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Postdoc in Human Rights and the Water-Food-Shelter-nexus - KITLV-KNAW - Leiden

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 …

2 maanden geleden


Reuvensplaats, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
7 uur
€ 670 - € 720 per maand


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 (UVI@USM).

Job Description
The Island(er)s at the Helm project is looking for a Postdoctoral candidate in Human Rights and the Water-Food-Shelter-nexus in the work package “Co-engineering the water-food-shelter-nexus with local stakeholders”.

The objectives of this research are twofold:

  1. the embedding of human rights in the overall design of the Island(ers) at the Helm research program, and
  2. a critical mapping and assessment of the existing WFS-nexus on the islands.

These objectives contribute to the overall purpose of Island(er)s at the Helm, namely, finding sustainable and inclusive solutions for social adaptation to climate challenges.

Firstly, the PD will be concerned with the human rights requirements for the co-creative aspects of the overall research (in all 4 work packages). The PD will assist in identifying normative requirements for participation and co-creation which the PhDs in all work packages can utilize throughout the project.

Secondly, the PD will explore the existing WFS-Nexus in the Dutch Caribbean islands from a human rights perspective. The focus will be on the WFS-nexus in its totality. This nexus has correlating human rights, such as the right to an adequate standard of living which includes the rights to food, housing and water. These rights impose the essential standards of availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality. Based on the findings, the PD will create a tailor-made and satisfactory legal design for the WFS-nexus for the islands.


  • PhD degree in law, with a specialization in human rights in relation to sustainable development and/or water management, housing and/or food ways;
  • Experience with stakeholder engagement in research;
  • Experiences in working in interdisciplinary research teams;
  • Command of the English language, both in speaking and writing, and structured writing skills in general;
  • Comprehension of Papiamento, Dutch, and Spanish, alongside Caribbean creole English; Haitian Kreyol is considered a plus.


KITLV is a KNAW institute. Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten).

We offer a part time (0,2 fte) position (7,6 hours per week) for four years starting in January 2022.

Based on the university system of job classification [universitair systeem functieordenen, or UFO], the position is classified as job profile Post-doctoral Researcher [Onderzoeker 4].

The gross monthly salary will be based on experience and will be between €670 and €720 (in accordance with salary scale 10, of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

KNAW offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %) and training and career development. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. In case the applicant is not currently a resident of The Netherlands, the applicant is expected to move.

Additional information

For more information on this position 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.