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PhD position on assessing the sustainable management and design of the landscape and heritage of the colonies of benevolence

Are you passionate about cultural history in landscapes and working together with local people in the Netherlands? Are you a landscape architect, urban …

3 maanden geleden


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


Are you passionate about cultural history in landscapes and working together with local people in the Netherlands? Are you a landscape architect, urban designer, historical geographer or landscape historian with an interest in analysing the sustainable management and design of the colonies of benevolence, assessing aspects of agricultural transitions, social wellbeing and conducting landscape design? Then this could be your perfect PhD position!

We offer a PhD position on assessing the sustainable management and design of the landscape and heritage of the colonies of benevolence. You will conduct a PhD research that revolves around the rethinking and redesigning of historical landscapes and built environments in the Dutch colonies of benevolence Wilhelminaoord, Frederiksoord and Willemsoord to examine the past and future of the Society of Benevolence as landowner, designer, care-taker, agricultural pioneer and entrepreneur. The colonies were founded in the early 19th century by the Society of Benevolence, that still has an active and important role in the spatial and social transitions of these villages and landscapes.

You will research the past, present and future of the society and the colonies through a landscape-based approach. You will conduct participatory research through design, with the local community in different Living Labs in the Dutch province of Drenthe. You will not only generate designs but you also test them with experts and the local community and you organize the meetings, sketching sessions and communication with them, together with the programme office for this project.

Participation, design and spatiality

At the base of this PhD lies a landscape-based approach to heritage, acknowledging the dynamic relationship between historic objects and their surrounding environment. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognized that heritage encompasses the past and continuing cultural practices that are closely related to these material remains. Heritage values thus pertain to built and non-built spaces in a landscape, and to their formal function and informal use, by residing communities and visitors alike. The planning and design context in which heritage professionals work is therefore increasingly multi-actor and multi-level in character.


  • successfully completed an MSc or MA degree in landscape architecture, urban design, historical geography, human geography or landscape history
  • proven knowledge and skills in architectural history and/ or heritage studies
  • excellent Dutch language proficiency
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page
  • met all the entry requirements of the WUR PhD programme.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • study leave, and 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 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%;
  • 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 € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- 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 16th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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 helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

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. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

Additional information

For more information about this function you can contact Elyze Storms-Smeets, special associate professor, Elyze.storms-smeets@wur.nl

For more information about the procedure you can contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter, edgar.tijhuis@wur.nl

Do you want to apply?

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.

This vacancy is open up to and including August 15th 2021. We want to plan the first interviews on the 27th of August.

Equal opportunities employer

We are an employer that offers equal opportunities. We are happy to receive applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of race, gender, functional impairment, religion / belief, sexual orientation or age. We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.