PhD position with the Resilient Ecosystems and Flourishing Communities

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 26 Sep 2023

29 Aug 2023
Job Information

Leiden University
Research Field

Cultural studies
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

26 Sep 2023 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Leiden University College The Hague at Leiden University would like to announce an exciting opportunity for a dedicated researcher (and teacher). We are now accepting applications for a fully-funded, four-year PhD position as part of the Resilient Ecosystems and Flourishing Communities (REFloC) project.

REFloC draws from the disciplines of economics, sociology, public health, sustainability science, and law. Our mission? To delve into the heart of the vulnerabilities of Forest Dependent Communities (FDCs) using Ghana as a case study to discover innovative conceptual, methodological, and policy solutions. Climate change has necessitated a global focus on sustainability, and our research will explore the meanings of lands and forests as conduits for the mutual development of humans and the environment.

The project aims to achieve four main objectives:

  • To explore the meanings of place-based assemblages (including lands and forests) in rural and peri-urban communities through the mapping of vulnerabilities and assessment of strategies for FDCs.
  • To develop a model or framework for the co-becoming of humans and forests in rural and peri-urban communities.
  • To develop sustainable development toolkits with both communities and policymakers to promote the resilience and flourishing of such communities.
  • To develop educational toolkits for interdisciplinary and decolonial teaching.
  • Carve Your Niche

    While our project has broad goals, we understand the importance of individual passion and expertise. We will therefore shape the core focus of this PhD position in collaboration with the selected candidate, offering the opportunity to be part of a project with real-world impact.

    This is an invitation to join a vibrant team of multi-disciplinary scholars based in the Netherlands and Ghana.

    Your Role and Responsibilities

    As our PhD candidate, you will work closely with Dr Davina Osei, Dr Ahmed Abubakari and Dr Jyothi Thrivikraman to deliver the following:

    • Make significant contributions to the conceptualization, methodology, and data management of our project
    • Develop your own PhD project within the REFloC research program, culminating in a doctoral thesis
    • Participate actively in team meetings and project events
    • Produce impactful scholarly works for top international peer-reviewed journals
    • Present key findings at scientific conferences and stakeholder meetings, both national and international
    • Contribute to project deliverables, including content creation for our website and social media platforms
    • Offer mentorship to Bachelor's students affiliated with the project
    • Fulfil teaching commitments in our Bachelor program Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges (0.2 FTE of a full-time appointment per year for the 4-year duration of the PhD).

    Specific Requirements

    Your Profile

    We're seeking a motivated individual who not only possesses robust research skills and relevant interests (see below) but also a direct understanding of poverty. Such understanding might come from personal experiences (broadly defined) or from working closely with impoverished communities. We believe that this intimate familiarity will be an asset in delivering the project’s objectives.

    Detailed Profile Requirements

    • A successfully completed master’s degree in economics, political science, public policy, public health, sociology, development studies, environmental/sustainability science or a closely related social science field;
    • Knowledge of the history, politics and/or socio-economic issues in Ghana
    • Knowledge and curiosity about poverty, well-being or development studies
    • Good training in social science research methods;
    • Either strong quantitative research skills with proficiency in Stata or other statistical software packages, such as R, SAS, SPSS, OR strong qualitative research skills: with a willingness/desire to learn the other.
    • Additional skills in social network analysis or Advanced GIS are an advantage;
    • Proficiency in written and spoken English; fluency in any of the Ghanaian languages spoken in the middle and northern belts of Ghana is an advantage;
    • Ability to present their work to both academic and professional audiences;
    • Excellent social skills and ability to work constructively in an international/intercultural team;
    • Committed to contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment;
    • Ability to work in a highly independent, organized and result-oriented fashion;

    Let's work together to create a future where both humans and nature thrive.

    Additional Information

    Terms and conditions
    The appointment as a PhD candidate will be for a period of four years. Initially for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of progress and skills development, leading to the successful completion of a PhD thesis.

    The starting date is 15 January 2024. The salary is set at € 2.770,- in the first year, increasing to € 3.539,- gross per month in the final year, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.

    Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

    All our PhD candidates are embedded in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs (FGGA) Graduate School. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training, and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

    You will also be able to follow the BKO training offered at the Faculty level (leading to the attainment of a University Teaching Qualification) should you wish to do so.

    Leiden University, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, and Leiden University College are strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups.

    Selection process

    Please submit online your application no later than 26th September 2023 via the blue button in our application system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents in PDF format, quoting the vacancy number.

    • A one-page motivation letter;
    • A maximum two-page research proposal indicating your research focus for the PhD;
    • Grade list/transcript from previous education programmes followed and completed;
    • Curriculum vitae;
    • A writing sample showcasing your research and writing skills (master’s thesis or other publication if applicable);
    • The names and contact details of three potential referees (no actual recommendation letters are required at this stage).

    Shortlisted candidates will likely be interviewed in the first week of October 2023. Interviews will take place in The Hague or online.

    Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

    Additional comments

    Enquiries can be made to Dr. Davina Osei, via [email protected]

    Website for additional job details

    Work Location(s)
    Number of offers available
    Universiteit Leiden
    The Hague
    Postal Code
    The Hague

    Where to apply



    Rapenburg 70
    Postal Code

    2311 EZ


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