PhD Floating Ports & Governance

PhD Floating Ports & Governance

Published Deadline Location
1 Nov 4 Dec Rotterdam

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Interested in a PhD trajectory on the governance of new floating port concepts to deal with big challenges in an increasing limited space in the Netherlands?

Job description

Are you a passionate researcher ready to work on the intersection of Systems Thinking and Governance of Sustainability? We are unraveling the complexities of floating ports, an exciting and crucial frontier in combating space scarcity and enhancing resilience in the Netherlands. This is your chance to contribute to societal transformation and sustainable governance.

Job description
The growing scarcity of safe, livable land in our increasingly urbanized, low-lying country calls for innovative solutions, such as the development of new floating structures for port activities. To be effective, these novel floating concepts must be rooted in comprehensive insights into policy frameworks, economic repercussions, and governance arrangements, all aimed at identifying key challenges and facilitators.

We seek a PhD candidate with a pronounced interest in port and/or terminal activities. This role will require the candidate to integrate perspectives from both social sciences and economics. The candidate should not only have the capacity to critically assess existing governance structures but also possess the skill to conceptualize new governance approaches that can make innovative floating port concepts a reality.

Applicants are expected to possess a foundational understanding or direct knowledge in governance, spatial planning, economics, logistics, systems thinking, and the social challenges tied to the development and implementation of new floating port systems. Additional expertise in port/terminal development, governance theories, societal cost-benefit analysis, network analysis, supply chain technologies, systems engineering, and soft systems methodology would be advantageous.

As a PhD researcher you will become part of the larger community of PhD researchers in the overall project on Floating Futures in the groups on governance, technology and ecology. It is therefore important to be receptive for interdisciplinary collaboration with other PhD researchers in the project.

The PhD research is part of the collaboration between Hogeschool Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam, department of Public Administration and Sociology. A part of the work itself will be done under the responsibility of the Lectorate Ports and City Logistics at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The supervision of the project will take place by Prof. Dr. Jurian Edelenbos (promotor EUR), Dr. Ron van Duin (co-promotor RUAS/TUDelft) - and Dr. Wouter Spekkink (co-promotor EUR).

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof.dr. Jurian Edelenbos (


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


  • Master of Science (MSc) diploma in Public Administration, Transportation, Logistics, Policy Making, Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering, Systems Design, Maritime Engineering, Transport Engineering or any other related field.
  • Attitude to function both in an interdisciplinary team and independently
  • Experience with governance literature and concepts.
  • Experience with the port and/or intermodal sector will be a plus.
  • Ability to collaborate with both scientific and industrial partners
  • Motivated to contribute to open science.
  • Excellent communication skills, team player, development-oriented.
  • Excellent proficiency in Dutch and English (both at least at level C1 of the Common European Framework).

Conditions of employment

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

The start date of this position is 01-FEB-2024 and you will be based at Campus Woudestein in Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). This position is for 1 FTE. The salary will range from € 2.770,- in the first year to € 3.539,- in the fourth year gross per month (scale P) on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU. The contract is entered into for the duration of 1 year. And extended with 3 years after proper functioning.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)
The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programs and in research. Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education. Both the Dutch and English programs are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 4000 students and more than 400 staff-members. The different disciplines are supported by the Faculty Office (for more information, please visit


Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

DPAS covers the disciplines of Public Administration and Sociology. Two related scientific fields with different profiles. Public Administration studies governance capacity and policy interventions. It focuses on the institutional power to organize and intervene in the relations between different social, political and economic actors. Public Administration in Rotterdam goes well beyond the public realm itself and pays attention to public-private cooperation and networks of organizations. Sociology investigates the social structure of societies and the way it evolves. Sociologists in Rotterdam focus among other things on processes of globalization and individualization and on the effects of these processes on international social relations, the labor market or family relations. Related social problems that are studied are migration, flexibilization and solidarity. The perspectives of Public Administration and Sociology complement each other. Together they guarantee a highly relevant and scientific approach to topical administrative and social issues. The bachelor- and masterprogrammes of DPAS are build on this profile and educate students to become scientifically schooled professionals.

Team Governance & Pluralism (G&P)
The faculty ESSB and DPAS have a team-based structure. DPAS works with four teams, of which Governance and Pluralism (G&P) is one. The team has about 35 members now. The team members assess complex, (inter)national and multilevel governance problems regarding a wide variety of societal challenges (shorthand: governance) and address social divisions and conflicts pitting various social strata, lifestyles and identities (shorthand: pluralism). While their proceedings are already highly valued by (inter)national peers, civil society, policy makers, and governments, these could be taken a step further by – in addition to fruitfully continuing their current research foci – jointly assessing how governance and pluralism interact.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3807


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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