PhD position: Politics and consequences of market-based instruments for forest ecosystem services in Europe

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Wageningen University & Research


Are you an enthusiastic scholar in the field of social sciences and/or inter- disciplinary environmental and natural resource studies? Are you interested in exploring and understanding the potential (and limitations) of market-based instruments in forested landscapes? Then this could be the ideal PhD position for you!

This PhD position at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group is embedded in the European collaborative research project INTERCEDE. INTERCEDE focuses on market based instruments (MBI) in forest landscapes in Europe: Forest do provide multiple ecosystem “services” for societies – but different societal groups emphasize different services, resulting in trade-offs. MBI have been promoted as a governance tool to mitigate or resolve these trade-offs, but have also been criticized in the literature, e.g. for commodifying nature. Nevertheless, across Europe, various MBI for forests are in place and new forms are emerging, and MBI are frequently promoted in the European policy arena.

This PhD project aims to empirically assess the functioning of MBI in European forest landscapes. Specifically, your duties and responsibilities include:
  • reviewing the available literature on MBI and develop an own theory informed analytical perspective;
  • conducting an empirical assessment of the (political) settings and functioning/consequences of MBI in different European case studies;
  • collaborating with researchers and practitioners in an international research project, and specifically work closely with economists and natural scientists to understand MBI functioning;
  • disseminating research findings via research papers and presentations;
  • engaging in continuous learning and professional development opportunities;
  • assisting in teaching activities and supervision of students.

You will work here
The research is embedded within the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, which is led by Prof. Georg Winkel. You will be co-supervised by Dr. Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein.


You are a curious person with a genuine passion for the subject of the study. You have strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, and you are highly motivated to contribute to better governance of forest landscapes in Europe and beyond.

You also possess:
  • a successfully completed Master’s degree (before starting the PhD) to a high standard in the field of forest sciences, social sciences and/or inter-disciplinary environmental and natural resource studies;
  • knowledge of the research field and state-of-the-art;
  • strong critical thinking and organizational skills;
  • the capacity to work independently and in a group environment;
  • the ability to manage your time effectively, and set and achieve research goals;
  • proficient written and verbal communication skills in English to articulate research ideas, present findings, and engage in scholarly discussions;
  • keen interest in international research collaboration and inter- or transdisciplinary research.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.


Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3% of annual salary;
  • a holiday allowance of 8% of annual salary;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.
Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.
Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.

Meer informatie

For more information about this position, please contact Georg Winkel, chairholder of FNP, e-mail: georg.winkel@wur.nl

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email: noorien.abbas@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including March 4th 2024. We hope to schedule the job interviews between 11th and 16 of March.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.