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PhD Human-Climate Feedbacks at different spatial-temporal scales

Would you like to empower citizens, stakeholders and decision-makers in taking climate-smart decisions that are informed by a solid scientific evidence base through developing innovative climate services? Do you enjoy interdisciplinary research in an international academic team? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

ongeveer een maand geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


The PhD project will focus on exploring how adaptation actions based on climate change information can lead to different planning decisions and consequently different climate-resilience pathways achieving a zero-emission pathway by 2050. This project investigates the reciprocal effects and feedbacks between climate change, climate information and services, socio-economic behaviour and adaptation measure in the context of different multiple and consecutive hazards (e.g. floods after droughts and vice versa), with the aim to support decision-makers by demonstrating the effects of decisions on different sectors, decision pathways and lock-in conditions.

Your duties

  • developing a multi-hazard framework to characterise the competing hypotheses about the causal links and feedbacks between climate, climate services, socio-economic behaviour, and adaptation actions in different European case studies at multiple spatial-temporal scales;
  • using state-of-the-art statistical methods for analysing large spatial and temporal hazard datasets
  • developing system dynamic (open source) modelling tools for integrating socio-behavioural theories within physical-climate systems and assess the influence of adaptation actions and climate services availability in reaching a resilient future
  • writing a PhD thesis consisting of 4 scientific papers
  • working with colleagues of the project consortium and contributing to project reporting
  • attending international meetings
  • contributing to the teaching and supervising activities at VU Amsterdam


  • MSc degree in the earth, climate, or environmental sciences (or similar); or in data science (or similar) with demonstrable affinity with earth, climate, or environmental sciences
  • knowledge of or interest in natural hazards, risk management, adaptation, water recourses
  • strong interest in interdisciplinary research, combining climate and environmental sciences with social science concepts, methods and data
  • good knowledge of socio-hydrological models and analysis methods of large spatial datasets
  • good programming skills
  • strong collaboration and communication skills to work in a larger multi-disciplinary team and with international partners, including with policymakers, private sector and civil society stakeholders


A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,395 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,061 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalised benefits package

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter by 29 September 2021. The job interviews are planned for 12 October 2021, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Anne van Loon
Position: Associate Professor
E-mail: anne.van.loon@vu.nl
Website: www.ivm.vu.nl

Name: Dr Marije Schaafsma
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: m.schaafsma@vu.nl

Name: Dr Maurizio Mazzoleni
Position: Assistant Professor
E-mail: maurizio.mazzoleni@geo.uu.se

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