PhD position Knowledge Infrastructures for Sustainability (1.0 FTE)

PhD position Knowledge Infrastructures for Sustainability (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
8 Mar 11 Apr Groningen

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Knowledge infrastructures are essential to how we define and establish urgency around global issues and the Sustainable Development Goals. Within Campus Fryslân, the group on knowledge infrastructures for sustainability investigates how different actors use such infrastructures t

Job description

Knowledge infrastructures are essential to how we define and establish urgency around global issues and the Sustainable Development Goals. Within Campus Fryslân, the group on knowledge infrastructures for sustainability investigates how different actors use such infrastructures to know and intervene responsibly. At the heart of this research are questions about how values and practices are reinforced by current knowledge infrastructures, which adaptations are needed to develop more responsible and sustainable practices based on reliable and meaningful knowledge, and how to make complex, multi-dimensional data tractable. The aim is better knowledge infrastructures, better in the sense that they bring issues of intention, responsibility and accountability to the forefront and that they garner sufficient trust and reliability to enable us to act. The group contributes to research and engagement, in close collaboration with societal groups and public institutions at the local, regional and global level.

The group offers a four-year PhD position to complete a PhD in Knowledge Infrastructures for Sustainability. The PhD candidate will be connected to the Data Research Centre of Campus Fryslan and supervised by Dr J.A. Beaulieu. The PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Campus Fryslân (GSCF) and in the graduate school WTMC. PhD candidates can benefit from affiliations at research institutes of the University of Groningen, such as the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence or ESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen, among others, as appropriate to the PhD Project.

Applications on the following topic are welcome:

Sustaining Heterogeneous Knowledge Infrastructures
There is a class of knowledge infrastructures that are heterogeneous not only because of their multidisciplinary scope, but also because of the different epistemologies and temporalities they connect. For example, biodiversity knowledge infrastructures can connect citizen science, long-term demographic studies and lab-based work. What are the dynamics that enable such infrastructures to exist across socio-technical networks and over time? And how do such knowledge infrastructures sustain knowledge claims, when a range of different mechanisms of trust and different types of objectivity co-exist?


University of Groningen


You should have the following qualifications and strengths:
- master’s degree in a relevant academic field
- demonstrable affinity with qualitative and quantitative research methods
- highly developed conceptual capacity and analytical skills
- very good record of undergraduate and graduate studies
- very good individual and collaborative working skills
- presenting skills
- planning and organizational skills
- strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years
- research experience is an asset
- very good command of spoken and written English; Dutch proficiency is an asset
- programming skills and basic knowledge in machine learning are an asset.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

We offer a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the final year (salary scale Dutch Universities), based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE) excluding a 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end of the year bonus.

The position is offered for four years. A successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.

A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. As part of the programme, the PhD student will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia. During the course of the doctorate, the student will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills. For this, the PhD students will receive a tailor-made programme from the GSCF.

You may apply for this opportunity until 11 April 11.59pm / before 12 April 2019 Dutch local time (CET) by using the application form.

Please submit your application in English, including:
- a recent curriculum vitae
- a motivation letter of a maximum of two A4 pages
- a copy of your diplomas with a list of course grades
- reference letters from two academic referees
- a research proposal of up to 2000 words, covering state of the art, main research question, key objectives, and relevance, the proposed (methodological) approach, a brief description of the relevant literature and a provisional timetable and a writing sample of no more than 5000 words, e.g. an essay or part of a master’s thesis.

Please submit your documents in PDF format.

Interviews will be scheduled in April/May 2019. Candidates may be asked to give a presentation.

The intended starting date is 1 September 2019. An earlier start is possible by mutual consent.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


Campus Fryslan

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is an international place of knowledge.

Campus Fryslân is the ambitious eleventh and newest faculty of the University of Groningen, located in Leeuwarden. Campus Fryslân is an interdisciplinary faculty that works closely together with regional, national and international partners on worldwide (sustainability) problems and local solutions. The sustainable development goals of the United Nations thus serve as an important guideline.

We offer challenging bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree programmes. The research institute covers four research domains: Governance, Sustainable Economy, Culture, Language & Technology and Health & Food. In the summer of 2019, we will move to the new faculty building De Beurs: the first all-electric, monumental educational building in the Netherlands.


  • PhD
  • Economics
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 219143


University of Groningen

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