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PhD - How to make fire prevention enticing

Do you have a genuine interest in landscape fires and resilience? And in developing a new integrated fire management model based on social, economic, cultural …

4 maanden geleden


Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


Do you have a genuine interest in landscape fires and resilience? And in developing a new integrated fire management model based on social, economic, cultural and ecological values?
Are you up for an interdisciplinary challenge, looking and learning beyond your own field and assumptions? With an international team that is inclusive, collaborative, creative and open minded? Then we are looking for you!

15 PhD positions in PyroLife Innovative Training Network on integrated fire management

The 2018 wildfire season was a glimpse of what to expect in the future: deadly mega-fires in Mediterranean regions and high fire activity in temperate and boreal areas outside the typical Spring fire season. We cannot solve this challenge with the old mono-disciplinary approach of fire suppression: there is a critical need to change fire management from fire resistance to landscape resilience: Living with Fire. This requires a new type of diverse experts, who not only understand fire, but who are also able to communicate risks and engage with communities, deal with uncertainty, and link scientific disciplines as well as science and practice.

The new Innovative Training Network PyroLife will train the new generation of interdisciplinary experts in integrated fire management, acknowledging that 1) knowledge transfer from southern Europe (and worldwide) to temperate Europe can support the new generation of experts; and 2) fire risk planning, communication and management can learn from cross-risk lessons including temperate European expertise in water management. In doing so, this project combines how the North solves community problems with the fire knowledge of the European South.

We are hiring 15 PhD candidates across Southern and Northwest Europe and across a range of scientific disciplines, from social sciences and policy to environmental sciences and engineering. We are looking for a diverse group of creative and open minded Early Stage Researchers who are able to link innovative science to society, and communicate with media, stakeholders, and policy makers. These 15 positions are open at 6 universities, 2 research institutes, a foundation and a company across Southern and Northwest Europe. For an overview of all positions, please visit https://pyrolife.lessonsonfire.eu/

Phd Topic description
The objective of this project is to increase the attractiveness of wildfire prevention, by 1) evaluating the potential for using flood and drought risk prevention to improve fire prevention, 2) developing a method to adopt information services in fire prevention, and 3) creating a serious game for policy makers and land managers.

We provide

  • a PhD position in the diverse PyroLife training network together with 14 other PhD candidates that study landscape fire using an integrated approach;
  • a strong, engaging, collaborative and inclusive network of academics and practitioners;
  • the first doctoral training program on integrated fire management worldwide, with research, collaboration and training focused on understanding fire, risk communication, integration across disciplines, scales, sectors, and countries, and personal development;
  • enrolment in a fully-funded PhD program;
  • team up with other PhD students in the network that work in other risk communication topics;
  • research including an applied traineeship that will provide hands-on experience to work with communities located in areas with a high and/or new risk of wildfires;
  • Become part of a dynamic team, that works with and for the fire community and society.


Specific skills
  • ability to (learn how to) perform community engagement;
  • ability to (learn how to) handle large datasets;
  • ability to (learn how to) develop models;
  • ability to adapt to changes and dynamism required by the project.
Specific requirements
  • MSc degree in climate studies, environmental sciences, water or nature management, or a similar field;
  • some experience in handling large datasets and/or model development;
  • some experience in social science research approaches (e.g. through interviews or participatory approaches).
General skills
  • a genuine interest in landscape fire and resilience, and the social, economic, cultural and ecological dimensions involved. Experience with (the management of) fire, forests, water, storms or other risks is appreciated;
  • ambition to obtain a PhD degree, and become a scientific expert able to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services, for social and economic benefit;
  • good communication skills and good proficiency in English (both oral and written);
  • willingness to (learn how to) communicate risk, make inter- and transdisciplinary linkages;
  • willingness to travel including moving to another country for the PhD project, completing two 4-month secondments in Europe or abroad, and travel to international training courses and any fieldwork;
  • ability to function as a team member, work independently and take responsibility for own research goals;
  • meet the mobility and early stage researcher requirements defined for the MSCA-ITN projects.
Mobility and early career requirements
Applicants should comply to the EU rules regarding ITN projects:
(https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-guide-appl-msca-itn_en.pdf). The most important rules are that you should not have a doctoral degree, have obtained your Master degree within the last four years (full-time equivalent research experience) and should not have spent more than 12 months of your time during the last 3 years in The Netherlands.


We offer a full-time position, initially for 18 months after which a go/no go decision will be taken on extension with another 30 months. Gross salary per month € 2.325,-- in the first year, rising to € 2.971,= per month in the fourth year, for a fulltime appointment

  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% fixed-year allowance;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary working conditions;
  • flexible working hours and vacations can in consultation with colleagues be settled so that an optimal balance between work and private is possible;
  • an excellent pension scheme via ABP;
  • 232 holiday hours, the ability to purchase and good supplementary leave arrangements and an individualized model to compose part of your working conditions and a bicycle plan;
  • sports facilities available on the campus;
  • we stimulate internal growth opportunities and mobility with an active and internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a creative learning environment.

Additional information

More details about the role can be obtained by contacting prof. dr. Carolien Kroeze, chair of the Water Systems and Global Change Group, e-mail: carolien.kroeze@wur.nl

For additional information about the process please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, e-mail: edgar.tijhuis@wur.nl

You can apply up to and including 5 December 2019, via the apply button on this page. Submit your motivation letter and CV and use the standard template for the motivation letter. You can find the template at https://pyrolife.lessonsonfire.eu/ . The template outlines four topics we expect you to cover, and that also includes a form to show your eligibility for the program in terms of early stage researcher and mobility requirements.