PhD Candidate: Transformative Sustainability Governance in the Brazilian Amazon

PhD Candidate: Transformative Sustainability Governance in the Brazilian Amazon

Published Deadline Location
23 Dec 29 Jan Nijmegen

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Job description

Always wanted to discover the Brazilian Amazon and do good for the environment? As a PhD Candidate in the project 'Boosting bio-economies’, you will collect data through fieldwork in the Brazilian Amazon region, and so help the government and civil society to better protect the environment and to empower local people in the Amazon.

How do policies for the promotion of bio-economies foster inclusive, pluralistic, integrative and adaptive governance arrangements in the Brazilian Amazon? Transforming governance of resource use in the Brazilian Amazon is crucial to prevent global biodiversity loss, to help mitigate climate change, and to empower marginalized groups. To this purpose, diverse indigenous and international development organizations, together with stakeholders from the business community currently experiment with so-called ‘socio-biodiversity value-chains’. These initiatives aim to create markets for local products from the Amazonian biodiversity, and so provide stable incomes to local people without relying on export oriented commodity production, like cultivation of soya, timber and cattle grazing. Building on both local ecological knowledge and solidarity, their goal is both protection of the environment and meaningful participation of local people in resource governance. This research project studies initiatives that promote socio-biodiversity value-chains and investigates their transformative potential. The focus will be in the Rio Negro basin in the Brazilian Amazon.

As a PhD Candidate on the 'Boosting bio-economies' project, you will aim to answer this question, and you will use the results to write your PhD thesis. The purpose is to better understand the opportunities and challenges, and to what extent mobilizations around socio-biodiveristy value chains  result in  Amazon governance that is more respectful both to the environment and indigenous peoples’ ways of knowing and being.

Your teaching load may be up to 10 percent of your working time.


Radboud University


  • You have a Master's degree in Political Science, International Relations, Human Geography, Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Development Studies, or a related field.
  • You have academic excellence, as demonstrated by your grade transcripts and CV.
  • You have affinity with political anthropology, political economy/ecology and decolonial perspectives, and are interested in transformative governance.
  • You have experience in conducting field research in Brazil or specifically in the Amazon. Experience in participatory research methods is a plus.
  • You have an excellent command of written and spoken English, and you have a good working knowledge of Portuguese.
  • You have experience with and are committed to fieldwork research and qualitative methods, also involving close collaboration with policy makers, socio-environmental organizations and development practitioners. Experience in facilitating workshops or with other training activities would be a plus.
  • You are willing to spend a substantial part of the contract period in the Brazilian Amazon.
  • You are flexible, have a proactive attitude and excellent academic writing skills. You are able to work both independently and as a team player.
  • We encourage applicants from Brazil.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to € 2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to € 3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Nijmegen School of Management enables students, institutions and companies, societal actors and governments to play their part in a transformation towards sustainable societies. In doing so, it is committed to Radboud University's mission of contributing to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. In the context of our 'Responsible governance for sustainable societies' mission, we address scientific and societal challenges from a good governance perspective. Our work focuses on the topics Beyond Economy, Climate, Inclusivity, Safety, and Democracy. By building, questioning and extending the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), we acknowledge their interrelatedness and focus on a number of grand challenges within society. We contribute to innovation and sustainable growth on topics such as inequality, gender, decent work and poverty. Furthermore, we address environmental and climate challenges, seeking to contribute towards resolving them.

At the Nijmegen School of Management, academic research and teaching are carried out in challenging educational programmes. These programmes are offered in the areas of Business Administration; Economics and Business Economics; Geography, Planning and Environment; Political Science; and Public Administration. Academic research takes place within the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Research is carried out within the above-mentioned domains and in interdisciplinary research groups: the Hotspots. The Nijmegen School of Management currently has 400 staff and some 5,000 students.

The position is for 4 years and involves mainly research. You will be part of the teams of both the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment and the Department of  Political Science  (more particularly the Centre of International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM)). Furthermore, you will be a member of the Doctoral School of the Institute for Management Research (IMR).

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation; Education
  • Agriculture; Language and culture
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1202447



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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