Remote sensing of geohazards in African cities

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This senior researcher position is opened in the framework of the FED-tWIN programme of sustainable research cooperation between the federal scientific institutes (FSI) and the universities, supported by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO). The position will be jointly hosted at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, a Federal Scientific Institution, and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


In the first 5 years of the FED-tWIN mandate, the teaching activities will be limited in accordance with the objective of the FED-tWIN mandate.

The FED-tWIN researcher will contribute to teaching in the VUB geography master programme with courses on advanced remote sensing techniques and/or GIS programming for a total of 6 credits.

Guest lectures and short trainings on research-related topics will be requested at the host institutions and at collaborating African academic institutions.

The FED-tWIN researcher is also expected to supervise master students and/or research internships.

The candidate needs to be able to work in a multicultural and multilingual environment, with students, researchers, professors and technical/administrative co-workers. Also collaborations with other academic institutes for education and research are embedded in the education programs.


The FED-tWIN researcher will develop ground-breaking research related to the characterization of the baseline patterns/rates of geohazards in the context of African cities, using state-of-the-art remote sensing techniques combined with field validation campaigns. More specifically, they will exploit the potential of SAR, optical remote sensing, drone technology and/or photogrammetry to study the dynamics of geohazards and their environmental or anthropogenic drivers and contribute to develop practical tools to tackle the challenges related to Disaster Risk Reduction.

The FED-tWIN senior researcher will develop its own research group through designing new research projects, acquiring competitive research funds, coordinating projects and supervising junior (PhD) researchers. They will develop collaborations with national and international partners, including academic institutions in Central Africa. They will actively contribute to the dissemination of research results within the international academic community (publications, conferences) as well as among stakeholders and academic institutions in Central Africa. It is expected that the archives and collections of the RMCA will be exploited as an important input of the FED-tWIN research, therefore contributing to make them more visible and more accessible to the public. 

The FED-tWIN researcher will develop their research at the interface, and in collaboration with colleagues, of the RMCA Natural Hazards Service, and VUB Department of Geography. They will contribute to strengthen the existing collaborations between these two institutions.


The candidate will be a member of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Royal Museum for Central Africa and of the Department of Geography at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

They will be expected to participate in the operational and administrative aspects of these departments. This includes embedding their research activities within the broader research and outreach strategies of the institutions and through the valorization of the RMCA collections.

This may also be as a member of (various) faculty/department boards.

With a 50% appointment in each institution, the FED-tWIN would however have limited administrative responsibilities at the department or faculty level.