PhD Transformative Landscape Governance

PhD Transformative Landscape Governance

Published Deadline Location
22 Sep 9 Oct Wageningen

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Job description

Are you a talented aspiring researcher who is interested in governance that truly benefits biodiversity and people? Do you want to understand how landscape governance can be transformative? Then read on and apply!

We invite applications for the PhD position entitled: ‘Transformative Landscape Governance’. This research will fall under the Special Chair ‘Transformative Landscape Governance’ embedded in the Land Use Planning Group.

In this PhD project, you will co-develop an assessment framework for Transformative Landscape Governance, which considers how governance influences behaviour of land managers and the extend to which ‘area-based processes’ are inclusive and just. In line with this, part of your research will contribute to the Horizon Europe-financed projects entitled ‘Biodiversity and Transformative Change for Plural and Nature-Positive Societies (BIOTraCes)’ and ‘BioAgora’.

In this project you will collaborate with researchers within the international and interdisciplinary consortia of BIOTraCes and BioAgora, and will be encouraged to collaborate with other researchers within WUR, for example through the Wageningen Biodiversity Initiative.

Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:
  • Review the literature on transformative change, governance, behaviour of land users and changing land use practices;
  • Contribute to case studies by means of action research, system analysis and cross-case analysis;
  • Contribute to the development and testing of an assessment framework for transformative landscape governance;
  • Contribute to the development of strategies and approaches for just transformative changes;
  • Contribute to a Theory of Transformative Change from the perspective of landscape governance;
  • Contribute to a framework for the assessment of the transformative potential of networks.


Wageningen University & Research


For this PhD position, we are searching an enthusiastic result-driven candidate with:
  • an MSc degree in a relevant discipline within the social sciences;
  • the ability to work in multidisciplinary and international teams;
  • oral and written proficiency in English and in Dutch (C1 level);
  • experience in qualitative research methods and action research.

The PhD project will take place within the Biodiversity and Policy team at Wageningen Environmental Research. You will be supervised by Dr. Judith Westerink and Prof. Martha Bakker of the Land Use Planning Group. Biodiversity and Policy is an interdisciplinary team of ecologists and social scientists and consists of a mixed group of juniors and seniors. The LUP group aims to improve our understanding of landscapes as social-ecological systems and focuses on interventions that relieve the pressure on scarce space, improving the overall landscape quality.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.629,- per month rising to € 3.360,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreement Wageningen Research. This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

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 18th consecutive time.


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1325480-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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