Postdoc Ways of Water - Overcoming Conflicting Sustainability Pathways in the Port of Amsterdam

Postdoc Ways of Water - Overcoming Conflicting Sustainability Pathways in the Port of Amsterdam

Published Deadline Location
25 Mar 10 May Amsterdam

Job description

The EU’s Cities Mission has selected 100 cities – including Amsterdam – as innovation hubs to showcase ways for reaching the EU’s Green Deal goals and becoming climate neutral by 2030. However, conflicting interests among different actors impede coherent sustainability pathways. We observe a dual risk of cities remaining locked into the status quo and being overwhelmed by the impacts of global change, while also creating tradeoffs between the various urban functions by intervening in specific areas while neglecting others. This is particularly seen in port areas, where industrial, logistic, touristic and housing functions collide in an ecologically rich and sensitive urban region. The research project Ways of Water – Overcoming conflicting sustainability pathways in the Port of Amsterdam (WoWPoA) focuses on the geographic region of the Port of Amsterdam (PoA).

We are looking for a Postdoc to join our team in the WoWPoA project Ways of Water to work in a highly interdisciplinary environment involving the Faculties of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Economics and Business, and Law. The chosen candidate will investigate the perceptions of various actors of the port area’s water system – its meaning and potential future risks and benefits resulting from changes of this water system. Inventorizing its multiple functions, actors and users of the port water system, she/he/they will place these perceptions within the context of the broader social, ecological and technological system (SETS) elements that make up the urban metabolism of the PoA. The research will be carried out in co-development with stakeholders in the port area. It will contribute to creating a shared vision of a sustainable water system in the port area, to understanding its SETS dynamics, as well as identifying bottlenecks and feasible pathways for achieving a more resilient and sustainable water system for all.

The Postdoc will be part of Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) and collaborating with Dr Jannes Willems (UP/FMG) and Dr Elisabeth Krueger (IBED/FNWI). The research team will also consist of Prof Maria Kaika, (UP/FMG), and Prof Annemarie van Wezel (IBED/FNWI).

What are you going to do?
As a Postdoc, you will be an integral part of the Ways of Water project. You will undertake empirical fieldwork in the Port of Amsterdam region and examine how the social, ecological and technological system elements make up the urban metabolism of the Port of Amsterdam. Data collection will focus on stakeholders perceptions (surveys/interviews), but will also include data on ecosystem functioning (e.g., salinity dynamics, fish migration), economy (e.g., trade, businesses and resource flows), technology (e.g., infrastructure mapping, urban plans/construction), as well as potential sources of risks and benefits, including pollution from industry and agriculture, protecting ecological functions, navigational use for trade and businesses, tourism, as well as residents’ needs. Stakeholder perceptions will be elicited from stakeholders located in, affecting and affected by changes of the port area’s water systems.

You are expected to position the case of Amsterdam in relation to urban and port developments elsewhere in Europe, and to bridge epistemological approaches from the social and environmental sciences to explain the different ways of valuing water in port-cities.

You will/tasks:
  • develop an innovative and interdisciplinary conceptual framework to analyse the urban metabolism of port areas, applied to the case of Amsterdam;
  • collect and analyse empirical data related to the Port of Amsterdam, both qualitative and quantitative;
  • present and discuss your work with local stakeholders and communities;
  • translate your research into both academic output and societal output relevant for local stakeholders;
  • join the research groups of UP and IBED and co-organize seminars and workshops;
  • participate in international conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities.

Specifications

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Requirements

We are looking for an enthusiastic and curious candidate who has a passion for doing interdisciplinary research and is keen on working on issues at the intersection of the natural and the social sciences with respect to urban water systems in port-cities and under threat from climatic and socioeconomic changes. You have an interest in conducting fieldwork, as well as bridging different theories and concepts, including urban metabolism and SETS approaches. The successful candidate will be able to adjust to different and unexpected conditions, work across disciplinary boundaries, and find creative solutions to research problems.

