Postdoc Climate Resilient Pathways

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen, Netherlands 🇳🇱

We are looking for

The Dutch sandy soil landscape is going through crisis. Farmers in Eastern Netherlands saw drought for three years followed by torrential rains that caused flooding of their fields. The NWO project CASTOR (Catchment Strategies Towards Resilience) researches together with provinces and water boards to investigate how you can make sandy landscapes more resilient to consequences of extreme weather. Do you want to contribute to a resilient climate-proof future for the Dutch sandy soil landscapes? Then you could be the ideal candidate to join our team!

The Netherlands has implemented policies to maintain its land and water systems, which are vital for food production, biodiversity, and other important functions. However, fragmentation of management actions has limited the ability to adapt to climate change and maintain these ecological and societal values. Sandy soil regions in the south and east of the Netherlands are particularly vulnerable due to the high interconnectivity of land and water use. The research project this post-doc is part of aims to develop knowledge for regional adaptation planners on future landscape visions and pathways to achieve them, using a long-term, complex adaptive systems perspective.

We are seeking a Postdoc to develop pathways to climate-resilient land and water use landscapes for the sandy soil regions of the Netherlands. The climate-resilient pathways will include both short-term actions and long-term options as well as the monitoring and evaluation needed for decision-making and institutional learning. In addition, you will be responsible for transferring knowledge from the CASTOR project to policy and practice. You will therefore also facilitate the Community of Practice (CoP) and other stakeholder interactions, and deliver communication and training products. Your main tasks will be:

  • Facilitate and organize a CoP on climate-resilient development pathway development in sandy soil regions
  • Study how actors envision climate-resilient development pathways and strengthen their capacity to adaptively implement these pathways
  • Develop communication and training products for a larger audience.
  • Organization of workshops for the CASTOR research team and participants in the livings labs to ensure integration of findings and step-by-step development of pathways
  • Synthesize pathways to navigate climate-resilient future for the Dutch sandy soil landscapes

The project is part of the CASTOR (Catchment Strategies Towards Resilience): Dutch Pleistocene Landscapes in the Anthropocene’ project, which is funded through the NWA program of NWO. CASTOR is a collaborative and interdisciplinary project in which Wageningen University & Research collaborates with other universities (UTwente, TUDelft), research institutes (WENR, Deltares, KWR), water boards, drinking water company Vitens and the ministry of Infrastructure and Water management. Six researchers will be employed for the project (two post-doc, four PhD candidates), supported by a diverse team of academic staff members (ranging from soil geography, to integrated water management, planning and governance). For more information, see here.
You should be motivated to work in a transdisciplinary research team and have a willingness to interact and collaborate with a diverse range of partners. You are expected to communicate your results to scientific peers, project partners and the general public.

We ask

Requirements for the position are:

  1. You should hold a PhD in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Climate Studies, Water Management, Planning, Social Sciences or related field
  2. Experience or willingness to work within a transdisciplinary setting with different types of stakeholders (including different types of scientists)
  3. You are a systems thinker and have experience with analysing complex social-ecological or similar systems
  4. You are a strong team player
  5. You are self-motivated, curiosity-driven and open to communicate and collaborate with others in a multi-disciplinary team and with a range of societal stakeholders
  6. Excellent communication skills and proficiency in both English and Dutch.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits and a three-year contract, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €2960 and €4670 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). 

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.
You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research center for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the “30% rule”, certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Fulco Ludwig, Professor & Chair WSG, Email:

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate Recruiter,

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including Monday, 13th Feb 2023. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on  1st March 2023.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information, please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The Water Systems and Global Change Group (WSG) is part of Wageningen University. The aim of WSG is to contribute to a world with sufficient, climate-proof and clean water for society, food production and nature. Currently this is often not the case; there is either too much, too little or too dirty water. This water stressed situation results in a variety of problems. In the future, these problems may increase as a result of global change. Our mission is to create new knowledge to contribute to sustainable water systems in a changing global environment. Our research and teaching contribute to a better understanding of how water systems are affected by global change, what the impacts are on society and nature, and how to adapt to these changes and/or mitigate the problems. We combine measurements, modelling and participatory approaches to achieve our objectives. Our water assessments serve as the basis for climate & water information services, providing actionable knowledge to farmers, water managers and policy makers. Our water stress assessments assist in the transition towards long-term sustainable water systems across the globe.

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development