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  3. Phd Governance & Policy Making - KITLV-KNAW/USM

Phd Governance & Policy Making - KITLV-KNAW/USM

Project Description Driven by the increasing public awareness of the impact of hurricanes and the devastation of coastal areas, Island(er)s at the Helm will …

28 dagen geleden


Reuvensplaats, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Project Description
Driven by the increasing public awareness of the impact of hurricanes and the devastation of coastal areas, Island(er)s at the Helm will contribute to equipping (Dutch) Caribbean societies with proficient tools for confronting these challenging climatic phenomena. Such adverse events have significant ecological, social, and cultural implications, affecting the basic living conditions (water, food, shelter-nexus/WFS-nexus) and heritage of the island inhabitants. This research builds on the principle that local-specific practices and ontologies of Caribbean societies are crucial for promoting sustainable WFS-nexus solutions. The project brings together researchers and societal partners to employ a mixture of technical, traditional, and contemporary knowledge practices for studying climate change adaptation through a long-term perspective. Five inter-related work packages studying the WFS-nexus of the island(er)s will adopt a transdisciplinary research design including: archaeology, paleoecology, (paleo)ethnobotany, social-cultural anthropology, visual arts, performance arts, political science, urban design, urban planning, governance and policy sciences, legal studies, architecture, and civil engineering.

Island(er)s at the Helm is financed by the NWO Caribbean Research programme. The host institute for this project is the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV/KNAW), in collaboration with the University of St. Martin (USM) and the University of Curaçao (UoC). This position consists of a dual appointment at the USM and an academic institute in The Netherlands (where graduation will take place).

Job Description
The Island(er)s at the Helm project is looking for a PhD candidate in Governance & Policy Making, in the work package “A co-creative approach to policy development and sustainable knowledge practices”. The objective of this package is to develop a co-creative approach that will advance a transformative policy roadmap enabling the island(er)s to socially adapt their existing WFS-nexus to climate challenges which are in line with SDGs 4, 6, and 11. Throughout the entire process, the researchers trained in political science, political anthropology, and governance and policy making, will be working with representatives of GOs, NGOs, and grassroots organizations to guarantee that the cultural heritage and contemporary ways of being of the island(er)s forms an integral part of the policy roadmap. In developing the co-creative approach with the various aforementioned stakeholders, researchers will facilitate policy prioritization in order to reconcile or overcome trade-offs and identify synergies amongst practices and solutions to make the WFS-nexus more socially and ecologically sound. The PhD candidate in Governance & Policy Making will develop the contours of the conceptual framework of the approach, based on a systematic review (PRISMA), of relevant literature in fields of Political Ecology, Policy Transfer and Diffusion, Participatory Policy-Making, Anthropology, and Critical Legal Studies as these specifically relate to the Dutch Caribbean, wider Kingdom of The Netherlands legislation, and the attainment of the SDGs. In doing so formal and informal power relations between actors at multiple levels of governance influencing current WFS-nexus will be revealed, as well as possible forms of collaborative action and policies necessary to adapt the current WFS-nexus to climate challenges.

First, a thorough analysis will be performed of the specific policy contexts and settings where the WFS-nexus can be improved. In the analysis the SDGs will be included. Second, intensive group dialogues will be organized to inform the key stakeholders about the findings and the importance of the SDGs for the improvement of the WFS-nexus. These meetings will also be used to allow the stakeholders an appreciation of each other’s institutional needs and wants. Third, (renewed) trust and recognition between these stakeholders will lead to joint actions to improve cross-sector resource dependencies and alleviate legal bottlenecks. Fourth, policy roadmaps will be co-developed with the stakeholders to socially adapt the WFS nexus to the existing climate challenges and the SDGs.


We are looking for candidates with at least the following qualifications:

  • MA or MSc degree in Political Sciences or a related disciplines;
  • An excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing, and structured writing skills in general.

Furthermore, the following qualifications would be considered a plus:

  • Have the ability to work independently, as well as in collaboration with a diverse team of researchers and (non-)academic stakeholders and local communities;
  • Be knowledgeable about policies of climate change in small island states;
  • Have at least four years’ work experience or conducting research in the English speaking part of the Dutch Kingdom;
  • Command of Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, Caribbean creole English and/or Haitian Kreyol/Guadeloupian Creole.


Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement of Sint Maarten. We offer a full time position for one year starting September 2021. Extension of the contract is subjected to satisfactory review. The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with VSNU standards. USM offers an attractive benefits package with 15 days of paid holiday and social insurances.

Additional information

For more information on this position, to request the full Island(er)s at the Helm research proposal or receive the NWO application template we expect you to use, please send an e-mail to applications@kitlv.nl

Diversity & Inclusion
The KNAW considers a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated of great importance. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would therefore like to invite candidates who want to contribute to this through their background and experience. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to the candidate who thus enhances diversity within the Academy.

We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.


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