Research Lead Climate Change Policy, Governance and Transformation (PhD/1 FTE)

Global Center on Adaptation (GCA)

Groningen, , NL

Job description

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization which works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for climate adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future.

The GCA will set up and produce a series of annual flagship reports over a period of five years (2020-2024), under the title State and Trends in Adaptation Report, which targets an audience of global and national policy makers, the private sector, adaptation practitioners and the expert community. The reports will reflect both the present-day and recent historical changes leading up to the current state but will also look ahead at the main developments expected around the world, including both developed and developing countries, in adaptation-policy development, implementation, finance, knowledge as well at the key indicators of impacts, vulnerability and adaptive capacity over the next decades. Advances in understanding, as well as data and tools, will be disseminated through a dedicated online knowledge and data platform and linked to outreach, consultations, events and education initiatives.


We are looking for a motivated and experienced individual with a high level of competence, an independent standing as a scientist and a proven track record of methodologically innovative research to fill the role of Research Lead Climate Change Policy, Governance and Transformation, working as core team member to drive forward the GCA’s role as a knowledge provider and broker in the field of climate change adaptation.

The Research Lead will report to the Chief Scientist while working closely with other senior and junior members of the Knowledge and Education Hub of the GCA, located in the city of Groningen, the Netherlands. The successful candidate will play a key role in positioning the GCA as the foremost international organization specialising in climate change adaptation while contributing to a set of knowledge deliverables to be launched on a yearly basis. She/he will have the opportunity to draw upon the substantial expertise available at the GCA and its partner organisations across the world and will be given full operational responsibility for research activities in her/his field of expertise.


    •  Lead and conduct research projects that assess opportunities and barriers for an effective response to climate-change risks, and for transforming communities, the private sector and governments at all administrative levels to enhance resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, while strengthening sustainable development. This will include spotlighting and analysing best-practice examples from across the world, their scalability and transferability to other locations, sectors and contexts, and the establishment of priorities across all levels, from on-the-ground communities to national governments;
    • Build and leverage international networks of experts and practitioners, and lead collaborative efforts in research of adaptation in relation to inter alia development planning, poverty alleviation, integration of climate and broader social and environmental urgencies, and sustainable finance;
    • Develop a wide range of products on key climate adaptation topics, including peer-reviewed scientific papers, policy briefs, reports, rapid-response statements, op-eds, social media posts and presentations addressed to experts, and provide scientific advice to non-specialists;
    • Represent the GCA in the international research community, including at international conferences and meetings;
    • Explore relevant funding opportunities and lead the writing, editing and submission of grant applications;
    • Supervise and mentor early stage researchers and strengthen in-house expertise in assigned areas of responsibility, and contribute to course development and occasional teaching at the University of Groningen.

    Job requirements

    • PhD in geography, political ecology, environmental policy and/or related disciplines;
    • At least 15 years of research experience after obtaining the PhD in academia, governmental agencies, research institutions and/or research-orientated NGOs in areas related to climate change and development;
    • Solid understanding and expertise in development processes and priorities across all scales (from communities to national governments);
    • Track record of research excellence demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications or other significant published documents, research grants and positions held in organisations relevant to climate resilient development;
    • Ability to work effectively within interdisciplinary and intercultural research teams;
    • Strong capacities in project management and mentoring of early career researchers;
    • Experience in designing training materials relevant to climate adaptation;
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
    • Excellent planning and organisational skills and ability to work under tight deadlines in a team setting.

    The GCA is looking for a world-class team of three Research Leads working closely together with the Chief Scientist across a broad range of overlapping areas of expertise, supported by several senior and junior researchers. The research areas cover at least:

    – advanced modeling of risks, impacts and adaptation;

    – climate and development economics; and

    – climate policy governance and transformation.

    The Chief Scientist and this senior team lead in developing and implementing GCA’s research strategy. and maintain and expand its collaborative network of knowledge partners. Interested candidates need to apply to one of these positions, but may not need to exactly match the narrow definition of the position selected. However, all applicants must explain their interest and insights in overlapping areas of expertise and state their motivation to be part of this senior team leading GCA’s overall research efforts. All three positions are available here

    What we offer

    The GCA offers a dynamic, high-profile and international working environment in a growing organisation. You will be contributing to our global mission on climate adaptation. The post will be located at the GCA’s office in Groningen, the Netherlands on a full-time basis (32-40 hours per week).

    How to Apply

    Candidates are invited to submit a cover letter outlining their interest in the position and a pdf file combining a two-page Research statement describing short and long-term research goals and main contributions to the field of expertise, and a CV/Resume that includes research and other relevant experience, and a full list of publications. Applications must be submitted before 14 June (23:59h CEST)..

    About Groningen, the Netherlands

    Groningen is a vibrant city located in the north of the Netherlands with excellent public transport between other major university cities within a three hour radius. Groningen has become increasingly attractive to knowledge migrants due to its multicultural diversity and an affordable, friendly, and safe living environment.

    The Knowledge and Education Office of the GCA is located at the Zernike campus, home of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen. For more than 400 years, quality has been its highest priority: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists and one third of academic staff is international. The research focuses on a broad range of global challenges including energy, healthy ageing and sustainable society. The Hanze University of Applied Sciences, with approximately 30.000 students, offers diversified practice-oriented research routes, ranging from entrepreneurship to bio-based economy and energy transition, in close cooperation with businesses and industry.


    Due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, the GCA abides by the health and safety guidelines set out by the World Health Organization and the Government of the Netherlands. To minimize the impact on the recruitment of prospective staff, the GCA ensures that remote working may be undertaken wherever possible.

    Equal Employment Opportunities Statement

    The GCA does not discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.





    You ad could be here!