Postdoctoral researcher “Circular City Challenge” Project at Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department Philosophy, 1.0 fte, 26 months (the position is 0.8fte research and 0.2fte teaching)

Postdoctoral researcher “Circular City Challenge” Project at Maastricht University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department Philosophy, 1.0 fte, 26 months (the position is 0.8fte research and 0.2fte teaching)

Published Deadline Location
10 May 6 Jun Maastricht

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Applicants are invited for a 26 months postdoctoral position within the project “circular city challenge”. The project is funded by a NWO/JPI Urban Europe grant awarded to the principal investigator, dr. Darian Meacham.

Job description

Research project
The CircularCityChallenge project will set up a pan-European competition for students aged 14-19. Through the competition, the consortium will collect submissions providing creative and novel ideas for circular city approaches. The challenge invites young people to submit their own ideas for a sustainable future in their own environment while at the same time educating them in the topic of sustainable development. This approach will have a threefold effect:
(i) in researching a competition-based approach of educating functional urban  design in support of circular systems and the use of nature-based solutions and design curricula for different school types and age groups, the project will improve education in schools and education for sustainable development in particular;
(ii) in providing students the possibility to submit ideas on a new approach on circularity, the project will raise awareness on sustainability; and
(iii) in providing fresh ideas and approaches, cities will be enabled to improve their resource use and waste management strategies, business models and smart city developments for the common good. Cities will further be enabled to build adaptable future visions and adopting a circular economy strategy.

The project has 6 partners (3 research partners and 3 municipalities): Maastricht University; SYNYO GmbH (SYNYO); University of Architecture and Urban Planning (UAUM); Stadtgemeinde Trofaiach (TROF) Municipality Austria; Ayuntamiento de Logroño (LOGRO) Municipality Spain, AEI Sara Madariaga; Municipiul Bistrita (MB) Municipality Romania.

The post-doctoral researcher is expected to collaborate closely with the researchers and participants at partnering institutions.  

Job description
This is an exciting opportunity to join a research team working on Responsible Innovation, Value-Sensitive Design, the politics of digitalisation, participatory design. The Post-doctoral researcher will work with the project partners in:

  • Designing and carrying out a co-creation process for the Circular City Challenge through research into the circular economy, smart cities and related topics, organising workshops, and consulting stakeholders;
  • Ensuring the project operates to the highest ethical standards;
  • Help build toolkits for educating young people about the circular economy, sustainability and environmental resilience in urban environments;
  • Disseminate the results and findings of the project through academic conferences and publications as well as the project’s social media channels;
  • Help to co-ordinate and administer the overall project, including the organization of workshops, conferences and public outreach events;
  • Teaching and supervision, especially in the Faculty’s BA programme Digital Society Studies;
  • Write and co-author academic publications together with other members of the team;
  • Plan and participate in team meetings.


Maastricht University (UM)


We are looking for candidates who have:

  • A completed PhD in the social sciences/humanities, or another field relevant to the project;
  • A passion for the environment, urban life, education and the circular economy (or some combination of these!);
  • Experience or a strong interest in co-creation and participatory design process;
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English;
  • A willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the circular city challenge project;
  • Good organizational skills;
  • Knowledge of other languages relevant: German, Spanish, Romanian (desirable);
  • Experience in teaching at the BA or MA level.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years and 2 months.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The postdoctoral researcher will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within the Science, Technology and Society Studies. They will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 1.0fte appointment as Post-Doctoral Researcher (Onderzoeker 3) for 26 months. The position is 0.8fte research and 0.2fte teaching and thesis supervision of students especially in the Faculty’s BA programme Digital Society Studies in.
The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended for another 14 months.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience. This implies a gross monthly salary of about € 3.807,00 per month, scale level 11 (based on a full-time appointment).
Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs or for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with a shared office space and a PC.

Starting date: Preferably 1 September 2022


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS)

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,730 students. More than 77% of the students are non-Dutch (65 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers four 3-year bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture, European Studies, Digital Society and Global Studies. It also offers eight different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research master’s programmes.

Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

The post will be based in the department of philosophy, which specialises in philosophy of technology, political philosophy, and philosophy of culture, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research collaboration. The candidate will also have a close working relation with the BISS Institute, an interfaculty institute of Maastricht University devoted to the socially responsible application of data science.

Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is available on our website:


  • Postdoc
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • AT2022.195


Maastricht University (UM)

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