Are you a curious and creative person who's driven to learn and know more? Are you passionate about interdisciplinary research, and do you want to contribute to connecting ecological data to human health outcomes? Does combining quantitative and qualitative research methods pique your interest? If so, the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University is looking for you! Position Overview
We are seeking an enthusiastic PhD candidate to join our interdisciplinary research team at the Institute of Environmental Sciences. The aim of the project is to gain a deeper mechanistic understanding of the benefits of nature on mental health. Specifically, the PhD will look at which features of urban nature contribute to well-being and the role biodiversity plays specifically. The evidence linking nature and human well-being is compelling. Yet, there is a lack of understanding regarding which biodiversity metrics (e.g. abundance, species diversity) and attributes (e.g. colour, shape, texture) of green spaces (e.g. urban parks) are best or worse for mental health. This knowledge gap hampers our ability to understand and manage green spaces from an ecological perspective to improve human well-being. The PhD candidate will focus primarily on identifying species’ traits that directly elicit human well-being responses and apply this approach to inform urban planning and design that most benefits people. We are interested in candidates who have experience and, ideally, are skilled in biodiversity (field) surveys and/or social research methods (e.g., surveys and questionnaires, structured interviews), but also someone who is keen to learn and develop these skills.
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. Rita Sousa-Silva. Dr. Sousa-Silva is dedicated to fostering a collaborative, inclusive, supportive, and creative research environment where all individuals can thrive and develop their skills for whatever future career goals they may have. And feel fulfilled and happy! The candidate will enter an environment of “open-door-policy” and monthly informal meetings to promote progress and encourage growth into an independent researcher, while also engaging with the larger biodiversity and urban research groups at the Institute of Environmental Sciences that meet twice a month. Responsibilities
You are expected to:
- Design and conduct experiments to test hypotheses and analyze data.
- Be comfortable and confident working independently when required (e.g., fieldwork)
- Be collegial and have a proactive attitude towards balancing your research endeavours.
- Communicate your findings through presentations at national and international conferences and potential scientific publications.
- Supervise BSc or MSc students for thesis projects and field sampling.
- Collaborate with supervisors brainstorming and developing new research ideas and proposals.