluation and deployment of sustainable energy technologies for industries.

Beyond the scope of CBE4I, you may also be assessing CO2 capture and utilisation strategies of industrial biomass applications to further improve the sustainability performance. 

You will be working in a team of experts at Utrecht University, and as part of the international project consortium including academic and industry partners from Austria, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.


As our ideal candidate, you have the following essential knowledge, skills, and experience:

  • a completed MSc degree or Master of Engineering (MEng) in any of these subjects: Energy Science, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Sustainable Development, Industrial Ecology or a related discipline;
  • knowledge of energy systems and the (potential) role of biomass for energy and chemicals/materials;
  • knowledge of environmental life cycle assessment;
  • excellent command external link of the English language (both written and oral);
  • excellent writing and communication skills, demonstrated through a writing example such as your Master thesis;
  • the ability to work independently and in a team;
  • the ability to work independently on and timely finalise project deliverables;
  • willingness to travel to project meetings within the EU;
  • willingness to acquire new skills as required for the research of the PhD project. 


We offer:

  • a position (1.0 FTE) for 1 year, with an extension to a total of four years upon successful assessment;
  • a full-time gross salary between €2,770 in the first year and €3,539 in the fourth year of employment in scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions 

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 from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development 

external link, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes external link and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University 

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About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University 

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, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes 

external link. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow external link.

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences 

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 studies the Earth: from the Earth’s core to its surface, including man’s spatial and material utilisation of the Earth – always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact professor Martin Junginger 

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 (Professor of Bio-Based Economy) at H.M.Junginger@uu.nl 

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*Note to recruitment agencies: Please refrain from contacting us regarding this job posting.


Everyone deserves to feel at home 

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 at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button.

Interviews will take place on 9 October in the afternoon and 12 October in the morning. We will inform those candidates selected for an interview as soon as possible after the submission deadline.

The application deadline is 30 September 2023.


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