WUR, CGIAR and SIPRI Joint Climate Security PhD Program Call for Applications for PhD Candidates

Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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.

We are looking for

Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) are looking for 3 outstanding candidates for our joint PhD program on Climate Security and Food Systems. The selected candidates are expected to start doctoral studies in Fall 2020. These positions emerge from a novel institutional collaboration connecting WUR, CGIAR and SIPRI. This consortium is charting a thematic connection between different areas of research and practice linking food systems to security and conflict.

The objective is to uncover and maximise synergies, focusing not only on eliciting integrated research but on complementing it with the most effective supporting role in policy development and advocacy. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the role of climate in exacerbating instability, conflict, and tension via food systems. The selected PhD candidates will work under a common and jointly developed framework, with each of them focusing on a specific geographic area. One PhD project will be on the Sahel, one on the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh and one the Mekong Delta.

Working with CGIAR and SIPRI
While doing the PhD-project the candidates will also spend several months in Stockholm contributing to SIPRI’s Climate Change and Risk Programme. Given growing awareness of the complex causes and dynamics of violent conflicts, the appreciation for nuanced analysis of climate-related security risks has grown amongst policy makers.
Governments, international organizations and local practitioners are placing greater emphasis on the value of sound evidence as the basis for policy. Time spent at SIPRI will allow candidates to experience an environment where researchers contribute to policy decisions through evidence-based policy recommendations. During the fieldwork, the candidates will be based in the project regions working closely with CGIAR staff, national partners and other institutions, during that time the candidate will be hosted by CGIAR or by national partner institutions.

Project Proposals
We invite PhD projects that develop new research on climate, conflict, and food security within the broader field of food systems and natural resource management. As part of the application procedure you will write a one-page research idea, to be worked out after recruitment. Priority will be given to creative and innovative proposals aimed at unravelling the mechanisms linking climate (variability), conflict and food (in-)security within or across the following thematic foci:
1. Ecological instability, food insecurity
2. Political change, contestation and conflicts in the context of climate stressors and climate policies
3. Analysis of climate security issues and pathways policy advice and policy implementation
4. Interface between climate, security and complexity/networks theory and practical applications

We are looking for candidates with quantitative and/or qualitative research experience. A background or previous research experience in agriculture (broadly defined, e.g., farming, fishing, herding), food systems, environment, security studies, security policy, conflict, conflict prevention, and/or peacebuilding is desired. Candidates should be able to work in an interdisciplinary team composed of junior and senior researchers.

We ask

The successful candidate will meet the following academic qualifications:
1. A completed MSc or MPhil degree
2. If the candidate is non-Dutch, from a non-Anglophone country and has not completed the higher education with English as the language of instruction, an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language should be submitted. Minimum required scores:

  • TOEFL internet-based 90, with minimum sub-score 23 for speaking
  • IELTS 6.5, with minimum sub-score 6.0 for speaking
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with minimum grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) any grade

Test results must be dated within 24 months prior to the application

3. Previous experience of undertaking research (e.g. undergraduate or taught master’s dissertation)
4. Good understanding of and experience in using quantitative and/or qualitative research methods in the social sciences
5. Knowledge of development issues in dryland regions of Africa, or Delta Areas in South and Southeast Asia
6. Familiarity with planning and implementing independent research in developing countries
7. Fluency in the language spoken in the candidate’s chosen case study is desirable  
8. Personal Attributes:

  • Able to, under guidance, complete independent work successfully
  • Personal resilience and strong cross-cultural communication skills

We offer

We offer a so-called PhD-sandwich scholarship position of 4 years, while being attached to a CGIAR center or institution in the South for the full duration of the project. The scholarship will provide for 24 months of stay in Wageningen and Stockholm and 24 months in the project country and region (Sahel, Bangladesh, Mekong Delta).

The scholarship provides:

  1. A living allowance during your stay at Wageningen University
  2. An adapted living allowance for your stay in the project country
  3. A stay as guest researcher of 6 months at SIPRI
  4. A budget for the field research
  5. Health insurance
  6. Travel costs from your home country to the Netherlands and Sweden
  7. Support to obtain a residence permit for your stay in the Netherlands

You will be working under the guidance of researchers and staff of the three consortium partners and in collaboration with other research programmes on climate change and climate-related conflicts at Wageningen University.

More information

General information about the Wageningen University PhD programme is available on https://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/PhD-Programme.htm.

For more information about these positions you can contact prof Han van Dijk by e-mail: han.vandijk@wur.nl.

For more information about the procedure you can contact Sandra Willemsen, Recruiter SSG or Bianca Aversteeg, Recruitment support via recruitment.ssg@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data and the documents listed below with your permission.

This vacancy is open up to and including the 1st of October, 2020. We want to plan the first job interviews soon afterwards.

All applications must include the following information. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

1. A draft research proposal relevant for this position (1-page max)
2. A cover letter outlining why you are applying
3. CV including 3 referees
4. Academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate or validation as indicated above
5. Listing of academic or policy collaborations and outputs

Equal opportunities employer
We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age.
We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources. It provides evidence to policymakers, innovation to partners, and new tools to harness the economic, environmental and nutritional power of agriculture. The PhD program is part of CGIAR’s Climate Security Agenda.
Established in 1966, SIPRI is an independent international institute, based in Stockholm, Sweden. The institute’s mission is to contribute to the conditions for a more peaceful world with impartial, independent research.

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialized 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 12.500 students, it is one of the leading organizations 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. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.