Postdoctoral researcher socio-hydrology and drought

Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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We are looking for

Wageningen University has a vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher in the field of socio-hydrology and drought. As post-doctoral researcher you will play a central role in an interdisciplinary research project. You will focus on the development of a toolbox for drought management. This toolbox will first be developed and tested for a case study area in north-eastern Brazil and will later also feed into international initiatives aiming at increasing drought preparedness worldwide.
Project: Diagnosing drought for dealing with drought in 3D: Toolbox for increasing drought preparedness of actors in water and climate governance, starting from north-eastern Brazil
(project website:
To manage drought better, human influences on drought must be better understood. Current frameworks for drought monitoring and water accounting focus on the natural boundary conditions and therefore offer little help in distilling human influences on drought. This project combines insights from socio-hydrology and water management to produce an entirely new approach, incorporating the study of water-related human dimensions (D1), socio-hydrological dynamics (D2), and the structuring of dialogues (D3) among actors. The project will develop and test the integrated, participatory 3D Drought Diagnosis (3DDD) toolbox. We will investigate nested scale levels, related to local water resources and virtual-water transfers together with actor networks of users, managers, traders, and policymakers.
Test case is the semi-arid, drought-affected north-east of Brazil. The 3D Drought Diagnosis toolbox will be developed to extend existing drought monitoring frameworks to provide contextualized information in drought-affected regions worldwide. We will demonstrate how proposed drought management solutions perform with regard to cross-scale synergies and trade-offs in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2, 6, 10, and 13. With the support of national and international partners, our project will contribute to the development of the South American Drought Information System and the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP).
Your tasks.

  • Together with three PhD students you will develop and test an integrated, participatory 3DDD toolbox for providing actionable knowledge to improve water and climate governance, supported by drought monitoring frameworks. The toolbox will serve to increase drought preparedness of actors in multi-level water and climate governance.
  • Using Integrated Assessment methods for drought management you will explore how best to support actors in north-eastern Brazil to move away from traditional crisis management, to a drought preparedness approach that is iterative and predicated on greater proactivity.
  • Upscaling of tools and concepts for improving drought preparedness by proactive and inclusive governance in drought-affected regions worldwide. For this you will work together with international partners to contribute to the development of the South American Drought Information System and the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP).
  • Organising workshops for partners and other interested parties.
  • Writing academic publications (in collaboration).

This project is a joint effort of Brazilian and Dutch partner organizations including: Wageningen University (The Netherlands); the Research Institute of Meteorology and Water Resources (Brazil); the Federal University of Ceará (Brazil) and the Brazilian Research Agricultural Corporation, National Research Tropical Agroindustry Center (Brazil).

We ask

We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • a doctorate degree (PhD) in hydrology, water resources management, agronomy or a related field;
  • experience in dynamic systems modelling (crop models, hydrological models, and/or integrated assessment models);
  • experience in publishing research output in academic journals and/or books;
  • a creative, critical and collaborative person with an interest in interdisciplinary research;
  • ability, willingness and commitment to collaborate in a research team and write joint publications;
  • excellent oral and written communication in English, and good communication skills;
  • good knowledge of Portuguese would be an asset.

We offer

We offer you a temporary contract for 28 months (0.8 FTE). Gross salary per month: from € 2709,- up to €4274,- based on full time employment and depending on expertise and experience. Preferred starting date: 1 April 2020
In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus for a reduced fee.

Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere

More information

For more information about this function, please contact Dr Pieter van Oel, project leader, telephone +31 317 484826 or by e-mail; .

For more information about the procedure, plase contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, e-mail 
This vacancy is open until 31 January 2020. You can apply via the apply button on this page.The first job interviews will take place early February 2020.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.
With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.
Water Resources Management
The Water Resources Management (WRM) group is engaged in interdisciplinary research and education at the intersection of water, technology and society. We study integrated water resource management and governance questions in the developing world, and increasingly in the developed world. Central in our study are questions as to how patterns of allocation and use of water can be explained as the combined outcome of technological choices, socio-ecological dynamics and cultural-political processes. More information about Water Resources Management can be found on Water Resources Management group
Equal opportunities employer
We encourage applications from all qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace makes us a more relevant, more competitive, and more resilient organization.