PhD student: Modelling European Land Use Scenarios to inform Sustainable Land Governance

PhD student: Modelling European Land Use Scenarios to inform Sustainable Land Governance

Published Deadline Location
9 Jun 24 Jun Amsterdam

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Are you willing to inform EU policies on sustainable land use? Can you develop new modelling tools to analyze the effectiveness of EU Green Deal policies? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Job description

Alternative strategies for managing land use are key to achieving sustainability targets. At the same time, land use policies often have strong tradeoffs across different sustainability domains and directly affect our living environment and well-being.
This PhD will be part of the EU funded project LAMASUS: LAnd use and MAnagement modelling for SUStainable governance. The LAMASUS project will provide a novel governance model, and the tools required to build sound policies for the land use transition required by the European Green Deal. Key to the project is the analysis of spatial variations in land use impacts of alternative policy implementations across the EU. Within this project, the PhD will bring together spatial assessment models to develop a new generation of high-resolution spatial land system modelling. These models should enable the assessment of alternative policies to reach the green deal policy objectives. While building on existing methods and models, the PhD student will adapt and configure spatial land use models to better fit with the policy questions related to climate policy, agricultural policy and land use planning, and the interactions amongst these. Therewith, the PhD aims at closing gaps at the science-policy interface and contribute to science-based decision making. We look for a PhD student that enjoys spatial analysis and quantitative assessment approaches for making an impact towards more sustainable land use in the EU.

Your duties
  • conduct research and publish results in academic journals and a PhD thesis
  • collect spatial data on land use and management, re-configure land use models, build quantitative scenarios, assess policy scenarios
  • contribute to reporting and dissemination within a HorizonEurope project
  • collaborate within and outside the institute with experts in the field
  • contribute to teaching, especially by supervising MSc thesis projects


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • MSc degree in Environmental Sciences, (Landscape) Ecology, Geography, Earth Sciences or another relevant programme with proven knowledge of interdisciplinary approaches
  • knowledge of and experience with quantitative (spatial) methods and models
  • very good writing skills
  • very good command of English (speaking and writing)

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2.443 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,122 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the institute
IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognized for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. IVM is part of the Faculty of Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( This position is based within the Environmental Geography department.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • 11963


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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