Ghent University

PhD Student - Vakgroep Omgeving

2024-10-01 (Europe/Brussels)
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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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Uiterste inschrijvingsdatum Oct 01, 2024 00:00

Vakgroep/directie/dienst LA20 - Vakgroep Omgeving

Type contract Contract van bepaalde duur

Diploma MSc in Mechatronics Engineering, Agriculture Engineering (not agronomy), Biosystems Engineering or Mechanical Engineering.

Bezettingsgraad 100%

Vacature type Overig academisch personeel


A fully funded PhD scholarship in soil and crop monitoring


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 15.000 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 85 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.

Doctoral fellow

A 4-year PhD fellowship is available in Precision Soil and Crop Engineering Group (Precision Scoring), within the Department of Environment, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering in Ghent University (UGent) in Belgium.


We are looking for an enthusiastic young engineer to complete a PhD degree under WHEATWATCHER EC funded project. The aim of the WHEATWATCHER is to develop and implement an integrated soil and crop monitoring system to assess soil nutrients status and chemical and biological stressors affecting and/or contaminating wheat grains from at-field growing stage to flour production in various regions across Europe, which will provide a management and decision tool for the farmers, mill owners and policy makers to guarantee quality and safe food production. Ghent University (UGent) is the coordination partner of the project, with Prof. Abdul Mouazen named as the project coordinator.

The successful candidate should answer research questions related to monitoring of different sources of contaminants in agricultural soils and wheat. He/she will need to contribute to the design, optimization and implementation of soil and crop sensing platforms for the collection of data on soil, crop and wheat grains to enable precision agriculture decision making for contaminants removal and mitigation. You will also support the delivery of the tasks assigned to UGent in WHEATWATCHER project.

Other responsibilities include supporting the Precision Scoring group in:

  • Supervising MSc students and assist in their field measurement, and data analyses.
  • Submission of high-quality publications in international scientific journals.
  • Link to and integrate with research run by different PhD students and postdocs in the Group as deemed appropriate.
  • Contribute to group activities as requested by your promoter that are within the remit of the role, the grant, and the associated grade.


  • You hold a Master’s degree (preferably) in Mechatronics Engineering, Agriculture Engineering (not agronomy), or Biosystems Engineering
  • Basic knowledge in sensing technologies and measurement systems.
  • Basic knowledge in machine learning, deep learning and/or data fusion and modelling tools, and eager to learn about more advanced modelling techniques.
  • User of engineering software and modelling languages, such as, MATLAB Toolbox, LabVIEW, DaisyLab, AutoCAD, and/or C++…..
  • Working in interdisciplinary environments, good contextual understanding of agricultural systems and the ability to work in the field is desirable.
  • Possessing excellent project and time management skills to ensure that milestones and deliverables are achieved to time and to high quality.
  • The candidate should have a high level of proficiency in English sufficient to communicate effectively with colleagues and write papers and reports.
  • The candidate should be prepared to work in close collaboration with the supervising team as well as the PhD students working within the project, in the group or in the department.
  • 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 full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which - after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on 01/10/2024 at the earliest.
  • The fellowship amount is 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. 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).


Applications should be submitted to Dr. Muhammad Qaswar (e-mail: and copy Prof. Abdul M. Mouazen (e-mail: by 26th May 2024, enclosing the following documents:

  • A cover letter outlining your academic interests, research experience and reasons for wishing to work on this project
  • Detailed CV and publication record
  • Two reference letters from academic workers
  • Your MSc degree or an interim document if you are still finishing your MSc
  • A verified transcript of your MSc and BSc degrees

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Abdul M. Mouazen (, +32(0)9 264 6247).
We do not accept late applications.

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Job details

PhD Student - Vakgroep Omgeving
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33 Ghent, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-10-01 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-10-01 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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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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