PhD position: Economic values of nature-based solutions for climate change risk

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you keen to contribute to increasing climate-resilience in various regions in Europe? Would you like to study the economic values, attitudes and incentives of different actors towards nature-based solutions to achieve climate-resilience, and the (financial) incentives that are required to implement these solutions? Then you could be the ideal PhD candidate to join our team! Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 1

Job description

The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) has a new full-time four-year position for a doctoral (PhD) researcher in the field of environmental economics. You will become part of a new 4-year interdisciplinary research programme (ARCADIA) funded by Horizon Europe, which aims to develop change-pathways to increase climate resilience of EU regions by means of implementing nature-based solutions.

This PhD project will be supervised by Prof. Wouter Botzen and Dr Mark Koetse. Within this project we use a mixed methods approach, and your main research tasks are: 

  • develop and conduct semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in 5 EU regions to identify key climate-related vulnerabilities at the regional level, and address barriers to and leverage points for implementation of nature-based solutions (NBS) for climate-resilience
  • develop a survey and a choice experiment in 5 EU regions to elicit attitudes, preferences and economic values for nature-based solutions among citizens and businesses
  • analyse survey and choice experiment data, and use findings to develop (1) region-specific behavioural-change strategies towards NBS acceptance, and (2) financial strategies for NBS adoption
  •  An important part of the project is co-design of research and co-creation of knowledge with a wide variety of consortium partners from various EU regions. An inter- or multidisciplinary background and good communication skills are therefore important assets. 

    Your duties

    • publish research results in international peer-reviewed journals and policy-oriented journals, culminating in a PhD dissertation at the end of the project
    • teach and supervise Bachelor and Master students (to be discussed) 
    • contribute to EU project meetings and some project tasks, such as organising workshops

    Requirements and assets
    • prerequisite: an MSc in (environmental) economics or a related social science discipline
    • prerequisite: quantitative analytical skills
    • prerequisite: good communication skills in English and one other European language
    • asset: interest in mixed methods approaches and having a multidisciplinary background
    • asset: a demonstrable research interest in one or more of the following themes/methods: experimental and behavioural economics, economics of ecosystem services, payments for ecosystem services, economics of nature-based solutions 
    • asset: experience in teaching and MSc/BSc supervision

    What are we offering?

    A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,770 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,539 (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 1 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

    About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

    The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

    We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

    The Faculty of Science
    Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.

    About the institute
    Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high-quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).
    The department of Environmental Economics (EE) leads the institute’s efforts in improving insights into the interaction between the environment and the economy. The department is one of the main groups of environmental economists in Europe, consisting of around 35 scientific staff and PhD researchers. The department strategy is to consolidate and further strengthen its position as a major player in the European field of environmental economics. Important fields of application include climate change, energy, circular economy, water, ecosystem services, and environmental and natural resource management. The philosophy of the EE department is to closely integrate its research projects with its teaching programme and to initiate and conduct research jointly with stakeholders and collaborating institutes. In the coming years, the EE department will further explore new research fields related to climate economics, economics of sustainable energy, and economics of natural capital.


    Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter by 

    1 November 2023

    . The job interviews are planned for 10 November 2023, so please take this into account when applying for the position.

    Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

    Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

    Name: Dr Mark Koetse
    Position: Associate Professor
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Website: /ivm  

    No agencies

    Similar Positions