PhD in planning Nature-based Solutions for urban water management

PhD in planning Nature-based Solutions for urban water management

Published Deadline Location
24 Nov 7 Dec Wageningen

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Job description

Are you passionate about water and nature-based solutions (NbS)? Are you interested in creating dynamic models for supporting the planning of NbS to maximize their multi-functionality and long-term resilience under climate change? Do you want to help metropolis in developing context adapt and mitigate climate changes? Are you engaged to transfer and develop knowledge for Global South? If yes, you may be the PhD candidate we are looking for!

As a PhD candidate in this project, you can expect the following research content:
  • develop a modelling framework that systemically integrates NbS planning and grey infrastructure planning considering their respective and integral contribution to multiple urban water issues (e.g., pluvial flooding, surface water quality deterioration and water scarcity) in future climate and local change scenarios;
  • design, apply and validate the model to case cities in Global South, namely Nakuru (Kenya) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), with local stakeholders and use the result to improve their infrastructure transition planning;
  • explore the potential or emerging urban water challenges in Global South metropolis to be addressed and expand the model accordingly.
The research is embedded within the chair Environmental Technology: ( which is led by Prof. Huub Rijnaarts: (

You will be co-supervised by Wei-Shan Chen and Adriaan Mels and you will work closely with Vitens-Evides International (VEI; in this project.


Wageningen University & Research


You have:
  • a successfully completed MSc degree in environmental science/technology/engineering, water resource management, or related fields;
  • experience and strong motivation in performing scientific research and applying the research outcome in society;
  • experience in urban system or large environmental system modelling is desired;
  • basic/advanced knowledge and expertise in geo-spatial analysis and related modelling/programming skills (e.g., Python) is desired;
  • experience in modelling hydraulics in urban infrastructure and/or quantitative analysis using dynamic adaptive policy pathway (DAPP) is a plus;
  • an ability to collaborate and interact with societal stakeholders;
  • willing to travel and spend 1-2 stays (3-6 months each) at case locations in the Global South;
  • excellent communication and scientific writing skill in English;
  • didactic qualities and enthusiasm for teaching and working with students.
For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

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 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.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University & 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 (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1112207-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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