Two PhD students for the PROACT programme

Two PhD students for the PROACT programme

Published Deadline Location
20 Nov 15 Dec Wageningen

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Job description

Wageningen University & Research (WUR), in collaboration with Tilburg University (TiU) in the Netherlands, is looking for hardworking and enthusiastic scholars wanting to do a PhD on the challenges that tourism poses in an Antarctic context.

The PhD projects are part of the PROACT - programme funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) entitled Proactive Management of Antarctic Tourism: Exploring the Role of Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) Principles and Values and Best Practices Beyond the ATS. The consortium is comprised of TiU, Utrecht University and WUR. The objective of the consortium is to develop knowledge for strengthening the proactive management of tourism within the ATS on four themes, each covered by a PhD or post-doc project:
  1. regulating visitor numbers by a cap-and-trade system (PhD, WUR);
  2. constraining diversification of activities by pre-assessment procedures (PhD, WUR/TU);
  3. improving domestic implementation of ATS tourism regulations (PhD, TU); and
  4. enhancing the role of non-use and non-user States (PostDoc, UU).
The findings will support the position of the Netherlands within the Committee of Environmental Protection (CEP) and Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) by concrete, science-based proposals for Antarctic tourism management. Key features of the program include:
  • full integration of Antarctic Treaty System fundamental principles and values;
  • close cooperation between consortium staff;
  • extensive involvement of policy officers;
  • identification of best practices from other regions (e.g. the Arctic) and intergovernmental regimes, and
  • involvement of international specialists and external partners.
Whereas the projects based at TiU and UU fall within the discipline of law, the two PhD projects at WUR are based in the social sciences and interdisciplinary research.

PhD project 1 seeks to simultaneously address two issues that Antarctic governance is currently grappling with - the challenges that the growth of Antarctic tourism poses to the environment and scientific research capacity; and the lack of resources for environmental research and monitoring - by tapping into the unique value that Antarctica represents for tourists. The project will explore the viability of a system of tradable visitation permits for Antarctica, by reviewing the academic and political debates on restricting Antarctic tourist volumes; making a systematic assessment of the available options for the choices concerning the cap, initial allocation, allocation to end-users and trade; and simulating a range of possible systems of tradable visitation permits in order to test and evaluate their performance in the Antarctic context. The project is embedded in the Environmental Systems Analysis group and the Environmental Policy group.

PhD project 2 will map and understand the process of diversification of Antarctic tourism, study how this diversification relates to the fundamental values en principles of the ATS and, examine instruments of proactive management. One of the objectives is to provide knowledge for the CEP process towards the development of a framework for conducting pre-assessments relating to novel tourism and other non-governmental activities that raise particular concerns. These would be derived from an exploration of the socio-economic drivers of tourism diversification and its desirability, as well as the ability to find legal tools to regulate undesirable aspects. This project focuses on the ATS principles and values that may be considered less tangible. The project is done at the Cultural Geography (GEO) group of WUR, in collaboration with TiU.


Wageningen University & Research


Joint eligibility criteria. All applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • A completed Master's degree (before starting the PhD) to a high standard in the field of social sciences and/or inter-disciplinary studies;
  • Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of, human activities and regulation in the Antarctic context;
  • A clear interest in inter- or trans disciplinary collaborative research;
  • Excellent skills in research methods;
  • Excellent skills in stakeholder interaction and scientific writing ;
  • Relevant fieldwork experience would be considered an advantage;
  • Additionally for project 1 we particularly seek candidates with an interest and/or demonstrable experience in modelling and simulation.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary position for each position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. The gross salary for the first year is € 2,325 per month rising to € 2,972 in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement (scale P). This is based on a full working week of 38 hours

In addition, we offer:
  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an efficient balance between work and private life is possible;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with our internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for personal initiative in a learning environment. With us you get a versatile job in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere, with students and staff from over 100 countries around the world.

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 15th consecutive time.


Wageningen University & Research

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With approximately 30 locations, 6.500 employees, and 12.500 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. A coordinated approach to problems and the cooperation between various fields are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen. We have been named Best Employer in Education category 2019-2020.

Click here for more information about working at Wageningen University & Research. More information about Wageningen Campus you can find here.

The Cultural Geography group (GEO), part of the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University. The department's fundamental research and education concern our living environment: nature, landscape, land use, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, water management, and various competing claims on space. The GEO group is committed to social theory in all its spatial articulations. The group advances creative, critical-constructive scholarship through exploring the ecological and social challenges facing all life on earth. Researching space, place and culture, engaging with current, historic and future dynamics of societies globally, the group pays special attention to questions of inequality, exclusion, mobility, plurality along with deploying critical tourism studies to all aspects of social and environmental sciences, unravelling relational complexities in wilderness to urban settings. Thereby the group translates knowledge into practical action in four closely related fields of application: landscape, tourism, nature, health & care.

Environmental systems analysis (ESA) studies environmental problems by exploring, modelling and communicating their causes, mechanisms, effects and potential solutions. ESA combines quantitative, qualitative and multi- and transdisciplinary research and integrates knowledge from natural, social and engineering sciences.

The Environmental Policy Group (ENP) produces fundamental knowledge on different forms of social and political practices and forms of organization that can enable a broad range of societal actors to deal with new and complex environmental risks at global, regional and local scales.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 671691


Wageningen University & Research

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