PhD scholar on assessing the role of forest sinks in climate change mitigation CLOSED

Climate Change, Energy, & Low Carbon Development

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) envisions a more equitable world where forestry and landscapes enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. Using a global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we conduct innovative research, develop partners’ capacity, and actively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to inform policies and practices that affect forests and people. CIFOR is a CGIAR Research Center, and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). Our headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Lima, Peru; and Bonn, Germany.

CIFOR is looking for

PhD scholar on assessing the role of forest sinks in climate change mitigation


The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia and the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing ( at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) are jointly offering a PhD scholarship on climate and forests (REDD+), dealing with assessing forest sinks in climate change mitigation

CIFOR advances human well-being, environmental conservation and equity by conducting research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is one of 15 centers within the CGIAR Consortium. CIFOR headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia and they have offices in Asia, Africa and South America (

The mission of WUR is, “to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life.” It has a staff of 6500 and hosts 10,000 students from over 100 countries who work globally in healthy food and living environment for governments and the business community at large. At WUR, you will be working together with people from over 80 countries. WUR enjoys an excellent reputation internationally for conducting research and providing high quality education.

Duties and responsibilities

Summary of responsibilities

The PhD scholar will be part of the research project on Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS), led by CIFOR, in particular Module 3 on monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems and reference levels. Tropical forest sinks are of fundamental importance for the Paris Agreement in which they will define if the land-use sector contributes as a net source or sink to the global greenhouse gas budget. However, the magnitude and location of tropical forest sinks in tropical countries is uncertain. The research aims to assess the current state of knowledge of tropical forest sink (trends), provide and integrate available and new data sets to better quantify the sink and processes leading to it, and how this information can influence future forest management, restoration and reforestation strategies under climate change mitigation goals. The PhD candidate should aim to provide better quantification of dynamics leading to the tropical forest sink (i.e. in secondary and managed forests, reforestation, forest landscape restoration, forest plantations etc.). A combination of a thorough literature review, field observations and remote sensing analysis should lead to better mapping and estimation of the various sink processes at national and regional levels. The candidate should have a background in tropical forestry or forest ecology, knowledge in remote sensing and spatial analysis and modeling and a basic understanding of the role of forests in climate change mitigation.

Education, knowledge and experience

• A motivated researcher with an MSc degree and relevant experience in forestry, remote sensing, ecology, environmental science, geography, land change science or a related field.
• Strong English skills.
• Technical skills for handling spatial data and remote sensing.
• Experiences and willingness to work with and in developing tropical countries.

Terms and Conditions

• The scholarship is provided by CIFOR; it consists of a monthly stipend of €1700 for a maximum of 4 years.
• Additional funds for travel and fieldwork are available.
• The duty station will be in WUR, Wageningen, the Netherlands.
• The PhD research is conducted mainly at the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing and the related Graduate School ( under the supervision of Professor in WUR in close collaboration and supervision with the Team Leader of CIFOR and with CIFOR partners.
• The candidate is expected to spend some time at CIFOR’s headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia and to carry out fieldwork and participate in international exchange and meetings in REDD+ countries, according to a mutually agreed work plan.
• The PhD degree at Wageningen University requires course work of 32 ECTS and the successful defense of the PhD thesis.
• The work is expected to start early in 2017.
• We particularly encourage female researchers and researchers from developing countries to apply.

Please send your letter of interest and CV (including contact information of three referees) to:

Human Resources Department, CIFOR

Please indicate the position and its reference number (Ref 1643) in the email subject line.

Application process

The application deadline is 15 Feb-2017
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.


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