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Postdoc position on Water and Climate Governance in Deltas (1.0 FTE)


Utrecht University has opened a Postdoctoral Researcher position in the field of Water and Climate Governance in Deltas with a focus on pathways towards sustainable and future-proof Deltas worldwide.

The Postdoc will work for the hub Water, Climate & Future Deltas within UU’s strategic theme ‘Pathways to Sustainability’. In the hub, researchers from varying disciplines at Utrecht University cooperate with external partners to design and evaluate pathways to sustainable delta development. The hub will provide policy makers and delta managers with the essential scientific basis for informed decision-making on pathways towards sustainable deltas. The Postdoctoral Researcher will carry out cutting-edge inter- and trans-disciplinary research, where the contribution of the Postdoc focuses on the strengthening of governance capacities and their role in the development of transformative pathways. The concern for transformation is twofold: it covers both the governance of societal transformations towards more sustainable deltas and the transformation of governance that is needed to achieve this far-reaching aim. The project focuses on three dimensions of governance of societal transformations: (a) politics (actors and the interaction processes); polity (institutional rules of the game); and policy (visioning, goals and means). The geographical scope of the work is global and might include the deltas of the Rhine-Meuse; Mississippi; and Mekong. Besides carrying out original research, the Postdoctoral Researcher will initiate new research lines and foster cooperation within the hub.

In addition, the Postdoctoral Researcher will play a coordinating role in initiating new water governance research within the Environmental Governance Section, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, where the Postdoc will be based. Activities include the formation of research consortia, being the co-author of proposals for competitive calls for funding and playing a coordinating role in the application process.


We seek a highly motivated candidate whose research profile clearly focuses on water governance. In particular, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • you hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, e.g. Environmental Governance, Political Sciences, Human Geography or Public Administration;
  • your research profile clearly shows an interest in water and climate governance, in particular related to deltas;
  • you have a good publication record in international scientific journals and a promising pipeline of not yet published papers;
  • your track record shows a clear interest in doing fieldwork in different world regions, both in the Global North and the Global South;
  • you have excellent organizing and coordination skills;
  • you have excellent English writing skills;
  • you have affinity with cutting edge qualitative research methods (e.g. case-studies; focus group research; forecasting and  scenario development) as well as inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation.  


We offer a Postdoc position (1.0 FTE) for the duration of 2 years. In case of good performance and availability of funding, an extension with another 2 years is possible. The gross monthly salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,709 and €4,274 (scale 10 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % of annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % of annual salary per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht. More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, colleagues from various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Sustainability, Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, and Life Sciences.


Utrecht University has been ranked in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities as the best university in the Netherlands, and as one of the leading research universities in Europe. Utrecht University’s sustainability research has the greatest citation impact worldwide according to a study conducted by Times Higher Education (2016). The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands.


Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organized in four departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning, Physical Geography, and the Department of Sustainable Development. The research of this Department is organized in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.  

The Copernicus Institute is part of the Faculty of Geosciences. The Copernicus Institute has been evaluated in a 2014 international review as the highest ranked research institute in environmental sciences in the Netherlands. Since then, the institute has intensified its efforts in maintaining its leading position, among others by investing in several new international faculty appointments and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes. The Environmental Governance group within the Copernicus Institute is a vibrant international team of about 50 researchers at Utrecht University which has Water and Climate Governance as one of its focus areas.


In the hub Water, Climate and Future Deltas researchers from varying disciplines at Utrecht University cooperate with external partners to design and evaluate pathways to sustainable delta development. The hub will provide policy makers and delta managers with the essential scientific basis for informed decision-making on pathways towards sustainable deltas.

Aanvullende informatie
More information can be obtained from Dr. Dries Hegger, via

To apply please attach:
  • a letter of application which describes your motivation and qualifications.
  • a one-page document stating how your expertise and innovative ideas would contribute to the activities of the hub ‘Water, Climate and Future Deltas’ and to the activities related to Water Governance of the Environmental Governance Section of the Copernicus Institute.
  • your curriculum vitae and a list of publications.
  • and the names and addresses of two referees.

You can apply by using the button below.

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