PhD Researcher nature inclusive forest management

PhD Researcher nature inclusive forest management

Published Deadline Location
1 Nov 27 Nov Wageningen

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Job description

Are you passionate about social science and interdisciplinary collaboration, and do you have an interest in forests, forest management and nature conservation strategies? Do you have an MSc in forest and nature conservation/management, social anthropology, rural sociology or a similar field? Then this could be the ideal opportunity for you!

Specifically, we are looking for a PhD candidate who is interested in understanding how European forests are managed and conserved today with a focus on close to nature management approaches, with qualitative social science methods. You will need to be open and interested in interdisciplinary research, specifically with the natural sciences. Your work will contribute to a bigger research program on “green frontiers” in Europe as they relate to conservation ideas, policies and discourses.

The position is a part of a large European research project that investigates the potential of “land sharing” approaches for forests in Europe, with a focus on close to nature forestry. As part of this European research project, you will conduct social science field research in different European forest landscapes, and engage in collaboration with researchers from all across Europe. You will conduct in-depth interviews with nature and forest managers as well as stakeholders, analysing social science data work on scientific publications as well as policy related reports. You will also support communication and stakeholder engagement activities. As a PhD researcher, you be part of the vibrant international team of PhD researchers at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group and the Department of Environmental Sciences, as well as the Wageningen Cluster for Sustainability Governance and the Wageningen Graduate School for Social Sciences.

The starting date of this position is January 1st 2024.

You will work here:
The Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group is embedded in the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University, which provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment. The chair group focuses on the political, socio-cultural and economic dimensions of forests and nature. The FNP research program includes three interrelated themes:1 Forest and nature policy and governance; 2 Value chains and markets for ecosystem services; and Nature-society interactions. FNP is a member of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS) and of the Wageningen Centre for Sustainability Governance.


Wageningen University & Research


The ideal candidate must have the following qualities:
  • MSc in fields such as forest and nature conservation/management, social anthropology, rural sociology, or similar;
  • Knowledge of, and ideally experience with, qualitative social science methods (including interviews);
  • Excellent English language proficiency (C1 level);
  • Creative and innovative mindset;
  • Ability to work in international collaborative environments.

In addition, the following qualities will be perceived as assets:
  • Knowledge of German, Spanish, French or Finish language;
  • Experience in working in international and interdisciplinary projects.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and 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 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 16th consecutive time.


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, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 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.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1357597-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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