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Four PhD positions: Integrated analysis of sustainable development goals (1.0 FTE)

Our Faculty of Geosciences is looking for motivated Researchers for the PICASSO research project.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


In 2015, the world agreed upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate poverty, improve well-being and maintain the stability of the Earth's biophysical life support systems. Achieving these goals will require a fundamental transformation of today’s society. At the moment, however, it is not easy to visualize this transformation. The PICASSO project – funded by the EU European Research Council – will use the IMAGE integrated assessment model to develop and explore scenarios for meeting the full set of SDGs. These scenarios will explore different routes to achieve the SDGs and possible synergies and trade-offs.

For the research team that will perform the ambitious PICASSO project, Utrecht University is searching for four PhDs Researchers. While the team will focus on the full set of SDGs, each PhD will be working on a cluster of different topics relevant in the context of meeting the set of SDGs which would be either: 1) sustainable agriculture development and protection of biodiversity, 2) human health in relation to sustainable development, 3) economic stability and investment needs, 4) sustainable consumption patterns and resource use. The team will collaborate with the IMAGE integrated assessment modeling team at PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Utrecht University. IMAGE is one of the world’s leading models in exploring climate policy and sustainable development strategies. The model describes the interaction between the human and earth system, including land and energy use and the possible environmental impacts.


We are looking for motivated Researchers who are willing to participate in the PICASSO research project for a period of four years. We expect you - as a new PICASSO-team member - to have a Master's study in environmental and sustainable development studies, or more specifically in the fields mentioned above, but with an interest in how to link these to sustainable development.
In your research, you will focus on a specific cluster of topics with the overall SDG agenda. This cluster will be one of the following five options:

1) agriculture and land use;
2) human health;
3) economic development;
4) sustainable consumption patterns and resource use

You are required to have a background in quantitative analysis, and modelling in particular (experience with working in Python is helpful). Researchers will have to be fluent in English and be excellent team players.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for a period of four years. The gross salary ranges between €2,395 in the first year and €3,061 in year 4 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact: Prof Detlef P. van Vuuren (Professor), via d.p.vanvuuren@uu.nl or +31 6 11 95 64 84.