Thursday, December 26, 2013

PhD Fellowship available for research on integrated water resources data in supporting decisions

PhD Fellowship available for research on integrated water resources data in supporting decisions

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is searching for an excellent candidate for a 4-year PhD position focusing on 'Value of comprehensive datasets and information in constraining uncertainties in support of decision making'. This PhD research will be conducted in the framework of a Seventh Framework EU research project which is due to start in January 2014.


This project, "Global Earth Observation for integrated water resource assessment", or Eath2Observe in short has the objective to integrate global Earth Observations (EO), in-situ datasets and models to develop a comprehensive global water resources re-analysis dataset. Within the project a team of some 29 leading universities and research institutes from across Europe as well as internationally will work on testing new EO data sources, extending existing processing algorithms and combining data from multiple satellite missions in order to improve the overall resolution and reliability of EO data. These data will be combined with terrestrial and model data to establish a global water resources re-analysis dataset, which will be disseminated through an open data Water Cycle Integrator portal and contribute to the GEOSS platform.

Error characteristics of the datasets will be established, as well as how these errors propagate through large scale water resource models that provide datasets used in supporting water resources decisions. The usability and operational value of the datasets developed in supporting decisions will be verified in selected case studies across the world, including the Mediterranean and Baltic regions, Ethiopia, Morocco, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. These case studies will be conducted together with local end-users and stakeholders.

Description of PhD Research

Within the framework of Earth2Observe project, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is initiating a full time PhD position for a duration of four years. This PhD will work closely with two other PhD students within the project in a work package that focuses on the socio-economic value of data in support of decision making. In the operational management of water resources decisions are made on water allocation, flood and drought management etc; and the availability of data helps reduce the uncertainty underlying these decisions. Within the PhD research a framework will be developed and tested through which the value of data in reducing decision uncertainty can be established. In a first step user oriented metrics will be developed to establish the (socio-economic) value of reducing uncertainty through improved datasets. A second step will aim to convert these metrics and thresholds into requirements for datasets that integrate different data sources such as in-situ data, EO data and model data, each with differing error chararcteristics.
This PhD research will be conducted in close cooperation with two other PhD researchers, one appointed full time at the National University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, and the third jointly appointed at UNESCO-IHE and the National University of Colombia. Research will focus on two basins of high socio-economic importance within the case studies in the Earth2Observe project.
The supervisory team for the PhD research will be Prof. Charlotte de Fraiture and/or Prof. Arthur Mynett and Dr Micha Werner of the Water Science and Engineering Department at UNESCO-IHE. The research will be carried out at the premises of UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands, though it is expected that the candidate will spend significant time in the research basins. The PhD position is funded by a fellowship that covers tuition fee, health insurance, travel, visits to conferences and a monthly tax-free allowance of approximately 1200 Euros a month. Yearly performance appraisals will be conducted. The expected starting date is the 1st of April 2014 and the duration of the project is 4 years.


The candidates should have:
  • MSc degree (average mark of 80% or above) in a discipline relevant to the topic (e.g. Hydrology, Water Resources Management, Environmental Sciences, Civil Engineering)
  • Experience in hydraulic / hydrological modelling, water resources modelling, statistics and uncertainty analysis. Experience with economic valuation methods would be an asset.
  • Well developed IT skills, includng computer codes such as Python, R, Matlab, as well as hydrological and water resources models.
  • A high proficiency in English (written and spoken). Candidates with proficiency in Spanish will have an advantage
  • Motivation to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment

How to apply?

Applications in English, including curriculum vitae, names and contact details of three referees, and a brief motivation letter should be sent by email (as one PDF file with your family name as the filename) to Ms. Tonneke Morgenstond ( or Ms Martine Roebroeks - Nahon ( at the Water Science and Engineering Department. Please mention "Earth2Observe - PhD position", in the subject line of your email. 
The closing date for applications is the 7th of February 2014. Short-listed candidates will be contacted by February 14th 2014. It is expected that the candidate will be selected by February 21st, 2014. 

