Postdoc in Decision Support Processes for Sustainable Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in India

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Delft, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Project background: 

India’s water resources are under severe stress resulting from overexploitation and pollution. The Indian government has started the Namami Ganga programme in line with the sustainable development goals (SDG), including the improvement of wastewater treatment. This postdoc position is part of a multi-year research and innovation action entitled “PAVITRA GANGA – Unlocking wastewater treatment, water re-use and resource recovery opportunities for urban and peri-urban areas in India”. The project is jointly conducted by a European-Indian consortium that builds onto existing cooperation between the EU and India and it directly links to the ongoing programmes in India. The projects’ main objective is to unlock the environmental and economic potential of municipal wastewater treatment and reuse for urban and peri-urban areas in India. By integrating people, planet, and profit it attempts to create maximum impact towards achieving sustainable development goal SDG6.

Duties and responsibilities: 

The aim of this postdoc is to design, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of group decision support processes with regard to (waste)water treatment. The work will facilitate local learning and decision-making about possible wastewater treatment and reuse options as part of a larger portfolios of measures to address current water issues. In close collaboration with our Indian partners, a process will be co-created to facilitate problem structuring and the evaluation of possible measures to be taken by the key actors on water and wastewater management in the Ganges river basin. This will include the subjective, behavioural appreciation of the measures alongside quantitative assessment of anticipated outcomes based on social, technical, environmental, and economic criteria. It is foreseen to use group facilitation and problem structuring methods next to multi-criteria (portfolio) decision analysis.

The core tasks of the candidate are to design and conduct the research in close coordination with project partners as well as to publish and communicate it to scientific and non-scientific audiences. Moreover, active contributions to consortium activities and project administration are part of the position. Regular interaction and travel to meet with European and Indian partners are expected. While in most cases this will be of short duration (few days), it might be necessary to stay in India for longer periods (weeks) during the intervention phases.


The starting date for this position will be agreed with the selected candidate and is envisaged to lie between October and December 2019. Next to a flexible working hour arrangement, filling this position at a minimum 70% workload, and in that case longer contract duration, is possible.



The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Selection process

Please e-mail your application in a single PDF file entitled 'CiTG19.22_Lastname.pdf' by 28 June 2019 to 

Additional comments

To make the process as transparent, fair, and smooth as possible for all candidates, the selection for this position will follow a structured pre-selection and interviewing process.

Please include the following in your application:

  1. Short CV (max. 2 pages A4), including summary of scholarly and professional activities and the names and contact information of two referees.
  2. A motivation letter covering your research interests and relevant experiences, targeted to this position (max. 500 words).
  3. As part of the motivation letter or in a separate document, please answer the following 5 questions explicitly and concisely (max. 500 words, if combined as one document max. 1000 words):
    • Describe the key events and motivations that determined your past scholarly and professional journey. How do you envisage your further development and how does this position help you to achieve that?
    • How familiar are you with decision analysis and group decision support methods? Have you already worked with problem structuring methods, multi-criteria and portfolio decision analysis or related methods?
    • How familiar are you with quantitative system analysis and technology or environmental policy evaluation?
    • Which other qualitative and quantitative methodological skills could you contribute to the project?
    • Do you have any experience in designing or co-facilitating group workshops? Please explain.
    • If you are not familiar with some of the mentioned methods, please describe instead what you would do to get acquainted with them and why you would be motivated to do so.
  4. Copies of academic qualifications including a full transcript of records.
  5. Any supplementary materials to the short CV, such as a full academic or professional record, information about further training. This material will only be considered after pre-screening of applications. Hence please make sure the CV contains the key information.

Please e-mail your application in a single PDF file entitled 'CiTG19.22_Lastname.pdf' by 28 June 2019 to   and refer to vacancy number CITG19.22. It remains at the discretion of the selection committee to exclude incomplete or uninformative applications with regard to the above documentation and questions. For more information on please contact Lisa Scholten  .

Web site for additional job details

Specific Requirements

  • PhD degree (<3 years) in a relevant field, for example decision and behavioural sciences, operational research (applied), management science, environmental policy and engineering. (Note: PhD candidates who hold an MSc and will have completed all necessary requirements by Nov 2019 for being able to defend their PhD may also apply.)
  • Analytically minded, self-driven researcher, who strives for science that is both cutting-edge and practically relevant to local communities
  • Familiarity with group decision support methods such as problem structuring methods, multi-criteria (portfolio) decision analysis or similar
  • Academic publication record (at least 1 peer-reviewed journal publication in a top-tier journal and 2 other scholarly publications published or submitted; presentation at scientific conferences)
  • Professional, effective and constructive interaction with others from different professional and social backgrounds
  • Proficient in English and good verbal communication in general
  • Willingness and ability to travel to Europe and India
  • Efficient and organized, dependable

In our ideal candidate, we are also looking for

  • Interdisciplinary, mixed methods background, openness to work across disciplinary paradigms
  • Background in preference elicitation, techno-economic and social analysis, integrated assessment, policy analysis or similar
  • Experience in the design, facilitation, and evaluation of group processes
  • Comfortable with running and adapting existing software from the command line (e.g. in Python or R)
  • Knowledge of urban water systems and wastewater treatment technology
  • Experience of studying or working in a culture that is different from one’s own, ideally in India (or if you are from India: in Europe or the Netherlands)