PhD Public engagement in urban wind energy projects (zEPHYR, Marie Curie ETN)

PhD Public engagement in urban wind energy projects (zEPHYR, Marie Curie ETN)

Published Deadline Location
9 Dec 5 Jan Wageningen

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Job description

Do you want to be part of the team that builds towards a more efficient exploitation of on-shore and urban wind energy resources and are you looking for a PhD position? Then maybe this is your next project!

Applicants are encouraged to apply for this PhD position to conduct research on co-production of on-shore and urban wind energy as part of the Marie Curie European Training Network (ETN) 'zEPHYR': 'Towards a more efficient exploitation of on-shore and urban wind energy resources' ( Within the project, a total of 15 PhD positions are available at 8 universities, 1 research centre and 4 industries. This project is focused on the development of performant wind farms by addressing simultaneously the individual performance of each turbine composing the wind farm, and the efficient harvesting of the local wind resources in on-shore and urban environments. Deeper understanding of public engagement and other human factors are important elements in the project.

Based at the Environmental Policy Group (ENP) at Wageningen University, you will conduct independent research as one of the fellows of the zEPHYR project. In your PhD project, you contribute to comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to urban wind turbine engagement that goes beyond conventional ideas about (non)acceptance of wind turbines, based on solid theoretical and empirical research (e.g. through case studies, interviews and other qualitative and quantitative methodologies). In doing so, you contribute to novel governance approaches to on-shore and urban wind turbines that help stakeholders decide on how and where to develop urban wind projects.

Within the Marie Curie training network, there is considerable freedom to incorporate your own ideas, develop your own research profile, and reflect on the (in)possibilities of interdisciplinary research in the field of wind energy and public and stakeholder participation. Furthermore, you will be part of an international training network with 15 PhDs and will regularly attend and help organise workshops, trainings and meetings in one of the partner countries. Longer 'secondmends' are envisioned at partner universities and a company in Belgium and England.


Wageningen University & Research


We are looking for a member who:
  • has a Master's degree in social sciences (sociology, STS, human geography, planning, political science, development studies, or related field) or MSc in environmental sciences or engineering with proven social science knowledge/experience;
  • will meet the EU definition of an 'early stage researcher', i.e. you are in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree;
  • will meet the Horizon 2020 'mobility rule', i.e. you have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date;
  • has some knowledge or experience with co-production or 'human factors' of on-shore and urban wind energy (preferred);
  • likes to travel for fieldwork, trainings and secondments to other European institutions
  • has a collaborative and team-playing attitude, with an open mind for engineering approaches, e.g. modelling, and other technical approaches which feature strongly in zEPHYR;
  • wants to upgrade their knowledge and academic skills;
  • has strong scientific writing skills, preferably proven by a scientific publication record.
For further information on the specific application criteria see: WUR PhD programme.

This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a mininum of CEFR C1 level / 6.5 for IELTS). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.

Conditions of employment

You will receive a fully funded PhD (AIO) position, therefore you will be employed by the Wageningen University, where you will be offered a course program tailored to your desires and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.325,- per month rising to € 2.972,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.
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.
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.


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 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, 6,000 employees, and 12,000 students, Wageningen University & Research 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.

The PhD project will take place within the Environmental Policy Group (ENP) at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) ( ENP is a large and vibrant community of PhDs and researchers in various stages of their careers. Core to the research program of ENP is the analysis of how and to what extent environmental considerations become incorporated into processes of modernisation and globalisation, and the design of environmental governance arrangements that extend across multiple levels and spatial scales. We employ innovative ways of analysing those social and political transformations of the environment. The group has built a strong position in interdisciplinary research on renewable energy development, climate futures, and environmental governance.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at thespecial career site.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 575681


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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