Doctoral Grant (BOF) in Comparative political ecology of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Nicaragua and Guatemala University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences Belgium

Doctoral Grant (BOF), Comparative political ecology of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Nicaragua and Guatemala


The Institute of Development Policy of the University of Antwerp is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy for a


Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of a Comparative political ecology of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Nicaragua and Guatemala


Your research is situated in the IOB research field of “Development Processes, Actors and Policies”. More specifically, your research focus matches the research line “environment and sustainable development”, and seeks to engage with questions of power and social dynamics pertaining to indigenous peoples, women and/or youth.


Through a comparative analysis of Payments for Ecosystem Services in Nicaragua and Guatemala, you study how these policies become socially embedded, to what extent they succeed or fail to reshape nature-society relations, and how they change resource use behaviour in socially and culturally diverse contexts. More information on the project here.


Job description

  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of development studies.

  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.

  • You contribute to teaching and research at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB).


Profile and requirements

  • You hold a master degree in development studies or in a related social science discipline.

  • You can submit outstanding academic results.

  • Students in the final year of their degree can also apply.

  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.

  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and cooperative.

  • Your research adopts a multidisciplinary methodological perspective, includes fieldwork and preferably uses a combination of qualitative (and, possibly, also quantitative) methods, in accordance with the IOB Research Strategy 2017-2022.

  • You are fluent in English and Spanish.

  • Previous experience with development and/or research processes in the South, and especially in Latin American contexts, is highly valued.

  • You are committed to conducting long-term field work in Guatemala and Nicaragua and are able to handle situations of high contingency where you may have to alter your research design to adjust to changing country conditions.


We offer

  • a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;

  • the start date of scholarship will be October 1st, November 1st or December 1st 2018 or January 1st 2019;

  • a gross monthly grant ranging from € 2.324,20 to € 2.469,08;

  • a dynamic and stimulating work environment.


How to apply?

  • Applications may only be submitted online until the closing date August 12th 2018 and should include a copy of your CV and a cover letter.

  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications.

  • The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.

  • The interviews of the candidates, preselected by a selection panel, will take place from August 30th until September 14th 2018.

  • More information about the application form can be obtained from For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Gert Van Hecken (


The University of Antwerp is a family friendly organization, with a focus on equal opportunities and diversity. Our HR-policy for researchers was awarded by the European Commission with the quality label HR Excellence in research.


We support the Science4Refugees initiative and encourage asylum-seeking, refugee scientists and researchers to apply for a job at the University of Antwerp.

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