PhD Candidate: Assessing the Sustainability of Generating and Using Voluntary Carbon Credits

PhD Candidate: Assessing the Sustainability of Generating and Using Voluntary Carbon Credits

Published Deadline Location
22 Sep 15 Oct Nijmegen

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Job description

Would you like to help make climate action more effective and sustainable? If yes, come and join the Horizon Europe funded 'Achieving High Integrity Voluntary Climate Action' (ACHIEVE) project as a PhD candidate, based at Radboud University. You will be part of an international, interdisciplinary, diverse, enthusiastic and welcoming team.

A wide array of actors, including private sector actors, financial institutions, civil society, cities, and cooperative initiatives have announced voluntary climate commitments. The ACHIEVE project aims to identify opportunities to strengthen and scale up such voluntary climate action to contribute to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.

As a PhD candidate in this project, you will work on assessing and strengthening the sustainability of land-based carbon credits. You will map the global landscape of generating and using voluntary carbon credits, assess their quality (including synergies and trade-offs with other sustainability goals, particularly biodiversity), quantify the climate effectiveness of carbon credit use as contributions to non-state actors' climate mitigation goals, and explore opportunities for strengthening and scaling up sustainable carbon credit generation and use.

You will work closely with project members from around the world, participate in relevant conferences, workshops and seminars, and communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals. Part of your workload (10%) will consist of teaching activities at our institute, assisting staff members in their courses at the MSc level (in English). You will also have the opportunity to further develop your skills set by attending courses relevant for your project and general development. You will work under the supervision of Prof. Birka Wicke and Dr Sander Chan. Upon successful completion of the research project, you will be awarded a PhD degree from Radboud University. We particularly encourage applications from underrepresented groups.


Radboud University


  • You should hold (or shortly expect to obtain) a Master's degree in environmental or sustainability science, environmental modelling or an equivalent interdisciplinary field, or will have completed such a degree before the start date.
  • You have demonstrable experience related to climate and sustainability impacts of land use and/or land-based carbon credit schemes, for instance in the form of a research assistantship or an excellent research-based Master’s thesis.
  • Additional knowledge of and experience with any of the following topics is desirable: integrity and effectiveness of voluntary climate action, life cycle assessment and environmental modelling.
  • You have strong computing and analytical skills (e.g. using R).
  • You value teamwork and are keen to work in an interdisciplinary and diverse research team.
  • You possess excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

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 €2,770 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,539 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 Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences (RIBES) aims to perform world leading research in order to understand the response of the natural environment to human impact. RIBES investigates stress and adaptation processes in severely affected ecosystems. This curiosity-driven, fundamental research is cross-linked with innovative applications in both industry and society with a focus on mitigating ecosystem degradation and finding solutions to restore the natural environment. RIBES is internationally unique, as its research encompasses three major groups of organisms (microorganisms, plants and animals) and spans nearly all levels of biological organisation. In addition to developing world-class research, the institute is dedicated to first-rate education in its Biology BSc, MSc and international PhD programmes.

The mission of the Environmental Science cluster of RIBES is to provide high-quality scientific knowledge that can help the world move towards greater sustainability. To achieve this, we aim to understand, project and address the impact of anthropogenic pressures on ecosystems and humans from the landscape to the global scale. This enables us to explore and develop wide-ranging sustainable solutions for the environmental challenges the world faces today.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1214493



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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