Department and Chair Group

The Water Science and Engineering MSc Programme focuses on the management and development of water resources and water flows and quality in the natural environment, while addressing the multidisciplinary character of human activities dealing with water. The specialisations within this programme explore natural and anthropological influences on the water cycle, from the perspectives of civil engineering, technology and earth sciences. They are of direct relevance to sustainable development because they prepare graduates to improve the management of human impact on water resources, design simulation models for various phases of the water cycle, and develop methods of reducing the impact of water-related natural hazards.
More information about the contents of the research can be requested by email: Dr. Micha Werner (

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ACSS2014 - The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences

ACSS2014 - The Fifth Asian Conference on the Social Sciences
12th to 15th June 2014
Osaka, Japan

The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners is proud to announce the Fifth Asian Conference on the Social Sciences, at the Rihga Royal Hotel and the adjoining Osaka International Conference Center, Osaka, Japan from June 12-15 2014. This international, intercultural and interdisciplinary academic conference on the social sciences is organised by IAFOR in conjunction with our global partners, including Waseda University (Japan), London University (UK) and Virginia Tech (USA).

Web address:
Sponsored by: IAFOR - The International Academic Forum

Abstract Submissions Deadline: February 15 2014

Hear the latest research, publish before a global audience, present in a supportive environment, network, engage in new relationships, experience Japan, explore Osaka and Kyoto, join a global academic community...

Theme: "Individual, Community and Society: Conflict, Resolution and Synergy"

Conflict from earliest times has been a characteristic of the human condition. The struggle between our individual selves and our social selves arises from what makes us unique on the one hand, being challenged by our being part of an interdependent structure of relationships on the other.

The specific blend of experiences, abilities, attitudes, and aspirations, that helps to define us, can sit sometimes uncomfortably alongside our commitments to those closest to us, our communities and our cultures. This can lead to conflict at different levels.

Conflict within communities and societies is inevitable given that these groups are based on commonality of geography, values, attitudes, and beliefs that help to differentiate one from another. The dialectic engendered by diversity, however, although it may lead to conflict, can play an important role in the expansion of ideas in communities and societies. One major challenge of modern society is to harness the synergy that emerges from the interactive dialectic generated by these differences.

As it enters its fifth year, The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences will again include a variety of presenters representing a wide range of social science disciplines, expressing divergent views, searching for common ground, and creating the synergies that can inspire multi-disciplinary collaborations. In developing these relationships among ourselves, the role of the social sciences is strengthened as we take our place at the table, along with scholars in the STEM disciplines (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), in seeking solutions to the complex issues and problems of the 21st century.

I sincerely hope that we will use this time together, not just for intellectual discovery and discourse, but to establish a common vision and to motivate each other to do our part in the creation of a better world.

We look forward to seeing you in Osaka!

Professor Stuart D. B. Picken
Chairman, IAFOR International Advisory Board
ACSS/ACSEE 2014 Conference Chair

Dr Andrea Molle
Chapman University, USA
Editor of the IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences and 2014 Conference Programme Adviser

Dr Alex Petrisor
Urban-INERC (Romania),
Editor of the IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy and the Environment and 2014 Conference Programme Adviser

To submit a paper through the online system, please click on the submissions tab 

IAFOR Global University and Institutional Alliance - Working Together

IAFOR works with our university partners to nurture and encourage the best in international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research. We work with senior administrators and professors in our partner institutions to develop programs which are timely, thought-provoking and academically rigorous. The global partnership alliance means that our interdisciplinary conferences are backed by some of the world's foremost institutions of learning.

For more information about IAFOR, as well as a full list of university and institutional partners, please go to

Publishing Opportunities

Authors of Accepted Abstracts will have the opportunity of publishing their associated paper in the official conference proceedings, and a selection of papers will be considered for inclusion in the internationally reviewed IAFOR journals associated with the conference.

For more information about the IAFOR Journal of the Social Sciences, and the IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy and the Environment, see our website.


