Nitrate transport and transformation in tile drained agricultural fields

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

Ph.d. project
Eastern Jutland

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 November 2017 or later.

Nitrate transport and transformation in tile drained agricultural fields

Research area and project description:
The PhD position is part of a newly established project, Open Landscape Nitrate Retention Mapping (rOPEN). The project is operationalized through a number of interdisciplinary work packages (WPs). WP1 to WP3 are in a chronological order starting with application or development of new instruments through actual measurements and ending with integrated hydrological and nitrogen transport modelling. WP4 addresses the methods for simulating nitrate leaching in pipe drained arable fields and upscaling field results to regional scale. The PhD project will be embedded and part of WP3 and WP4 including both field measurement and modelling of nitrogen dynamics in the soil-crop-atmosphere system. Scientific objectives are to establish improved knowledge on nitrogen transformation and transport in tile drained loamy soils in Denmark, and to investigate how nitrogen leaching through pipe drains is related to the total nitrogen leaching to both groundwater and surface waters. The project includes field scale experiments (suction cells placed in different depths above and below drain depth) and modelling crop production, nitrogen dynamics (mineralization, N uptake, denitrification, and leaching) using the Daisy model. The PhD position is available at Dept. Agroecology and the selected candidate will be enrolled at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Supplemental knowledge about: soil hydrology, mechanistic crop modelling and soil physics is an advantage as well as experience in using statistical methods for analyses of complex datasets. It is preferred that the candidate has good language skills in English and preferable also Danish and interest in close collaboration with the partners in the rOpen project. (GEUS, Geoscience, AU and SEGES).
Place of Employment and Place of Work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Research Centre Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Co-supervisor: Senior Scientist Finn Plauborg. E-mail:

Application procedures

Before you applyInformation 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 Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

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

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test)
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • 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 no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following

  • In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section”Language skills documentation”.
  • This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution stating this under “language skills documentation”. The onus is on the applicant to provide this information as GSST will not pursue information regarding language of instruction for any programmes or institutions.

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
Choose August 2017 Call with deadline 1 August 2017 at 11.59 PM MET.
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: "Nitrate transport and transformation in tile drained agricultural fields"
  • 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.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

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 and diploma(s)
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, 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 e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST 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 GSST application guide here

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.

Application deadline 01 August 2017

Ph.d. project
Eastern Jutland
Agriculture & Enviroment Sciences
Climate, Enviroment & Energy
Machine & Technical Design
Math, Physics & Nanotech
Natural Sciences
Data & Analytics
Natural Sciences
Research & Development

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