PhD Knowledge co-production and human-nature connections - implications for transformative change

PhD Knowledge co-production and human-nature connections - implications for transformative change

Published Deadline Location
29 Jun 10 Aug Wageningen

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Job description

Are you an enthusiastic scholar in the field of social sciences and/or inter-disciplinary environmental and natural resource studies? Are you excited abouthuman-nature relationships, and interested in studying how knowledge co-production works connected to transformative change ecological restoration?Then this could be the ideal PhD position for you!

This PhD position will be with the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, connected to the currently established Special Chair of Human-Nature relationships in the Anthropocene. The ways in which societies perceive, value, interact with, and know about nature are essential dimensions for achieving transformative change towards sustainable development. The PhD project will focus on how human-nature relationships are evolving in knowledge co-production around ecological restoration. While the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of co-production of knowledge in a sustainability context are emerging, much more work is needed to understand the conditions for successful knowledge generation that can drive agency for transformative change. Drawing on principles of relationality and pluralism, the PhD project will, first, review practical methods and experiences of eliciting and nurturing human-nature connectedness in science-society collaborations. Subsequently, it will engage closely in a small set of case studies of ecological restoration to evaluate knowledge generation, potential for enhanced nature connectedness, and agency for change. The work on this PhD project will be conducted in close collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre.


Wageningen University & Research


  • a completed Master's degree (before starting the PhD) to a high standard in the field of social sciences and/or inter-disciplinary environmental and natural resource studies;
  • skills in relevant research methods, and excellent skills in scientific writing
  • keen interest in conducting empirical research, relevant fieldwork experience would be considered an advantage;
  • keen interest and ideally experience with the topic;
  • keen interest in international research collaboration;
  • keen interest in and ideally experience with inter- or transdisciplinary research;
  • for this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • study leave and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project (48 months in total) if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the " Best University " in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University and Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the globally leading organisations in the domain of land use, conservation and food. WUR is constantly ranked high in international rankings, inter alia it is globally ranked as the number 1 university in the field of agriculture and forestry in several rankings, and ranked between number 1 and 5 in the field of environmental science and/or ecology (

The Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group is embedded in the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University, which provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment. The chair group focuses on the political, socio-cultural and economic dimensions of forests and nature. The FNP research program includes four interrelated themes: 1. Forest and nature conservation governance, 2. Human-nature interactions, 3. The role of power and knowledge in policymaking, 4. Management of forest value chains and markets. FNP is a member of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) and of the Wageningen Centre for Sustainability Governance.
Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1001926-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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