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PhD position (3 year) in the field of Terrestrial Ecotoxicology at Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Switzerland and Wageningen University, Netherlands

A PhD position (fully funded at EU Marie-Curie stipend-rates for 3-years) is available in the field of Terrestrial Ecotoxicology at Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Switzerland. The position is part of the CHRONIC project – a Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Network (ITN). The lead supervisor (Dr Roman Ashauer) is located at Syngenta, Switzerland, and the co-supervisor (Prof Dr Nico van den Brink) at Wageningen University, Netherlands.

The Department of Environmental Safety invites applications for a fellowship at Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Switzerland with enrolment at Wageningen University, Netherlands starting between 1st May 2021 and 1st Sep 2021. The student will be based at Syngenta in Basel (Switzerland) and register for a PhD degree at Wageningen University (Netherlands). Applications are requested from candidates seeking to pursue a PhD degree within terrestrial ecotoxicology on the topic of “Modelling the exposure and effects of pesticides and other stressors on soil organisms”.

Syngenta Crop Protection is a global agrochemical company. The environmental risks of its products are assessed by continually investing in research and development. Activities in the Environmental Safety department include development of new risk assessment methods in general and specifically mechanistic effect models for pesticide risk assessment, focusing on toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic, population and ecosystem models.

While conducting your individual research project, you will be joined into a network of 13 PhD Fellows (ESRs) at academic institutions across Europe all aiming at developing tools and approaches to identify nonstandard modes of toxicity for long-term, low-dose chemical exposure and their interactions with other environmental stressors. All CHRONIC partners have extensive experience in education and training and a high state-of-the-art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructure. The programme will therefore lay the basis for an integrated approach to environmental risk assessment.

CHRONIC includes training-by-research, joint training courses, covering technical, scientific, ethical, and transferable skills. Fellows will also engage actively in communication to scientific and public communities. Being part of CHRONIC offers you an excellent opportunity to work within a strong, interdisciplinary and intersectoral network including leading Universities and research institutions across Europe as well as industry, consultancy, governmental and non-governmental institutions in Europe and Canada. You will be able to undertake research placement at partner institutions involved in the CHRONIC project, including secondments for a total of 14 months at Wageningen University (Netherlands) and CEH (United Kingdom), where you will be trained in specific models and methods beneficial to your project, as well as attending project training events and international conferences.

Research Area And Project Description

The title of the specific PhD project is “Modelling the exposure and effects of pesticides and other stressors on soil organisms”. Current uncertainties in the risk assessment for soil organisms include aspects of exposure such as residues in pore water and residues bound to organic matter. In addition, toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic processes will influence the potential for any resulting effects amongst different soil taxonomic groups with different life history and traits. This project will: 1) Use exposure modelling to investigate potential exposure of soil organisms: 2) Test and model chemical exposure pathways and bioavailability to soil organisms; 3) Use TKTD, DEB and Population Modelling approaches to investigate effects of chemical stressors on soil organisms; 4) Link novel toxicological endpoints to population dynamics.

The Doctoral School

You will enrol as PhD student at Wageningen University (WU) and Research (www.wur.nl). WUR combines academic University-based research with more strategic and applied research by its research institutes and is the leading European university in Life Sciences. The strength of WU lies in the combined efforts of the various fields of natural and social sciences. The scientific quality of WU is affirmed by the prominent position occupied in international rankings and the last 12 years WU was considered to be the best University based on student rankings. At WU, more than 10,000 students are enrolled (of which more than 25% are from abroad).


Qualifications and specific competences:

You must hold a master’s degree or equivalent within ecotoxicology, ecology, biology, environmental science, environmental chemistry or similar. Fluency in English (working language) is a requirement.

Experience in some aspects of environmental science, soil science, environmental data science (modelling) or ecotoxicology will be beneficial. However, excellent students with specific skills in other areas of quantitative and biological research (e.g., mathematics/statistics, computer science) wishing to apply their skills in the field of environmental chemical management and ecotoxicology are also invited to apply.

You are required to be enterprising, to possess good communication skills and to be willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration across the department and in the CHRONIC network.

Eligibility: The EU ITN project aims to attract candidates worldwide. Thus, there are certain eligibility criteria that candidates must fulfil. First, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account. Secondly, the applicants for the MSCA fellowship must have no PhD and less than 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience from the award of the degree that entitles them to undertake a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the applicant is to be recruited).

These eligibility requirements are non-negotiable and ineligible applicants will not be considered.


Please apply online in English under following link and provide:

  • A cover letter stating your motivation for this project
  • Your curriculum vitae with relevant competences, skills and publication list (if you have published already)
  • Degree certificates and documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent
  • At least one letter of reference (e.g. from MSc supervisor, University teacher)


For further information about the position, please contact – Dr Roman Ashauer, [email protected]

Terms of employment

At Syngenta, the employment is a full-time employment with 40 hours a week.

What We Offer

  • Flextime working arrangements with flat hierarchies, an open culture and diverse workforce
  • The opportunity to work with and learn from highly qualified and experienced employees
  • We offer a position which contributes to valuable and impactful work in a stimulating and international environment #bringingplantpotentialtolife.

Please submit your application no later than 1 April 2021.

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

Syngenta is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


Desired Skills and Experience

Science, Research, Research and development, Product safety, Toxicology, Chemistry

Um sich für diesen Job zu bewerben, sende deine Unterlagen per E-Mail an info@dirkbansch.com