PhD Internship in multi-scale monitoring of forest carbon changes for REDD+ CLOSED

Environment Research Team

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, and Lima, Peru.

CIFOR is looking for a

PhD Internship in multi-scale monitoring of forest carbon changes for REDD+


The Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University (NL) is offering a PhD position in collaboration with the Center of International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Indonesia to perform research for a three-year coordinated global comparative research project on REDD at multiple scales in selected countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Duties and responsibilities

The project consists of six work packages: (1) multilevel REDD+ institutions and processes, benefit sharing and incentive mechanisms, (2) tradeoffs in carbon, biodiversity and climate adaptation at the landscape scale, (3) international REDD+ governance, (4) carbon reference emission levels and MRV, (5) integrating subnational and national-level REDD+ monitoring, and (6) knowledge sharing. The candidate would be expected to conduct research in work package 5. The focus of the work will be on comparing coarse- versus fine-scale carbon monitoring systems at ten subnational sites where CIFOR has collected detailed socioeconomic data. Research involves hyper-temporal satellite image analysis, ground based biomass measurements, and nested carbon monitoring. The candidate will use data-driven pixel-based approaches along with ground truthing and high resolution satellite images to validate deforestation, degradation and regrowth events before and after the implementation of REDD+ activities. Biomass measurements will complement quantification of changes in carbon emissions through conventional forest inventory techniques as well as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) based assessments. These tiered analytical methods will allow us to understand the trade-offs in nested carbon monitoring systems that use coarse- versus fine-scale methods in determining reductions in forest-based emissions and increases in removals.

Education, knowledge and experience

 Young and motivated researcher with MSc degree
 Related experiences in Forestry, Remote Sensing, Terrestrial surveying, Ecology, Environmental Science, or Geography or a related field.
 A background in time series image analysis, laser scanning, and related data handling and programming is an asset.
 Knowledge about tropical forests and the REDD process is appreciated. Experiences and willingness to work with and in developing tropical countries, and organizing and conducting field work in tropical forests is important.
 Excellent written and spoken English

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• Be self motivated, outgoing and welcome the opportunity to work with significant autonomy
• Be a team player and have excellent interpersonal communications skills

Terms and Conditions

• The PhD position is supported by CIFOR with a monthly stipend of €1700 for up to 4 years. The PhD research is conducted mainly at the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University (NL) and the related Graduate School ( under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Herold in close collaboration with CIFOR partners.
• The successful candidate is expected to spend some time at CIFOR’s headquarter in Bogor, Indonesia, and to spend a significant amount of time with field work in different locations. He/she is also required to engage in international exchange and meetings.

Application process

The application deadline is 13 Apr-2014
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.