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PhD position in governance of urban food transformation – VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2022

The Netherlands

PhD position is available from master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies, Innovation Studies, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science, or one of the Health or Life Sciences with an interest in policy and governance at VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2022

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General Info

Deadline to Apply: Expired
Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Eligibility (Gender):
Eligibile Nationals: All Nationals
Research Field: , , , , , ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 18 Months

Faculty of Science

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), the Netherlands

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Qualification Details

  • is a graduate in, for example, Science and Technology Studies, Innovation Studies, Public Administration, Sociology, Political Science or one of the Health or Life Sciences, preferably in an interdisciplinary subject with a focus on the role of knowledge in policy processes on complex social issues or knowledge cocreation. Candidates with experience in related fields integrating social sciences and natural sciences may also apply
  • has an affinity with action research and with the dynamics between civil society organizations, knowledge institutions and policy practice
  • has knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods and is open to (or has experience with) transdisciplinary research methods
  • has a proven ability to work well in interdisciplinary teams (listening, flexible, adaptive, proactive)
  • has good organizational and communicative skills
  • excellent verbal and writing skills in English
  • command of the Dutch language is a plus, but not a requirement

Responsibilities/Job Description

Europe’s urban areas face significant challenges to ensure the availability and consumption of healthy, affordable, safe and sustainably produced food. The number of overweight or obese European citizens is rising at an alarming rate, resulting in a high incidence of diet-related health problems. Additionally, small-scale farmers, fishers and workers involved in harvesting and processing, continue to struggle to earn a living wage. Furthermore, current dietary patterns and the wider organization of the food system are associated with significant environmental challenges with negative effects on ecosystems and greenhouse gas emissions. These challenges converge within local food environments. Promising initiatives taken to change the architecture of food choice often fail to become embedded in the multi-level governance context and to reach deprived and vulnerable groups. Key factors responsible for this are siloed ways of working and fragmentation of empirical knowledge on facilitators of, and barriers to, transformation of urban food systems, which hinder the development and implementation of integrated urban food policies.

FOODCLIC, a large project funded by the European Commission, will address the above challenges. The project will create strong science-policy-practice interfaces across eight European city-regions of Barcelona, Spain; Berlin, Germany; Braşov, Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Aarhus, Denmark; Lisbon, Portugal; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Lucca, Italy (in total 45 towns and cities). The backbone of such interfaces will be provided by Food Policy Networks, which will organise Living Labs to build a policy relevant evidence base through learning-in-action in real-life interventions. Capacity-building and direct support for intensive multi-stakeholder engagement will enable policy actors and urban planners across partner city-regions to develop continuously evolving integrated urban food policies and render planning frameworks food-sensitive.

  • Conducting methodologically innovative, transdisciplinary scientific research on the governance of urban food system transformation;
  • Conducting a systematic literature review for theoretical and conceptual deepening;
  • Designing your PhD research proposal within the framework of the FOODCLIC project in collaboration with your VU supervisors;
  • Designing and training interactive methods, such as multistakeholder dialogue sessions aimed at problem articulation and the joint development of solutions, followed by concrete actions and their management;
  • Providing methodological support to coordinators of the participating Food Policy Networks
  • Writing Englishlanguage research articles that will be submitted to international scientific journals for peer-review and will culminate in a scientific dissertation;
  • Writing Dutchlanguage, informative articles for policymakers on the results of the research;
  • Teaching (up to 40% of the appointment) in the courses provided by the Athena Institute.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: -

Application Procedure

Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter

About the

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About the Department/Section/Group

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute’s mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena’s research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. The section presently has a position vacant for a Postdoc/Lecturer.

For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website.

About the Employer: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), the Netherlands

Note or Other details

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2.443 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,122 (PhD)The appointment is initially for 18 months with the possibility of extension if the work is satisfactory. The maximum duration of the appointment is 6 years. It is possible to obtain the Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO).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),
  • possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave,
  • child daycare facilities available on campus.

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Contact details

Name: Dr. Evelien de Hoop
Position: Universitair Docent
E-mail: [email protected]

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