PhD: ANDROMEDA - Analysis techniques for microplastic particles in the marine environment

ILVO is looking for a candidate with a degree of Master of Science, Master of Applied Sciences or similar for
Function EV: PhD Andromeda - Analysis techniques for microplastic particles in the marine environment
Vacancy number: EV/2020/002/D1
Entity: Eigen Vermogen (EV) - Flanders Research Institute for agriculture, fisheries and food
Department: Animal Sciences
Place of employment: Scheldeweg 68 - 9090 Melle


Over the last decades, the presence of macro, micro- and nanoplastics in the marine environment, related to the high plastic production rates and the strong persistency of plastics, has become an important environmental issue. Analytical methods for microplastic determination can be divided into low-cost versus more advanced methods. Cost-effective methods are important if microplastics are to be identified within large scale research and monitoring campaigns, or through citizen science and for education purposes. These include in situ measurements and fast laboratory methods for analysing microplastics between 50 and 300 μm. The development, optimization and harmonisation of such cost-effective methods is nevertheless challenging, as these techniques should combine savings in time and cost with an acceptable level of accuracy and precision, next to the detectability of a large variety of polymers, a low risk for contamination and a low risk for mismatching other types of microparticles. This will be the key challenge of this PhD position.

Your profile

  • You recently obtained a degree of Master of Science, Master of Applied Sciences or similar
  • Fascinated by marine research and interested in applied research on microplastics;
  • Knowledge and experience on spectroscopic techniques is a plus;
  • Willing to participate and lead national and international sampling campaigns;
  • Good communication skills, including good written and verbal knowledge of the English language;
  • Able to work independently;
  • Working with a creative, critical and analytical mindset;
  • Team-player and eager to work in an international context.

How to apply?

All applications must be sent by email, no later than Thursday, February 6th, 2020 at 23:59 (CET) to:
Prof. Dr. Jan Mees, General Director VLIZ (
The subject of your mail should contain; ‘Application scientist Andromeda’.

The following documents should be attached as one file:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • A transcript of the required degree
  • An overview of your study results
  • The name and contact data of a reference person

Selection procedure

  • Screening of CVs: February 11th, 2020.
  • Selection interviews: February 19 or 21th, 2020
  • Foreseen start of the PhD position: April 1st, 2020

After screening of CVs, you will be informed by phone or mail by February 12th, 2020. Pre-selected candidates will be invited for an interview. A case study will then be provided, to be prepared and presented during the interview. Please be sure to provide a phone number and email address where you can be reached during the day, and already block the given dates in your agenda.

ILVO, VLIZ and UGent promote equality and diversity at the workplace. You will be recruited on the basis of competencies. Qualities of people are decisive, regardless of gender, religion, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or any disability.

More info?

For more information on the content of this position and the Andromeda project you may contact:

Dr. ir. Bavo De Witte, Tel. +32 (0)59 56 98 64 –
Dr. ir. Gert Everaert, Tel. +32-(0)59-34 14 97 –
Prof. Dr. Colin Janssen, Tel. +32-(0)9-264 37 75 –

More info and requirements