PhD studentship in Site Specific Fertilisation

Last application date
Dec 15, 2019 15:48
LA20 - Department of Environment
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
MSc in Agriculture Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, Soil Sciences.
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

A fully funded PhD scholarship titled Site Specific Fertilisation in EU and China is available in Precision Soil and Crop Engineering Group (Precision SCoRing), within the Department of Environment, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium. We are looking for a top MSc student, to work as a PhD candidate under a recently funded project by the EC under H2020 program, Call Number SFS-38-2018-2020: Sino-EU Soil Observatory for Intelligent Land Use Management (SIEUSOIL) - The aim of the project is to introduce and validate a holistic approach for land use and soil management for different crops and climate conditions across EU and China, aiming at minimizing the mining of soil nutrient reserves and the alteration of soil physical and chemical properties for stronger resistance to land degradation, including soil erosion, salinization, acidification, among others. The specific aim of the PhD project is to use advanced proximal soil sensing techniques for site specific fertilization of N, P, K and manure application towards maximized yield and minimized input fertilization cost and environmental footprint. We are looking for top students with a MSc degree obtained between September 2019 and not earlier than September 2016.

Successful candidates will have the following responsibilities:

  • Run your PhD project and deliver the project results in a timely manner.
  • Submission of high quality publications in international journals.
  • Link and integrate with research project of the other PhD students in the group as deemed appropriate. 
  • Contribute to group activities as requested by your promoters that are within the remit of the role and the grant, and the associated grade. This may include:
    1. Supporting and collaborating with MSc and other PhD students. 
    2. Contribution to teaching programmes if requested to do so.
    3. Assist in other activates in the group as deemed necessary.

Profile of the candidate

The candidate should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Have a MSc degree in Agriculture Engineering, Biosystems Engineering and/or Soil Sciences. 
  • Should have knowledge in the use of basic software and modelling languages, such as, MATLAB Toolbox, LabVIEW, R, ArcGIS, C++…..
  • Should have basic knowledge in the use of optical techniques (e.g., vis-NIR, MIR, or XRF spectrometry), multivariate statistics, machine learning, and GIS. 
  • Good contextual understanding of agricultural-environmental interface, and soil-crop relationship. 
  • Should have a high level of proficiency in English sufficient to communicate effectively with colleagues and write papers and reports. 
  • Good practical problem solver / Ability to find appropriate solutions to academic and technical problems. 
  • Ability to work as a member of a team within a dynamic research group.


  • We offer a fully funded PhD scholarship starting anytime between 1st January 2020 and 1st February 2020. We offer approx. €2100 per month net based on a full working week (38 hours).
  • Candidates will have the opportunity to work within a stimulating research environment within the Precision SCoRing Group (, with interdisciplinary team comprised of agricultural engineers, mechatronics engineers, electrical engineers, soil scientists, agronomists and data mining experts, where many international collaborations are foreseen.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted by not latter that 15th December, 2019, enclosing the following documents: 

  • Cover letter outlining your motivation, research and teaching experience.
  • Detailed CV and publication record.
  • Your MSc degree or an interim document if you are still finishing your MSc.
  • A verified transcript of your MSc and BSc degrees.
  • Two reference letters from academic members.

Applications need to be submitted via email with subject ‘PhD in site specific fertilisation’ to project promoter Prof. Abdul Mouazen (E-mail: