Postdoc societal impact of transdisciplinary research

Postdoc societal impact of transdisciplinary research

Published Deadline Location
16 Feb 29 Feb Rotterdam

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Job description

Are you committed to applying your knowledge and skills to enhance the societal impact of a broad range of academic disciplines? Do you consider yourself to be a mixed-methods researcher who is not only interested in publishing papers? The Evaluating Societal Impact team is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to assess and support the (future) road to societal impact of the Convergence. The Convergence is a collaboration between Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus MC, and TU Delft for addressing urgent and complex societal challenges of our time.

Job description
The interinstitutional, transdisciplinary, and societally relevant Convergence exemplifies the ambition of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus MC, and TU Delft to address the urgent and complex societal challenges of our time along five themes: Resilient Delta, Health & Technology, AI, Data & Digitalisation, Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness, and Healthy Start. After a first period of developing this collaboration, the question how and to what extent the Convergence realizes its ambition becomes important.

The Convergence has a strong mission-oriented focus and unites a diversity of research practices, impact cultures and societal partners, including the City of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam, making it a highly relevant context to study how transdisciplinary research and societal impact correlate and cross-fertilize. How do disciplinary interests, practical needs, university (medical center) strategic goals and shared societal challenges align? The Convergence offers a unique opportunity to investigate this question. In this project we aim to apply a plurality of context-relevant impact planning and assessment methods as an evidence-based intervention in the organization of impact-driven research – aimed at learning and improvement during the research process.

To ensure the Convergence achieves its societal impact potential, the EUR strategic program Evaluating Societal Impact (ESI) will support the Convergence in assessing and improving its societal impact and corresponding assessment approach. ESI takes steps towards appropriate impact evaluation at EUR and in initiatives in which EUR collaborates. In other words, the program enables the creation of societal impact. In doing so, we collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to create synergies, we focus on sustainable policy changes within the organisation, and we advise faculties and strategic initiatives on impact. In addition, we strongly invest in the development of easy to apply, scalable and sustainable impact enabling tools and methods. Through that we actively contribute to the transition of the EUR towards an impact driven university.

Your tasks
The successful candidate will 1) reconstruct impact ambitions and pathways of the Convergence and subsequent research; 2) assess how and why impact is realized across the Convergence and evaluating to what extent this impact meets the identified ambitions using a mixed-methods approach and 3) stimulating future societal impact by means of developing assessment instruments as well as writing a report and giving presentations.

The successful candidate will use a mixed method approach, using desk research, surveys, network analysis, interviews and focus groups to assess the Convergence’s approach to societal impact and develop assessment instruments for future use by the Convergence. Main tasks include presenting the research findings in a report, presentation, and scientific publication(s) as well. Furthermore, the successful candidate will co-supervise a junior researcher.

The successful candidate will get an appointment at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS) within the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) and becomes a member of the ESI team. The team consists of people with many diverse responsibilities, areas of expertise and cultural backgrounds. Within the team we value great teamwork and supporting each other as ESI, we are very motivated to contribute to this cultural change within EUR (see for more information on the program, including its team composition).


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


The successful candidate has:
  • A PhD degree, preferably with a background in science, technology and innovation policy studies or related fields. For the current project, it is beneficial if the applicant has experience and affinity with societal impact assessment.
  • Proven experience with mixed-method research (e.g., document research, interviews, focus groups, surveys, network analysis) is required.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (C1 in accordance with CEFR), evidenced by published peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters and/or other relevant outputs. Authorship of policy reports is a plus.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in Dutch are a plus.
  • Very good organization skills, dares to take initiative, flourished in dynamic environments, and can work both independently and collaboratively.
  • A natural curiosity into different disciplinary cultures is an important asset of the successful candidate.

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 as soon as possible or by mutual agreement and you will be based at Campus Woudestein in Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). This position is for 0.8 fte - 1 fte. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 4.332 to a maximum of € 5.929 gross per month Scale 11 on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU. The contract is entered into for the duration of 1 year. During this year we will actively search for opportunities to extend the position if possible.

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.

ESI Project: The Evaluating Societal Impact program has a central position within the EUR and is embedded in the current strategy (Strategy 2024). The ESI project has two main objectives focussing on impact governance and impact enablement. With a diverse team of impact experts, we collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to, for example, help them develop impact ambitions and -strategies, collect impact indicators for assessment (individual level), evaluation and monitoring and tools for interacting with stakeholders. For and overview of the activities of ESI you can take a look at (under further development).

Convergence: The urgent, complex problems facing our society require an integrated approach. That is why we as TU Delft, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University Rotterdam have joined forces in the Convergence Alliance to find new perspectives and concrete solutions. In this alliance, we work across institutions and disciplines to 'fuse' and strengthen our expertise, methods and insights in education and research. In areas such as climate change, sustainability, healthcare pressures, urbanisation and digitalisation. Within the themes and programmes Resilient Delta, Health & Technology, AI, Data & Digitalisation, Healthy Start and Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre, we work with a large number of public and private partners from South Holland and beyond on demand-driven research 'with the city, for the city'.

More information about Convergence can be found at


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • University graduate
  • 4068


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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