PostDoc (2-3 years*) on Quantifying Dutch Historical Sustainability Trade-offs

Updated: 13 days ago
Deadline: 31 Mar 2024


(Post-doctoral) Researcher

Irène Curie Fellowship



Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences

Reference number


Job description

Are you fascinated by sustainability issues created by Dutch import of natural resources and how these came about? You could be our Postdoc who analyses transnational sustainability trade-offs. Are you enthusiastic about combining long term historical insights with contemporary sustainability challenges then apply for this Postdoc position at the TU/e in collaboration with Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Job Description

How should we understand the immense effects in global sustainability trade-offs of the Netherlands? The huge Dutch imports of raw materials and goods have been causing profound impacts in economic, social, and ecological developments elsewhere on the planet. These trade-offs have historical origins. Your postdoc research is part of the Sustainability Trade-offs in the Netherlands’ Entangled Modernisation 1900-2020 project, funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO.

You will study how transnational production chains developed and how these mutually changed the social, economic, and environmental relations both in the Netherlands and abroad, from the nineteenth century onwards. Your tasks are to explore metrics and measurement systems to assess sustainability trade-offs of Dutch global trade from 1900 to the present. Databases on material flows and sustainability developments in the entangled regions will be developed in consultation with experts from Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Your in-depth analysis allows you to elaborate on temporalities in regional shifts and interregional interdependencies. An assessment of sustainability developments can be based on the approach of sustainability and wellbeing monitors developed by CBS. In conjunction with other researchers in the STONEM project you will perform in dept analyses on localized case studies on extraction and production of edible oils and metals.  

In the STONEM program you will collaborate with scholars at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) and Utrecht University (UU), Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and other partners in the STONEM research program . As a postdoc from TUe you will partly be a ‘researchers in residence’ at CBS. Here you will get inhouse training and access to relevant contemporary data resources.

At TUe you will work in the multidisciplinary environment of the Technology Innovation and Society (TIS) research group . Your project will connect to ongoing research on global sustainability histories at the Eindhoven History Lab , transitions studies and development studies at TIS; agricultural transition and global history of the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group of Wageningen University. At Utrecht University your insight connect to economic and social history   and ongoing research on Deep Transitions in The Netherlands of Utrecht Center for Global Challenges . Together with our societal partners your results become visible in (inter)national policy realms on international trade and sustainable developments. 

Job requirements
  • Motivated researcher, with a PhD in economic and/or social history, history of technology, environmental history, innovation sciences, transition studies, digital humanities or a comparable domain.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, reflected in demonstrable outputs.
  • Familiarity with and engagement in quantitative research methods
  • Engagement with historical (non-digital) data resources.
  • A team player who enjoys coaching PhD’s and Master's students and working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary team.
  • A proven ability to manage complex projects to completion on schedule.
  • Excellent (written and verbal) proficiency in English, good communication and leadership skills.
  • Basic knowledge of Dutch language and/or willingness to learn this is advantageous.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job at a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central railway station. In addition, we offer you:

  • (*) Full-time employment for 2 years, or Part-time with a minimum of 24 hours a week and an extended contract period up to a maximum of 3 years and 3 months.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (min. € 3.877,- max. €5.090). Salary scaling is depending on years of experience.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager Frank Veraart, assistant professor, [email protected]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Hanneke Huijs-Palmen, HR Advisor, [email protected]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page .


We invite you to submit a complete application using the apply-button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Proof of writing (i.e. self-selected ‘best publication’ or parts of it).
  • Research plan, short description of your envisioned research ideas, methodological approaches an planning.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible.

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