Applications are in
Applications are invited for three fully funded, four-year PhD positions in the fields of behavioural sciences and law & governance, focusing on Antarctic tourism. The positions are part of the thematic programme ‘Antarctic Tourism - Research Programme on Assessment of Impacts and Responses’ (PT-REPAIR) of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA). This programme stimulates polar tourism research that enhances knowledge of polar tourism’s (cumulative) impacts in support of (inter)national policy making to protect environmental and related values in Antarctica. The Dutch research council (NWO) granted 4 international consortia projects within the PT-REPAIR program of which two will be led by the Arctic Centre, University of Groningen: GUIDE-BEST and ANT-MICI.
GUIDE-BEST (Antarctica): Growing Understanding of Individual Drivers of Expectations and Behaviours to Enhance Sustainable Tourism in Antarctic
Many tour operators claim that tourists become ambassadors after a visit to Antarctica: they claim that tourists become agents of change, by promoting wider pro-environmental change in society, and advocating for the protection of the (ant)Arctic. However, what this ambassadorship means is not well understood, and it is not clear which factors affect the likelihood that tourists will act more sustainably and become ambassadors after their trip to Antarctica. GUIDE-BEST aims to study the meaning of the Antarctic Ambassadorship,understand which factors have an influence on it, and how ambassadorship can be promoted by tour operators and guides Among others, we will consider: the role of guides, size of the vessel and tourist group, cultural values and the kind of activities tourists do. Results of the project will be used to develop tools that can encourage pro-environmental behaviour and ambassadorship behaviour of tourists. See for more information: https://www.rug.nl/research/arctisch-centrum/projects/pt-repair/guide-best
PhD 1 GUIDE-BEST (Arctic Centre)
This PhD will examine the perceived changes in interests, attitudes and behaviours of tourists and other actors involved in Antarctic tourisms (e.g., tourism managers, sales agents, crew and other staff) over the last decades. It will furthermore examine the range of values, motivations, and qualifications of Antarctic guides, taking into consideration their cultural backgrounds, norms, experience and expertise and together with other project partners develop a typology of guiding styles and how this relates to tourist behaviour. More information dr. Annette Scheepstra (https://www.rug.nl/staff/a.j.m.scheepstra/)
PhD 2 GUIDE-BEST (Environmental Psychology Group)
This PhD will study which factors affect pro-environmental tourism behaviour during and after the visit (including ambassadorship), and which strategies are most effective to promote pro-environmental behaviour of tourists. The PhD will conduct studies among tourists that visit Antarctica to examine whether and why tourist are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviour and ambassadorship after the trip. In addition, the PhD will also examine whether virtual reality experiences of Antarctica can have a similar effect on people’s pro-environmental behaviour and ambassadorship as a real-life visit and also test whether similar factors are at play, and similar changes in behaviour occur when people virtually visit the Antarctic. More information: prof. dr. Linda Steg
ANT-MICI: Antarctic tourism - developing knowledge and tools to minimise cumulative impacts on biodiversity and wilderness values in Antarctica
In Antarctica, numbers of tourists and visited sites have been increasing for over 30 years. This is a concern for Antarctic biodiversity and wilderness values because the sum of effects (cumulative impacts) of these activities is unknown. This program aims to contribute to solutions by providing policymakers the following knowledge: an Antarctic tourism forecast (20 years), maps of Antarctic biodiversity and wilderness values, an inventory of cumulative impacts, indicators for a monitoring system, and an identification of strategies and regulatory tools to minimize future cumulative impacts on Antarctic biodiversity and wilderness values. See for more information: https://www.rug.nl/research/arctisch-centrum/projects/pt-repair/ant-mici/
PhD 3 ANT-MICI (Arctic Centre)
This PhD focuses on the identification of possible response strategies, including spatial strategies, to prevent or minimise future cumulative impacts on biodiversity and wilderness values by human visitation. Such strategies may include improvement of cumulative impact assessment, open access in combination with the closure of areas, closure of regions and allow only access to certain areas, open access with regional or site-specific caps of visitor numbers, as well as combinations of these options. During the first two years of the project, these strategies will be developed theoretically, using inspiration from spatial planning of tourism in the Svalbard/Spitsbergen (Norway). During the third and fourth years of the project, these strategies will be interconnected with the work in progress of other team members to try to identify the most promising strategies for the Antarctic. In the fourth year of the project, attention will focus on the identification and development of legal tools to implement the most promising strategies. In developing these tools and designing possible promising combinations of instruments, the stronger and weaker characteristics of the Antarctic Treaty System and self-regulatory system (IAATO) will be taken into account.
More information prof. dr. mr. Kees Bastmeijer (https://www.rug.nl/staff/c.j.bastmeijer/)
These PhD projects offer a unique opportunity to work in an international transdisciplinary research environment aimed to understand how to minimise the negative environmental impacts of Polar tourism. In collaboration with other members of an international team, you will work on your own specific research. You will be co-organising international transdisciplinary workshops and provide science-based policy advice to policy makers.
The University of Groningen, founded in 1614, is an international research university in the north of The Netherlands. Our staff create and share knowledge through outstanding research and education.
PhDs 1 and 3 will be embedded in the Arctic Centre, Faculty of Arts, an interdisciplinary research centre focused on the Polar Regions. The PhDs will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities, a research institute of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
PhD 2 will be embedded in the Environmental Psychology group, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences. The PhD will be enrolled in the Kurt Lewin Institute, a national graduate school for social, organisational and environmental psychology.
University of Groningen
Candidates will be part of a larger international team (GUIDE-BEST or ANT-MICI), and will also cooperate within the PT-REPAIR programme of NWO. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.
You will be asked to have:
- a master’s degree (completed before starting the PhD) in a relevant discipline (e.g. environmental psychology, anthropology, human geography, spatial planning, law) and/or inter-disciplinary studies
- demonstrable interest in environmental protection
- interest in theory-based research with a high societal impact
- an interest in inter- or transdisciplinary collaborative research
- creative, critical, and independent research attitude and open to different perspectives
- good skills in research methods
- be able to work independently and to collaborate with other team members
- fluent in English
- good skills in stakeholder interaction and scientific writing
- good planning and organisational skills
- relevant fieldwork experience is considered an advantage.
Conditions of employment
Fixed-term contract: 48 months.
In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you:
- a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 per month in the fourth and final year
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
- an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.
A temporary 1,0 FTE appointment for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After eight months, an assessment will take place of the candidate’s results and the progress of the PhD project, in order to decide whether employment will continue with an excellent work-life balance.
The appointment will commence asap
Dr. Annette Scheepstra, for PhD 1
Prof. Linda Steg, for PhD 2