ACSS 2014 will be held alongside the Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (ACSEE 2014), and registrants for either conference will be given the opportunity to attend sessions in the parallel event at no extra charge. 


ACSS/ACSEE 2014 Featured Speaker
Mr Lowell Sheppard
Asia Pacific Director, HOPE International Development Agency

Lowell Sheppard is Asia Pacific Director of the HOPE International Development Agency, an organization focused on working with the world's extreme poor in their quest to climb out of poverty. Aside from his 25-year involvement with Hope, Lowell has dedicated much of his life to social and environmental improvement projects throughout the world. He was the chairman of the Whose Earth initiative in the United Kingdom, and was the founding chairman of Novimost, a non-government organization responding to the needs caused by war in the Balkans. He was also CEO of one of the United Kingdom's largest youth charities and an executive member of Spring Harvest, an annual Christian festival which attracts more than 60,000 people each Easter, and raises more than one million dollars for charities every year. A fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, Mr Sheppard is the author of six books, which reflect his diverse intellectual interests, and life experience. His latest book, Boys Becoming Men, examines the importance of rites of passage, including adventures, for children becoming adults. Lowell is a noted public speaker, and has given lectures at both undergraduate and postgraduate level on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, and he is a former vice-chairman of the CSR Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

ACSS/ACSEE 2014 Featured Speaker
Professor Jay Friedlander
Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business, College of the Atlantic, USA

Jay Friedlander is the Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at College of the Atlantic (COA) in Bar Harbor, Maine and founder of COA's Sustainable Business Program. Fast Company, Princeton Review, The New York Times and others have recognized COA as a sustainability leader. Jay has been a frequent presenter at both national and international academic conferences on sustainability, enterprise and innovation, as well as to private sector gatherings such as the Yale-Goldman Sachs Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures.

Prior to joining COA, Jay was the chief operating officer for a natural and organic restaurant group; worked as a Fortune 100 strategy consultant; served in the Peace Corps in Mauritania; and broke fundraising records at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Jay holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from Babson College, where he graduated as Valedictorian of his class. 

ACSS/ACSEE 2014 Conference Co-Chair and ACSS/ACSEE 2014 Featured Speaker
Reverend Professor Stuart Picken
Chairman of the IAFOR IAB

Stuart D. B. Picken is the founding chairman of the IAFOR International Advisory Board. The author of a dozen books and over 130 articles and papers, he is considered one of the foremost scholars on Japan, China, and Globalization in East Asia. As an academic, Professor Picken has devoted more than 30 years to scholarship in Japan, notably as a professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo, where he specialized in ethics and Japanese thought, and as International Adviser to the High Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine (Mie prefecture). He has also served as a consultant to various businesses, including Jun Ashida Ltd., Mitsui Mining and Smelting Corp., Kobe Steel, and Japan Air Lines. In November 2008, the Government of Japan awarded Professor Picken the Order of the Sacred Treasure for his pioneering research, and outstanding contribution to the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the UK. The honour is normally reserved for Japanese citizens and is a mark of the utmost respect in which Professor Picken is held by the Japanese Government. Although now resident in Scotland, Professor Picken maintains his interests in Japan, as Chair of the Japan Society of Scotland, and through his work with IAFOR. A fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, he lives near Glasgow with his wife and two children.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Internship opportunities with the UNFCCC Secretariat

The UNFCCC Secretariat are looking for three interns to work at the Momentum for Change initiative - Communications, Graphic Design and Campaigns. Further information is under Special Internship Opp on the right side at

2014 Call for Application-CAS-TWAS President's Fellowship Programme For PhD Candidates from Developing Countries

According to a new agreement between the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries, up to 140 students/scholars from the developing world will be sponsored to travel to China for PhD studies for up to four years.

This CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme provides students/scholars from developing countries (other than China) an opportunity to pursue PhD degrees at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) or Institutes of CAS around China.

