This 4-year fully-funded PhD position is part of the ERC Starting Grant project “Scaling up behavior and autonomous adaptation for macro models of climate change damage assessment (SCALAR)”. The SCALAR-research program is made possible thanks to a 1.5 million euro personal grant from the European Research Council.
Damage associated with climate change is a core benchmark in science and policy. Yet, global damage assessments are criticized for neglecting risk distribution, adaptation dynamics beyond top-down public protection, and resilience of communities, cities and regional economies. Micro-level social science studies contain substantial knowledge on individual behavior, decisions under risk and autonomous climate adaptation, and go beyond monetary losses by focusing on resilience. This knowledge can ameliorate theoretical and empirical flaws in current macro assessments, if adequate scaling up methods were to exist. SCALAR aims to connect micro and macro research traditions by modeling the behavioral aspects of autonomous adaptation processes of heterogeneous agents, and integrating them into macro level climate policy models. By focusing on floods, the project revisits the classic micro-macro aggregation problem in social sciences. The SCALAR research program consists of three phases. The current PhD position falls under the first phase, which focuses on the micro level of individual households and the dynamic process of their climate adaptation decisions to floods in coastal and delta cities worldwide.
The successful candidate will work within the SCALAR research team to explore relationships between behavioral factors, different types of individual adaptation decisions and socio-economic resilience over time. Detailed data on how various behavioral biases of heterogeneous individuals impact adaptation decisions will be gathered using multi-wave surveys. During this 4-year long project, the PhD student will study whether and how feedbacks between heterogeneity, adaptation, resilience and damages play out differently in the context of different countries. The PhD student will contribute to organizing an international workshop on the topic, and to designing the conceptual model that will lay the foundations for a large-scale agent-based model (to be developed by another team member). Close collaborations with University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and New York University (USA) are foreseen.
A candidate should ideally have:
- a Master’s degree in Psychology, Economics or Environmental Studies;
- training in quantitative social research methods;
- knowledge of statistics and capacity to perform data analysis;
- previous experience with designing questionnaires, choice experiments, and carrying out surveys is beneficial;
- domain knowledge in the field of climate change adaptation, or flood risks assessment, or environmental psychology/environmental economics in general is an advantage;
- fluent written and spoken English;
- independent research and publication skills.
Starting date: September 1st 2018. First reviews and interviews will start on May 31st 2018 and during the WCERE Congress in Gothenburg in Sweden June 26-28 (www.wcere2018.org/). The position will remain open until filled.
For more information on this position please contact
To apply for this position, please fill in the online application form including (1) your motivation letter, (2) your CV (with the contact details of 2 referees) and (3) a list of publications (if applicable). You may also wish to go directly to www.utwente.nl/vacatures/ and select the current position from the list.
The first interviews will take place on May 31st – June 1st 2018 and during the WCERE Congress in Gothenburg in Sweden June 26-28 (www.wcere2018.org/ ).
This research project will start on September 1st 2018.
As a PhD candidate you will be appointed on a full-time basis for a period of four years. The gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2.222,- in the first year to € 2.840,- in the final year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition to the attractive salary that comes with generous social security benefits, the position offers the tuition waiver and the conference travel budget. Our Graduate Research School provides a structured PhD program (clear planning, supervision agreements and career development and support). The successful candidate will work directly with Prof. Tatiana Filatova and will have a chance to collaborate with other PhDs and PostDocs within her ERC SCALAR project, the CSTM Department and the international colleagues leading in this domain.