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Integrated Tropical Peatlands Research Program

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Two fully-funded PhD positions are available at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore within the Integrated Tropical Peatlands Research Programme (INTPREP), a new initiative that brings together tropical peatland research expertise in Singapore and internationally. One PhD position is available starting January 2020 with a second PhD position to commence in August 2020.

The Department of Geography, NUS, is frequently ranked among the top Geography departments in the world, and is host to around 35 faculty and more than 70 research students and staff ( Laboratory facilities in the Department have recently been expanded and upgraded. Specifically, we are looking to recruit students interested in tropical peatland carbon cycling dynamics and hydrology. We seek motivated applicants ideally with fieldwork experience and interest in the following topics: greenhouse gas storage and emissions, carbon isotopes, soil biogeochemistry, hydrology, dissolved organic matter/carbon (DOM/DOC) dynamics, modeling of carbon cycling dynamics and/or peatland hydrology.

Those appointed will work within a multi-disciplinary research team (including microbiologists, terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemists, botanists, hydrologists, artificial intelligence experts) linked to the INTPREP. Potential fieldwork sites will be in Sumatra, Indonesia.

For more information, see

Key Competency Requirements:
• Logical thinking and creative problem solving is essential.
• Self-driven, highly motivated, collaborative, with interest to work with other researchers to produce high-quality and impactful research
• Ability to work independently to develop research projects and execute fieldwork in tropical peat ecosystems
• For students for whom English is not their first language, evidence that they have attained the basic level of English language proficiency (TOEFL= 100 for the internet-based test (with a minimum of 22 for the writing section), IELTS = 7.0 );

Key requirements:
• MSc degree in the Geographical, Earth, Environmental or Biological sciences, or a related discipline
• Prior experience of laboratory and/or fieldwork
• Ability to think logically, solve problems creatively and communicate effectively in both spoken and written English
• Self-driven, highly motivated, collaborative, and able to work unsupervised and as part of a team
• Willingness to acquire new skills

Further inquiries can be directed to Asst. Prof. Max Lupascu () or Prof David Taylor ()

Interested applicants are invited to submit:
• a full CV
• previous degree results
• names and contact details of three referees
• Statement of Purpose
• Please specify in your application your availability to start in January or August 2020

Statement of Purpose
As part of the application process, candidates are required to produce a Statement of Purpose (rather than simply a research proposal), the structure of which is outlined below. While recognising that a graduate student’s ideas are likely to vary during the early stages of their research, the Statement of Purpose is used to ascertain a candidate’s background, sense of purpose, initial research focus and career intent. When evaluating a Statement of Purpose consideration will be given to the extent to which an applicant is focused, skilled, enthusiastic, likely to make a contribution to the life of the Department and INTPREP, able to express her/himself and, overall, is a great match for the positions advertised.
The Statement of Purpose must be no more than 2500 words long and would normally cover the following:
• Specific area of academic interest (research topic the applicant wishes to work on);
• The methodological approach, techniques and or conceptual framing that a candidate is considering using to structure, guide and operationalize their research;
• How the past education and other experiences of the candidate have served as preparation for graduate-level work in their specified area of interest;
• Other relevant information, including – and certainly not restricted to - existing work that has inspired the interests of the candidate (using a recognised system of referring to the publication(s)), details about their own publications (e.g. arising from a master’s degree etc), and contributions they have made to seminars, workshops, conferences etc).

Applications will be evaluated from 31 October 2019 and will continue to be evaluated until both positions are filled with suitable candidates. Please email your application package to BOTH and .

Please indicate in your application your preferred start date (January or August 2020) and highlight your preferred area of interest in tropical peatland science among those listed.

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