PhD Candidate Upscaling Innovations for Climate-resilient Soil and Water Systems

Radboud University

, , NL

We are looking for

We are looking for a candidate who has affinity for water governance and climate change adaptation, a keen interest in further developing his or her research skills, and a willingness to engage with societal stakeholders.

With your research you will contribute to the KLIMAP (Climate Adaptation in Practice) project, which is funded by the economic top sectors Water Technology, Delta Technology and Agri & Food. The goal of this project is to develop key enabling methodologies to support the transition towards climate-resilient soil and water systems in the southern and eastern parts of the Netherlands (sandy soils). One of the main challenges in these regions is coping with issues of water scarcity and drought. The KLIMAP project is coordinated by Wageningen Environmental Research and the Aa en Maas Water Authority. The research institutes involved are Wageningen University, Radboud University, Deltares, KWR, Louis Blok Institute and STOWA. Societal stakeholders contributing to the project are the water authorities Vechtstromen, De Dommel, Limburg, Vallei en Veluwe, Rijn en IJssel, and Brabantse Delta, and the provinces of Noord-Brabant, Limburg and Gelderland.

The PhD project at Radboud University focuses on the role of pilot projects, policy experiments and living labs in driving innovation in soil and water management. The aim is to better understand the conditions that either foster or hinder the upscaling of these experiments. We are interested in different patterns of upscaling that encompass, for example, processes of growth, circulation and institutionalisation. The research questions seek to establish which institutional, political, social and technical factors play a role here, what the role of agency (such as policy entrepreneurship) is in upscaling processes, and how the design of experiments can increase the likelihood that upscaling will take place. The project will build on insights on transitions in socio-ecological and socio-technical systems, experimental governance and policy entrepreneurship. The research will combine qualitative, quantitative and action research methodologies. In addition to the development of new knowledge on upscaling processes, the research should lead to specific recommendations for societal stakeholders on how to foster the upscaling of innovations.

We ask

  • A Master’s degree in Spatial Planning, Environment and Society Studies, Human Geography, Public Administration or a related discipline.
  • Very good academic results at the Master’s degree level.
  • An interest in water and climate governance, experimental governance, and the governance of transitions.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Willingness to undertake teaching and administrative support in parallel with PhD research.
  • Commitment to working closely with societal partners and academic partners.
  • Good collaboration and communication skills.
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written Dutch and English.
  • Availability to start working in August 2020.

We are

The Nijmegen School of Management (NSM) is an academic centre of research and higher education at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands), focusing on institutional and managerial issues concerning complex organisations in both the public and private domains. It covers seven disciplines: business administration, public administration, political science, economics and business economics, environmental studies, human geography, and spatial planning. The NSM strives for a multidisciplinary approach whenever possible. The NSM employs 280 FTEs, 75% of whom are academics. The NSM currently has approximately 4,800 students. 

The Department of Geography, Planning and Environment (GPE) seeks to provide a deep understanding of how places are politically and materially shaped, experienced and governed, from the local to global level, and to contribute to the development of more sustainable and equitable places. The Department’s approach goes explicitly beyond a government and policy orientation, addressing the deep political and institutional nature of place-making and spatial-environmental governance. The group seeks to contribute to more future-oriented practices and territorial images. One of the key research themes is water and climate governance.

Research activities fall under the responsibility of the interdisciplinary Institute for Management Research (IMR). Under the motto ‘Creating Knowledge for Society’, IMR focuses on academic research into the development, design and effectiveness of the public and private structures that regulate, govern or manage human interactions.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • Employment: 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 August 2020.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Prof. dr. Sander Meijerink, Professor in Water Governance
Tel.: +31 6 51560797
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Huub Ploegmakers, Senior researcher
Email: [email protected]

Apply directly

Please address your application to Prof. dr. Sander Meijerink and submit it, using the application button, no later than 10 June 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation explaining your motivation, your interest in and ideas for the project, and your competences.
  • CV including qualifications, grades, a list of academic publications (if applicable), and an academic reference supporting your application.
  • Proof of academic writing skills such as a chapter from your Master’s thesis or an academic paper.

The first interviews will take place on 22 June 2020.