Under the terms of the new CAS-TWAS agreement, travel from their home-country to China will be provided to the fellowship awardees in order to begin the fellowship in China (one trip only per student/scholar). Visa fee will also be covered.

Thanks to generous contribution of CAS, fellowship awardees will receive a monthly stipend (including accommodation and other living expenses, local travel expenses and health insurance) of RMB 7,000 (approx. USD 1,100) or RMB 8,000 (approx. 1,250) from CAS through UCAS/USTC, depending on whether he/she has passed the qualification test arranged by UCAS/USTC for all PhD candidates after admission. All awardees will also be provided tuition waivers

Any fellowship awardee who fails the qualification test twice will face the consequences including:
l  Termination of his/her fellowship;
l  Discontinuity of his/her PhD study at CAS institutions;
l  Being conferred a diploma of completion instead of a PhD degree;
All the procedures will adhere to UCAS/USTC regulations and rules.

The funding duration of the fellowship is 4 years, divided into:
l  Maximum 1 year study of courses and participation in centralized training at UCAS/USTC, including 4 months compulsory courses in Chinese Language and Culture.
l  Practical research and completion of degree thesis at colleges and schools of UCAS/USTC or CAS institutes.

General conditions for applicants:

Applicants must:

l  Be maximum age of 35 years on 31 December 2014;
l  Not take up other assignments during the period of his/her fellowship;
l  Be a citizen of a developing country other than China;
l  Not hold any visa for temporary or permanent residency in China or in any developed country;
l  Be financially responsible for any accompanying family member.

Applicants for PhD study should also:

l  Meet the admission criteria for international students of UCAS/USTC ( or

l  Hold a master degree before the beginning of the fall semester.
l  Provide evidence that s/he will return to their home country on completion of their studies in China according to CAS-TWAS agreement.
l  Provide proof of knowledge of English or Chinese language.
Note: Applicants currently pursuing PhD degrees at any university/institution in China are ineligible for this fellowship.

Application materials:
1. Admission Application Form for International Students
2. Application Form for CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme
3. Notarized photocopy of the highest degree(This year's graduates provide a pre-graduation certificate)
4. Notarized photocopy of transcripts of previous higher education
5. CV/resume
6. Research proposal
7. Photocopy of the title page and abstract of each published academic paper
8. Two academic references from referees in relative research fields or one from a TWAS member
9. Photocopy of the first page of your regular passport
10. Copy of the Foreigner Physical Examination Form
NoteAll the mentioned documents should be in English or Chinese.

Application Procedure:
1. Before you apply, make sure there is one professor affiliated with UCAS/USTC colleges, schools or CAS institutes agreed to be your supervisor.
2. Send a soft copy of the application package to your supervisor, and ask your supervisor to fill in the comment pages in the “Application Form for CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme” and “Admission Application Form for International Students”.
3. Your host institute shall stamp the two forms, and send the soft copy as well as the hard copy of the whole application package to the UCAS Sub-Office. After UCAS Sub-Office checks the documents, it would submit the documents to the General Office.
4. The General Office would be responsible for the organization of primary and final evaluations.

28 FEBRUARY 2014

Contact Information
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
19A Yuquanlu, Beijing, 100049, China
Tel: +86 10 88256424/6206
Fax: +86 10 88256207

Relevant Information
CAS is a national academic institution in China consisting of a comprehensive research and development network, a merit-based learned society and a system of higher education, focusing on natural sciences, technological sciences and high-tech innovation in China. It has 12 branches, 2 universities and more than 100 institutes with around 60,000 staff and 50,000 postgraduate students. It hosts 89 national key labs, 172 CAS key labs, 30 national engineering research centers and about 1,000 field stations throughout China. As a merit-based society, it has five academic divisions. CAS is dedicated to addressing fundamental, strategic and farsighted challenges related to the overall and long-term development of China. CAS and TWAS have had a close and productive relationship for many years, often involving TWAS's Regional Office for East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific (
Read more about CAS:

