Postdoctoral researcher in ethnographies of marine restoration and global China in Southeast Asia

Postdoctoral researcher in ethnographies of marine restoration and global China in Southeast Asia

Published Deadline Location
16 May 15 Jul Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 15 Jul 2024).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

The Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University and Research is looking for an emerging scholar in the field of anthropology/geography, marine restoration, and geopolitics to serve as a postdoctoral researcher on a 3 year project titled: Restoring marine natures in Southeast Asia and beyond: Geopolitics meets the politics of care.

Information on the project

A rise of ecological restoration programs world-wide aims to reverse the decline of ocean health by repairing and rebuilding marine and coastal natures. These efforts reveal a shift from protecting nature towards more active human intervention to shape new natures for an uncertain future. In this shift, narratives of care, sustainability and calls to radically transform how we know and relate to the sea mix with technoscientific enterprises to scale up restoration at increasing speed and scale. Both global geopolitical dynamics and local ecologies of human-sea relations based on different philosophies of nature are at play. While there is rising critique on restoration as a form of western ecological imperialism, what is less understood is the role of non-western philosophies – in particular Chinese and traditional understandings of nature – in the current re-building of marine nature at scale. Through a cultural-political lens on Chinese-supported marine restoration projects in Southeast Asia, this research aims to:
  1. map where Chinese investments in marine restoration are occurring globally, with more in depth mapping of those in Southeast Asia.
  2. analyze how different knowledges and values of human-sea relations come together in ecological restoration projects through select comparative case studies in Southeast Asia.
  3. examine the (geo)political consequences: what/who is in-/excluded in how marine natures are re-imagined and reshaped for the future?
  4. identifying how politics of care and geopolitics offer insights into global governance of marine restoration.

The post-doctoral researcher supporting this project will carry out teaching and research tasks here at Wageningen, as well as fieldwork in restoration sites, including on-site research stations and labs, conducting interviews, and participating in restoration practices. The position will be for 3 years at 0.8 FTE (0.6 FTE research and 0.2 FTE teaching).

Your research will contribute to anthropological and geopolitical debates through an empirical case study of Chinese-backed marine restoration efforts in Southeast Asia. You will have prior ethnographic and qualitative research experience and an ambition to apply this experience to the topic of marine restoration in a regional and global context. You will also contribute 0.2 FTE to an internationally oriented teaching programme at Wageningen University. This will involve guest lecturing and supervision of BSc and MSc students.

Your research and teaching will be in collaboration with colleagues at the Environmental Policy Group and Wageningen University and Research, as well as your own international networks. The project will be related to and work in dialogue with Dr. Annah Zhu’s work on the role of China in environmental globalization and Dr Annet Pauwelussen’s research on politics of care in marine restoration. Your research (including fieldwork and desk-based research) will result in co-authored publications in respected international journals.


Wageningen University & Research


You have:
  • a PhD degree in anthropology, human geography, sociology or another discipline related to the social science of environment;
  • a clear vision on researching marine restoration efforts and their intersection with the politics of care and geopolitics;
  • a strong background in qualitative research design and methodologies, including ethnography;
  • a demonstrated publication record.
  • You also ideally possess: experience doing research in Southeast Asia or China, or research related to global China;
  • language skills related to Southeast Asia or China;
  • demonstrated affinity with topic of marine conservation/nature restoration.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • 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 of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €3.226 and €5.090 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10 ). This position is for 0.8 FTE (30.4 hours per week).

Initially, we offer you a one-year contract, which will then be extended to three years if there is mutual enthusiasm. Of course, we would be happy to discuss this with you if you have any questions.
Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. 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 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.

Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch the video below to get an idea of our green campus!

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


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 30 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • P1519779-1


Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer


Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps

Interessant voor jou