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PhD research grant on assessing progress and country readiness for REDD+ monitoring on forest disturbance processes in peatlands in the Democratic Republic of Congo


  • Organization: CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research
  • Location: netherlands
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Environment
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Climate Change
    • Democratic Governance
    • Grant writing
  • Closing Date:

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Reference number: 2141
Job status: In-progress
Job category: Internship
Duty station: Wageningen, Netherlands
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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where trees in all landscapes, from drylands to the humid tropics, enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR and ICRAF are non-profit science institutions that build and apply evidence to today’s most pressing challenges, including energy insecurity and the climate and biodiversity crises. Over a combined total of 65 years, we have built vast knowledge on forests and trees outside of forests in agricultural landscapes (agroforestry). Using a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to improve lives and to protect and restore ecosystems. Our work focuses on innovative research, partnering for impact, and engaging with stakeholders on policies and practices to benefit people and the planet. Founded in 1993 and 1978, CIFOR and ICRAF are members of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

CIFOR-ICRAF is looking for a

PhD research grant on assessing progress and country readiness for REDD+ monitoring on forest disturbance processes in peatlands in the Democratic Republic of Congo


The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia, and the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing ( at the Wageningen University & Research (Wageningen UR or WUR) centre, the Netherlands, jointly offer a 2-year PhD research grant on the topic of assessing progress and country readiness for REDD+ monitoring with particular focus on monitoring forest disturbance processes in peatlands in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by using near-real-time forest disturbance alerts from Earth Observation data. The position is limited to 2 years and suited for candidates that already have made significant progress towards their PhD in a related topic. ‘To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life’. That is the mission of the WUR centre. It has a staff of 6,500 and 10,000 students from over 100 countries who work everywhere around the world in the domain of healthy food and the living environment for governments and the business community at large. At Wageningen UR, you work together with people from over 80 countries. We enjoy an excellent reputation internationally when it comes to conducting research and providing education. Wageningen UR is listed within the top six most important citation indexes within its domain(

Duties and responsibilities

The PhD scholar will be part of the research project ”Global Comparative Study on REDD+” (GCS), led by CIFOR, in particular within a work package on “data generation to support the Enhanced Transparency Framework and the UNFCCC Transparency, Accuracy, Completeness, Comparability, Consistency (TACCC) principles”. In the DRC, WUR and CIFOR will use next-generation near-real-time forest disturbance alerts (RADD alerts developed by WUR and available through Global Forest Watch) to analyse forest disturbance processes (e.g. due to logging) in peatlands with much higher spatio-temporal detail, which is more suited for small-scale forest disturbances. This will expand on ongoing efforts using optical satellite alerts. The PhD research will explore how these weekly alerts can be leveraged for more frequent reporting and better resource management, not only at the local level, but also at the national scale to increase the speed of estimating emissions at local and country levels.

Education, knowledge and experience

  • We are looking for a motivated researcher with the following qualifications:
  • MSc degree and relevant experience in remote sensing, data science, environmental science, geography or a related field;
  • technical skills to handle spatial and remote sensing data;
  • knowledge about carbon emission estimation from both ground (e.g. national forest inventories) and satellite data, as well as knowledge on REDD+, national greenhouse gas accounting and reporting;
  • experience of and willingness to work with and in developing tropical countries;
  • a proven track record of publications that can contribute toward the PhD thesis;
  • excellent command of written and spoken English is essential.

Terms and conditions

  • The scholarship is provided by CIFOR and Wageningen University with a monthly stipend of €1800 for a maximum of 2 years. Additional funds for health care insurance, travel and fieldwork are available.
  • The PhD research is conducted mainly at the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University (NL) and the related Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC) ( under the joint supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Herold (WUR), Dr. Veronique De Sy (WUR) and Dr. Kristell Hergoualch (CIFOR), in close collaboration with the CIFOR team and partners.
  • The candidates are also expected to engage in fieldwork and international exchange and meetings with stakeholders from DRC, according to a mutually agreed work plan that is to be established.
  • The PhD degree at Wageningen University requires course work of 32 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points and the successful defence of the PhD thesis.
  • The 2-year research grant should start no later than 1 January 2022.
  • Work location: Wageningen, the Netherlands.

    The application should include:
  • a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages), including mention of which contributions (e.g. publications) could contribute toward the PhD thesis;
  • CV, including full list of publications; and contact details of up to three referees (letters of recommendation may be requested at a later stage).
  • transcript from your master’s degree and a copy of the MSc thesis;

    Encourage female researchers and researchers from developing countries to apply.

    To apply, please visit our career site at:

    To learn more about CIFOR-ICRAF, please visit our websites at: and

    Further information

    Professor at Wageningen University & Research, Martin Herold:
    Senior Scientist at CIFOR, Kristell Hergoualch:

    CIFOR is an equal opportunity employer. Staff diversity contributes to excellence.

Application process

The application deadline is 17 Oct-2021
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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