Postdoctoral Researcher on the Impact of Climate Adaptation on Poverty Traps

Postdoctoral Researcher on the Impact of Climate Adaptation on Poverty Traps

Published Deadline Location
27 Nov 4 Jan Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you interested in interdisciplinary research projects? Do you like to work in a team of researchers working on societal challenges? We are seeking a post-doctoral researcher is interested in interdisciplinary research in the impact of climate change adaptation on poverty traps, and who likes to bridge research insights developed in computational science, environmental science, and developmental economics with practice.

As researcher you will be part of the Accelerating Scientific Discovery project 'Computing societal dynamics of climate change adaptation in cities'. The project focuses on modelling the feedbacks between climate change adaptation and poverty traps. Specifically, we study the role of adaptation in shaping risk using spatially explicit modelling of the socio-economic dynamics related to climate change adaptation (CCA), and how dynamics in poverty levels impact adaptive capacity. Spatial agent-based modelling (SABM), enabled by growing computing power, has been successfully applied to analyse macro-outcomes in a virtual society, emerging out of the actions and interactions of individual heterogeneous agents in a city or region. Agent decision-making is flexible and incorporates behavioural factors, bounded rationality, interactions, and learning. Although SABM is actively used to study social, economic, and environmental problems, including CCA, they have not yet been used to explore the mutual dynamics of adverse climate impacts and poverty traps. You are expected to make methodological advancements in understanding the role of CCA in the emergence of poverty traps.

Further, to properly evaluate and understand the impact of a particular policy, it is necessary to develop natural-scale simulations and execute several simulation instances. Therefore, you should explore several strategies in scaling the SABM in collaboration with engineers from the Netherlands eScience Centre within this project. Speeding up massive SABM is crucial for their application to real world problems, especially when CCA decisions are to impact marginalized communities in cities on the Global South. You will specifically focus on urban informal settlements and collaborations with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre are foreseen.

You will be hired at the Computational Science Lab, Informatics Institute (IvI) in the Faculty of Science (FNWI) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). You are also expected to spend part of your time at the Department of Multi-Actor Systems in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft, and to collaborate actively with the Netherlands eScience Centre.

What are you going to do

  • Develop and scale up a spatially explicit agent-based model to systematically explore the factors reinforcing poverty traps as climate change intensifies.
  • Perform sensitivity analysis of the model. Develop and implement strategies for model calibration and validation.
  • Collaborate with researchers at Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre to explore a wide range of real-world scenarios using the agent-based model.
  • Publish in high level international journals, presenting at leading conferences and collaborate with PhD/Master/Bachelor students.
  • Assure research data management following the FAIR data principles.
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to policy reports and translating scientific evidence to practical recommendations.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


What do we require of you

  • PhD degree in Computer Science, Developmental Economics or Environmental Sciences and interests in the social sciences.
  • Expertise in spatial agent-based modelling and good understanding of methods for model analysis and evaluation (e.g. global sensitivity analysis). Experience with programming agent-based models in Python.
  • Background in the field of poverty traps, climate change or flood risk policy is an asset.
  • Ability to work well within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Good communicative skills in English, both written and oral. Please identify your three key publications in the motivation letter.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 30 months.

We offer an employment contract for 30 months, preferably starting on 1 February 2022. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week.

Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €2,836 to €4,474 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


University of Amsterdam

With over 6,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Science - Informatics Institute

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000 as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. 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.

The mission of the Informatics Institute is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.


  • PhD scholarship
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2836—€4474 per month
  • University graduate
  • 21-7743


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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