PhD Spatial Governance of climate change adaptation and water management

PhD Spatial Governance of climate change adaptation and water management

Published Deadline Location
6 Sep 25 Sep Wageningen

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Job description

Are you fascinated by spatial governance in relation to climate change adaptation and water management? Would you like to develop knowledge to help stakeholders organize water buffering more effectively? Then you could be the ideal PhD candidate to join our team!

We are hiring a PhD candidate for a 4-year project that aims to analyse how to develop additional water buffering capacity needed to deal with droughts and floods. Increasing the buffer capacity of the landscape will require widely varying organisational structures related to decision-making, participation, potential land transaction, land management and financing, which fall outside current practices. The project addresses the spatial and organizational challenges involved in the development of climate buffers. In your PhD, you will analyse how land use policy, land management and spatial planning can be used to develop additional buffering capacity in the landscape. Through case study research, instruments and governance processes will be identified and compared. The organisational implications through time and space will be translated to suitable governance models and trajectories for reconversion of traditional governance models to increase the decision-making capacity of the institutions involved.

As this project is commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat, close collaboration with stakeholders and the translation of scientific insights to actionable perspectives will be an essential part of your PhD. Within the project, you will work with input provided by hydrologists at Wageningen Environmental Research which will help you to locate the areas for your case studies. As part of a knowledge programme on climate adaptation (KennisImpuls Klimaatadaptatie) you will be part of a multidisciplinary network of PhD candidates and their supervisors in other Dutch universities, working on transportation networks, infrastructure, sedimentation processes in urban deltas, nature-based solutions, etc.

The research is embedded within the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning cluster. This environment, in combination with the transdisciplinary project and contact with practice through Rijkwaterstaat, gives you all opportunities to develop new skills and kick-start your academic career. If you are a highly motivated and skilled researcher who is interested in environmental governance and spatial development, and excited by the prospect of contributing to making the Dutch landscape more climate adaptive; if you like working both independently and in a multidisciplinary team; if you are looking for a challenge, we are looking for you!


Wageningen University & Research


  • An MSc in Spatial Planning or a related environmental governance field, such as Political Science, Human geography;
  • A keen interest in climate adaptive spatial planning processes, policy and instruments;
  • Affinity and a proven ability to study Dutch landscapes or other comparable North-Western European landscapes, with a basic systemic understanding of the hydrological processes related to water buffering;
  • Experience with qualitative research related to planning processes and instruments;
  • Interest and ability to work independently as well as in a multi-disciplinary team with scientists from various disciplines;
  • You are a creative and intrinsically motivated colleague who takes initiatives.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills, both oral and written. Additional information on required English language proficiency is available here;

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • 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 € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- 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 18th 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.
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. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


Wageningen University & Research

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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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 our 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
  • P1311023-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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