Postdoctoral Opportunity on Subsidence research in the Mekong delta
University of Padova, , Italy
Apply before: 14 July 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce an exciting Postdoc position at the University of Padova, Italy in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. We seek a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to work in an international and interdisciplinary project on land subsidence and the effect of groundwater extraction in the Mekong delta.

The Mekong delta is the third largest delta in the world and recent pioneering research on land subsidence has moved insights and understanding of deltaic subsidence in this delta to a next level, providing an example for other deltas. As postdoc at the University of Padova you will continue on this ground-breaking line of research and lead the efforts of connecting two existing hydro(geo)logical models previously developed to study land subsidence (Minderhoud et al., 2017,2020; Zoccarato et al., 2018). Technical support on code development and programming is present in the research group and not a required skill for this position, although affinity with numerical modelling is highly preferable. The objective is to study the impact of deep groundwater extraction on shallow subsidence in the Mekong delta through an innovative combination of numerical tools driven and validated by a wealth of pre-existing field data. Secondly, in close collaboration with another Postdoc based in Vietnam, the new findings are translated to policy-oriented documents used to actively advise policymakers and design effective management strategies. See project summary below for more details.

The project is both scientifically challenging and societal highly relevant. It aims to bridge the gap between technical (modelling) quantification of land subsidence (this postdoc, in Padova, Italy) and water governance strategies to limited land subsidence in the future (second postdoc in Vietnam, separate advertisement).

The successful candidate has expertise across dimensions including, but not limited to, hydro(geo)logical sciences, geomorphology, geo-environmental engineering, physical geography, numerical modelling, water governance and/or research outreach. Furthermore, the candidate is driven to collaborate in an interdisciplinary and international team on an exciting research topic in a booming field.

Exciting follow-up funding opportunities to further boost your career in science

In case the successful candidate currently reside outside of Italy (at least for two years), she/he is eligible, encouraged and supported to apply for an EU Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellowship ( at University of Padova to prolong the postdoctoral research at the University of Padova and boost her/his career. The supervisors have experience in acquiring this prestigious grant and the international office of Padova University provides dedicated support in grant writing and an excellent writing course ( Furthermore, Padova University provides its own Seal Of Excellence funding, which considerably increases funding changes for proposal receiving a score >85 (

For candidates currently residing in Italy, there is the opportunity for writing a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellowship during this project for Wageningen University (The Netherlands) (other institution of main supervisor).

Supervisors: Philip Minderhoud (Main), Claudia Zoccarato, Pietro Teatini, Quan Hong Nguyen (Vietnam)

Required qualifications

  • PhD in Geography, Earth Science, Hydro(geo)logical science, Environmental Engineering (or a related degree)
  • Proficiency in at least one or more skills related to hydro(geo)logical modelling, land subsidence and/or environmental geomechanics.

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience working inter- and cross-disciplinary in related natural scientific fields
  • Experience working internationally and interculturally
  • Experience with translation science to policy, outreach, or science communication
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate in a research team, mentor student and junior researchers, and take the lead in organizing interdisciplinary and international collaborative work
  • Strong project coordination, and oral and written communication skills
  • A passion for research but also enjoying other important aspects of life

Application Instructions

Deadline: July 14th, 2021, or until a suitable candidate is found.

Start date: 01 November 2021

Term: 1 year, with potential extension (see also funding opportunities).

Employment: Full-time Postdoc employment and salary at University of Padova.

Apply to Dr. Minderhoud via email ( with the subject “Postdoc Subsidence in the Mekong delta”. The full application will include a single PDF file consisting of:

  • A cover letter describing your research interests and suitability (maximum two pages)
  • A CV, including a list of your publications, scientific outreach and communication and strengths and related experiences
  • Optional: contact details for three professional references
We thank all applicants in advance for their interest; however, only those under consideration will be contacted. Applications submitted through employment agencies will not be considered.

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group