PhD Candidate in Cohesive Climate Adaptation Measures in Dutch Rural Regions

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Radboud University


Are you an aspiring researcher with a passion for climate change mitigation? Then join us as a PhD candidate and contribute towards developing and applying a framework to assess the societal impacts of climate adaptation measures. Your research will help determine an appropriate set of climate adaptation measures and novel solutions to tackle the future impacts of climate change.

Climate change will have major impacts on rural areas, on the people who live and work there, on agriculture, and on nature. Moreover, these areas are also confronted with other transition challenges: sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and restoration of biodiversity. Much is still uncertain.

As a PhD Candidate you will develop and apply a framework to assess the societal impacts of climate adaptation measures addressing future impacts on human and ecosystem health in connection with other transition challenges. This assessment framework will build on the Natural Capital Model, which scales from local to national scale through a consistent set of cost-benefit models addressing both economic and ecosystem services. This framework will be extended given regional challenges, measures and stakeholder needs, searching for a more optimal set of measures with specific attention to vulnerable people and ecosystems. This novel framework will be applied with stakeholders in selected regions to determine an appropriate set of climate adaptation measures and novel solutions to tackle future impacts of climate change. In your position as a PhD Candidate, you will:
- develop a spatial assessment framework based on social cost-benefits analysis including economic and ecosystem services;
- apply this framework in the selected regions to find more optimal solutions given the various costs and benefits;
- explore the relevance of qualitative assessments of societal impacts of climate adaptation;
- identify novel solutions in addressing climate adaptation in connection with other transition challenges (e.g. in the sectors of energy, agriculture and biodiversity) and upscale these effects to regional and national levels.

The PhD project is embedded within the larger transdisciplinary now-funded MANTRA project, which will co-create data, assessments, measures and interventions for healthy climate adaptation in three rural living labs. As a PhD Candidate on this project you will be expected to write a PhD thesis, publish first-author papers, and present your work at conferences and workshops. You will collaborate closely with another PhD candidate and a postdoctoral researcher on the same project.


  • You have (or are about to complete) a Master's degree in environmental sciences, geosciences, or another relevant field.
  • You have knowledge of climate adaptation, natural capital, human health and spatial modelling.
  • You have knowledge of economic valuation methods and societal cost-benefit analyses.
  • You have demonstrable experience with GIS, preferably PCRaster, Python, R or Git.
  • You like to engage in transdisciplinary research, collaborating with researchers from across disciplines and societal actors.
  • You are able to work with all standard office software.
  • You are able to work independently and as part of a team, have good organisation and writing skills, and are fluent in both English and Dutch.


You will be part of the Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). The research will be executed in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) in The Hague. The majority of the work will be concentrated at RIVM. 

ISiS is an interdisciplinary research institute within the Faculty of Science, whose aim is to encourage the societal and philosophical reflection on science through dialogue and collaboration between the various research institutes of the faculty. Its mission is to analyse, assess and improve the societal embedding of new developments in science and technology through research, education and outreach, and to understand how society is shaping science and vice versa. The project supervisors will be Prof. Bram Bregman (ISiS and PBL) and Dr Ton de Nijs (RIVM).

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Meer informatie

For questions about the position, please contact Bram Bregman, Extrodinary Professor at (+31) 6 250 231 23 or Alternatively, you can contact Ton de Nijs, Associate Professor at