PhD-student: Climate adaptation and spatial modelling of future pathways (1 FTE)

PhD-student: Climate adaptation and spatial modelling of future pathways (1 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
4 Feb 24 Feb Heerlen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 24 Feb 2019).

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

Job description

Project: Interreg 2Seas project Co-Adapt: Climate adaptation through co-creation
In the European Union, many countries have to deal with flooding, water pollution and droughts. New technologies and solutions are needed to enhance environmental and economic resilience. Nature based solutions specifically are seen as a key solution as they aim to restore the natural functioning of water systems, and to deliver high societal value. But there are many challenges: under climate change, decision makers deal with deep uncertainties about future developments such as rainfall patterns, sea level rise but also increased urbanization and intensification of land use. In addition, institutional and societal challenges might arise: how well do land use planners take water management integrate in their decisions?; how strong will societal support be for solutions that require space (think of managed retreat or transforming agricultural land into water storage areas)?.  New types of decision processes, centred around co-creation will become the norm, but we currently lack an understanding of how this can be arranged effectively.

In this light, the Open University of the Netherlands (OU) is looking for a Ph.D.-student (f/m), who will improve upscaling and downscaling methods to develop different adaptation pathways for the future. Further it will develop and compare nature-based solutions among four different countries (UK, France, Belgium Flanders, Netherlands) in six case studies, and will analyse and design new co-creation governance frameworks among a large variety of stakeholders.

The Ph.D.-student will become part of the recently started Co-Adapt project, funded under the EUInterreg 2Seas programme. The consortium has 12 partners over the four countries, in which six innovative pilot projects are selected as case studies to study climate adaptation of nature-based solutions, future scenarios and co-creation processes. The partners, mostly water boards, have a large network of a variety of stakeholders.


The Open Universiteit (OU)



  • Master’s degree in the field of environmental/sustainability sciences or a Master’s-degree that is closely related to this.
  • Practical and research experience (e.g. Master’s thesis) in water science.
  • Demonstrated interest in mapping, data visualisation and modelling.
  • Knowledge and experience with statistical and spatial data analysis.
  • Ability for and willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team, including a large variety in stakeholders.
  • Willingness to undertake regular visits to the six pilot projects, and international project meetings.
  • A strong interest in sustainability issues, interdisciplinary research, and a scientific publication of your master degree research are an asset.
  • Very good command of spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: Temporary for the duration of 1 year with the intention to extend to 4 years.

The PhD candidate will be appointed for a period of 12 months (max. 38 hours per week). The appointment will be extended to four years when progress and performance are good. The salary will be determined on the basis of your education, experience and qualifications but will be in accordance with the general salary scale P of the CLA-NU. The salary is € 2.325,= gross per month in the first year and is expected to increase to € 2.972,= in the fourth year, for a full time appointment, contingent on satisfactory performance. The Open Universiteit provides good secondary benefits such as training and mobility.

The Open Universiteit provides good secondary benefits such as training, mobility, part-time employment and paid parental leave.

The possition is temporary for the duration of 1 year with the intention to extend to 4 years


Open Universiteit

The Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) is the university in the Netherlands where students study part-time and follow online and activating education in bachelor and master degree programmes in seven fields of study. Characteristics of the education are openness, flexibility and quality. Enhancing the study success of students is an important point of focus. More than 14.000 students are studying at the OUNL and it has 655 employees. The OUNL has a network of regional study centres in the Netherlands and in Belgium (Flanders) ( The head office is situated in Heerlen.
The most modern technologies and educational insights are applied in bachelor and master programmes and courses and also in projects and programmes with partners. Nationally and internationally the OUNL plays a key role in the innovation of higher education. Education and research are closely interrelated which guarantees that the current state of science is applied. The OUNL not only invests in research in the various academic disciplines, but also in research in the field of learning, teaching and technology.

Satisfied students
For several consecutive years, the OUNL has achieved a top position among the fourteen Dutch universities in the National Students Survey, the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Universiteiten’ (in which the ratings by students and experts of the bachelor studies of the fourteen universities are compared), and the Dutch university guide ‘Keuzegids Masters’. In addition all studies score high in the rankings of the universities for these studies. All ratings are available on the website (


Faculty of Management, Science & Technology
The faculty of Management, Science & Technology (MST) is one of the three faculties of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL). Education, research and valorisation are the main tasks of the faculty. MST offers academic bachelor and master programmes in the fields of management, environmental science and computer science. Additionally the faculty offers a Liberal Arts & Sciences bachelor program as well as short programmes for professionals (certified professional programs), who aim at gaining more in-depth knowledge. The research program centers on Learning and Innovation in Resilient Systems and is characterized by its multidisciplinary approach. The faculty has a large number of PhD-students who conduct research on various current topics within this research program. As a result of the interdisciplinary focus on education and research, as well as the close link with practice, work at this faculty provides innovative and challenging opportunities.

Department of Science
The Department of Science at the Open University of the Netherlands is an ambitious interdisciplinary group focused on sustainability issues. The group wants to contribute to the resolution of societal problems through excellent research and learning programmes, with focus points in Integrated Environmental Modelling (Chair prof. Stefan Dekker) and Environmental Policy (Chair prof. Dave Huitema). The academic degree programmes of this Department have received the highest accolades in the country in this domain for years. The Department has similarly high ambitions in the realm of research, as witnessed by its research program on “Resilience, Learning and Innovation”. We are looking for candidates who can contribute to the national and international profile of the OU, and who have the qualities to contribute new energy and ideas to our education and research.


  • PhD; Research, development, innovation; Education
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • AT/FAC/MST/19012


The Open Universiteit (OU)

Learn more about this employer


Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT, Heerlen

View on Google Maps

Interessant voor jou