Your experience and profile:

Candidates should hold a PhD in human geography, urban and regional planning, urban studies, environmental planning and management, or a closely related field. Preference will be given to participants with experience across more than one of the aforementioned disciplines.

Successful candidates are those who:
  • are passionate about and have demonstrated aptitude for conducting interdisciplinary research;
  • have demonstrated experience with both qualitative and quantitative methods;
  • have demonstrated transdisciplinary research skills, seen in previous work with stakeholders and/or communities;
  • have very good writing skills and are able to develop critical complex arguments;
  • have very good English skills (written and verbal), and preferably speak Dutch (relevant to the fieldwork);
  • are a team player and able to work independently.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns a temporary employment of 38 hours per week. The initial employment is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extendedwith 12 months.

The candidate will have the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. For this position the University Job Classification profile ‘Onderzoeker’ applies.

Depending on your experience, the minimum salary is €4.332 and the maximum salary is €5.090 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, in keeping with salary scale 11, as per the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • A position in which initiative and input are highly valued;
  • an enthusiastic and warm supervision team with whom you will collaborate in research and publications;
  • a leading research group that is open to new colleagues;
  • an international research network including conference visits;
  • resources for fieldwork and local workshops;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

As part of this position, some teaching might be expected. This will be discussed during the interviews.

Employer

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies is one of the six Departments in the FMG. Research and education are carried out by special institutes. The Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) is responsible for research in the social sciences. The College of Social Sciences (CSS) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for undergraduate and graduate teaching programmes in the social sciences.

Research and teaching in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies is organized in five thematic programme groups: Governance and Inclusive Development (GID), Urban Geographies (UG) and Urban Planning (UP), Political and Economic Geographies (PEG) and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ISW).

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is located at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. IBED research focuses on how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. It uses both applied and theoretical methods typical of the disciplines of ecology, hydrology, physical geography and environmental chemistry. IBED has its own Master programme in Earth Sciences, and undergraduate teaching is conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS).

Research in IBED is organized in four departments: Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics (ELD), Freshwater and Marine Ecology (FAME), Evolutionary and Population Biology (EPB), and Theoretical and Computational Biology (TCE).

About the faculties

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. With education and research in mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, Earth sciences, logic and computer science, we are fully immersed in the entire spectrum of the sciences. We focus on the major challenges facing society in education, research and valorization.

Want to know more about our organization? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Additional information

Do you have any questions, or do you require additional information? Please contact:
  • Dr Jannes Willems, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning, j.j.willems@uva.nl
  • Dr Elisabeth Krueger, Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics, e.h.krueger@uva.nl

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • 12806

Employer

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 10 May 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications bundeld in .pdf should include:
  • Curriculum vitae including contact details for two references;
  • Letter of motivation (max 750 words);
  • Research statement where you share your first ideas on how you would approach the project (max 500 words);
  • A single authored publication in English (e.g., an article, chapter of thesis, book chapter, or assignment), or if not available, a publication as first author.

Short-listed applicants will be contacted by 22 May 2024. Job interviews will take place in the week of 22 May 2024, preferably in person in Amsterdam. Please note that we will not reimburse travel expenses.

The position is expected to start as soon as possible, depending on the candidate’s availability.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 10 May 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications bundeld in .pdf should include:
  • Curriculum vitae including contact details for two references;
  • Letter of motivation (max 750 words);
  • Research statement where you share your first ideas on how you would approach the project (max 500 words);
  • A single authored publication in English (e.g., an article, chapter of thesis, book chapter, or assignment), or if not available, a publication as first author.

Short-listed applicants will be contacted by 22 May 2024. Job interviews will take place in the week of 22 May 2024, preferably in person in Amsterdam. Please note that we will not reimburse travel expenses.

The position is expected to start as soon as possible, depending on the candidate’s availability.

Make sure to apply no later than 10 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).