UCAS is a research-intensive university with around 40,000 postgraduate students, supported by more than 100 institutes (research centers, laboratories) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which are located in 25 cities throughout China. Founded in 1978, it was originally named the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the first graduate school in China with the ratification of the State Council., UCAS is headquartered in Beijing with 4 campuses and is authorized to grant doctorate degrees in 39 primary academic disciplines, offering degree programs in ten major academic fields, including science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, education and management science. UCAS is responsible for the enrollment and centralized management of the PhD candidates of the CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme admitted by UCAS.
Read more about UCAS:

USTC is the first university established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1958. It is a comprehensive university including science, engineering, management and humanity science, oriented to frontier science and high technology. USTC took the lead in launching Graduate School, the School of Gifted Young, large national scientific projects, etc. It is now a prominent Chinese university and enjoys high reputation worldwide, and therefore is the member of the China 9 Consortium consisting of the top 9 universities in China. USTC is one of the most important innovation centers in China, and is regarded as “the Cradle of Scientific Elites”. USTC provides both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It has around 1500 faculty members, 7200 undergraduates, and 9000 graduate students (2600 PhD candidates). There are 14 faculties, 27 departments, graduate school and software school on campus. According to the world acclaimed university rankings, USTC has always been ranked among the best universities in China. USTC is responsible for the enrollment and management of the PhD candidates of the CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme admitted by USTC.
Read more about USTC:

TWAS is an autonomous international organization, founded in 1983 in Trieste, Italy, by a distinguished group of scientists from the South to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in the South. In 1991, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assumed responsibility for administering TWAS funds and personnel on the basis of an agreement signed by TWAS and UNESCO. In 2004, the Government of Italy passed a law that ensures a continuous financial contribution to the Academy's operation. Read more about TWAS:

1.Admission Form for International Students.doc    
2.Application Form for CAS-TWAS President's Fellowship.doc    
3.Foreigner Physical Examination Form.pdf    

13th International Swiss Climate Summer School: "Linking land use, land cover, and climate"

31 August – 5 September 2014, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Swiss Climate Research, the network of leading Swiss institutions in climate research and education, invites young scientists to join high-profile climate researchers in a scenic Swiss Alpine setting for keynote lectures, workshops, and poster sessions.
The Summer School is focusing on the theme "Linking land use, land cover, and climate". This theme has been chosen due to its paramount importance in terms of both scientific challenges and pressing societal concerns. The specific topics to be addressed include:
- Land cover dynamics and interactions with the atmosphere
- Linking disparate systems: from climate to impacts
- Rapid climate change and biotic responses
- Climate change and the 'safe operating space' of the planet.

The Summer School invites young researchers from all fields of climate research. The courses cover a broad spectrum of climate and climate impact research issues and foster cross-disciplinary links. Each topic includes keynote plenary lectures and workshops with in-depth discussion in smaller groups. All summer school participants present a poster of their research and there will be ample opportunity for discussion.

Lecturers for keynotes and workshops (confirmed):
H. Bugmann (ETH Zurich, CH); M. Bürgi (WSL, CH); E. Davin (ETH Zurich, CH); J. Fuhrer (Agroscope, CH); P. Gregory (U Reading, UK); M. Grosjean (U Bern, CH); A. Holzkämper (Agroscope, CH); J. Overpeck (U Arizona, USA); J. Pongratz (MPI Hamburg, D); O. Rössler (U Bern, CH); S. Seneviratne (ETH Zurich, CH); W. Tinner (U Bern, CH); P. Verburg (VU Amsterdam, NL); R. Weingartner (U Bern, CH); N. Zimmermann (WSL, CH).

The Summer School is open to young researchers (PhD students and young Post-Docs) worldwide. Participation is highly competitive and will be limited to a maximum of 70. The registration fee (1200 CHF) includes half board accommodation, excursion, and teaching material. A small number of grants will be available for students from developing countries (i.e. non-OECD countries).

Successful applicants will be notified in February 2014.

Detailed information and the application form are available at <>

Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research
University of Bern
Zahringerstrasse 25, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland,