PhD position in integrated micro-palaeontology, stratigraphy and geochemistry, Ghent, Belgium

Applications are invited for a fully funded four-year PhD student position at Ghent University. The project focusses on micro-palaeontology, stratigraphy and geochemistry, and selected Devonian biogeochemical events.


This position is available in the context of the new BOF-research project 'Death from Below'. The selected candidate will work on unraveling the interrelationships between Devonian mass extinctions, fossil plankton, ocean geochemistry, climate change and ore geology. He/she will collect and analyze samples from sections through selected Devonian events across the USA and Europe, focusing on organic-walled microfossils, their host sediments and their geochemistry. The primary objective is to increase our understanding of the cause-and-effect relations that operated during these events. The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with other (PhD) students investigating similar relationships through earlier biogeochemical events.

The PhD student will be based at the Department of Geology at Ghent University in Belgium ( He/she will join an active international group and will work in close collaboration with scientists at the United States Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado and the Indiana Geological Survey in Bloomington.

The job involves field expeditions, intensive laboratory work focused on palynology, (redox) geochemistry, stratigraphy, and training in all aspects of the scientific method. The starting date is flexible between 1 April 1 and 1 September 2017.

A competitive salary is offered (normally starting at c. €1900 net / month) and minimal tuition fees. Additional information regarding PhD studies at Ghent University can be found on here:


The ideal candidate holds a Master degree in Geology, or a related field, and he/she has experience with field work, micro-palaeontology and/or sediment geochemistry. An MSc degree is required at the time of appointment, but we will consider applications from students who are in the final semester of their MSc. The candidate is expected to be highly motivated, organized, fluent in spoken & written English and capable of functioning as a part of an international research team. Excellent observational, analytical and writing skills are required and should be substantiated in the CV. The candidate should be willing to travel and participate in research stays abroad. Although the position is focused on research, the PhD student may occasionally be asked to help with teaching.


To apply, please send a single, unprotected pdf file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., containing these five items:
- 1) a letter of motivation (personal statement describing research experience and interests)
- 2) an up-to-date CV (including education history, detailed and full transcripts of marks & grades, ranking, full details of any publications and details on your MSc thesis project)
- 3) a letter of recommendation
- 4) only if you do not yet have your MSc degree: a research progress statement by your supervisor explaining the progress of your MSc work (this can be an integral part of the letter of recommendation), and
- 5) name and contact information (e-mail + telephone) of at least one additional referee.

Review of applications will start on 1 March 2017 and will continue until the position is filled.

Further information

All information can be found below, or on the UGent website:

For enquiries, feel free to contact Thijs Vandenbroucke: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +32 (0)9 264 45 15