Ghent University

Research staff (25765) - Geography

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About the employer

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

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   →   Apply before 31/03/2023 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels Time)
   →   Faculty of Sciences  
   →  Department: WE12 - Geografie
   →  Occupancy rate: 100%
   →  Number of positions: 1    
   →  Type of employment: Contract of limited duration 
   →  Term of assignment: 2 years 
   →  Wage scale:  WM1 to WM4 (master degree) 
   →  Required diploma: Master 


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.


Project Background

LAT is used as the main reference surface for navigation in the North Sea. With national authorities being responsible for the determination of LAT reference surfaces, significant differences are observed near the marine borders countries. This is the result of the different tools and decision methodologies used in the process.

The Flemish agency for Maritime Services – Coastal Department is interested in the determination of an updated LAT reference surface for the Belgian part of the North Sea. In a first step, the project aims at developing an improved LAT-model for this zone. Together with the LAT surface, height transformation grids to (inter)national reference surfaces such as TAW/DNG, MSL,... are to be developed and validated. In a second step, based on simulations, recommendations have to be developed on the update cycle of the LAT-model. The final step of the research is aimed at investigating the coupling of the hydrodynamic model with the Belgian gravimetric geoid model.

Task description

The research will be carried out by using amongst others one or more numerical models available at Flanders Hydraulics (see: ). Models developed for previous MDK contracts can also be considered. In the first year of this research project, using the available hydrodynamic model(s), understanding on the influence of tide gauge data, time periods of the acquired data and parameter settings on the resulting LAT-model will be acquired. By taking into account the relevant settings and data, an LAT-model for the Belgian part of the North Sea is determined, excluding the Western Scheldt. Comparison with other LAT-models is automated using scripting tools. Based on simulation runs with available software and the comparison with other LAT-models, recommendations will be delivered on the approach on how and when an updated LAT-model should be developed. After the first part of this research project, the developed knowledge and tools are used to refer all heights in the hydrodynamic model to a gravimetric geoid model. Analysis of the differences between the gravimetric geoid model and MSL of the hydrodynamic model have to be executed and assessed. Finally, an improved LAT for the Belgian part of the North Sea is determined using the hydrodynamic model based on a gravimetric geoid model.


•           Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in civil or industrial engineering, offshore engineering, physical oceanography or a related area, with a proven strong knowledge on (coastal) hydrodynamics. Candidates with Master’s degrees in Geodesy, Mathematics, Physics, Informatics, Geology or Geomatics are also encouraged to apply.

•           Knowledge of and interest in numerical simulation of coastal hydrodynamics (currents and waves) and numeric modelling is essential.

•           Basic knowledge of hydrographic reference levels (LAT, MSL,…) and geodesy (geoid, gravimetry,…) is recommended.

•           Prior experience in modelling, data analysis and related statistics using appropriate software tools (e.g., Matlab, Python (preferred)) is recommended.

•           Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills.

•           Candidates must be proficient in English.

•           Candidates must be flexible, responsible and team workers.


  • An open, stimulating and multi-disciplinary research environment (the UGent 3D data acquisition research group ( ) together with the Coastal Engineering Research Group, cfr.
  • A unique chance to contribute directly to the marine scientific research world and industry.
  • Opportunity to collaborate with other research institutes in Belgium and The Netherlands.
  • Duration of the contract of definite duration: 1 year fixed contract to start, with an extension of 1 extra year after positive evaluation of the work of the candidate, so normally (at least) 2 years in total.
  • Contract of scientific staff, with a possible forecast of acquiring a PhD in the case of extra extension (to 3 or 4 years in total) if the research work appears to reach PhD level.
  • Starting date for the position: as soon as possible (between 1st of April and 1st of June).
  • Working place will be the 3D Data Acquisition Research Group at Ghent University (Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent), with regular visits to Ostend (Belgium) and Antwerp (Belgium).
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1 to WM4 (if you hold a Master’s degree) or salary scale PD1 to PD4 (if you hold a doctorate).  Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).


Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents”: a reference letter, an overview of your study results,  … 

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Alain DE WULF (alain.dewulf@UGENT.BE, +32.477.66.49.83) or Jeffrey.VERBEURGT (Jeffrey.verbeurgt@UGENT.BE, +32.472.77.46.13) or

Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.

Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read our FAQ or contact helpdesk ( - tel. 09/264 98 98)

Job details

Research staff (25765) - Geography
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33 Ghent, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-03-31 23:59:59
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About the employer

Ghent University is one of the top 100 universities in the Dutch language area, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

Visit the employer page

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