PhD Position in Participative Design Methods for the Energy Transition in Underprivileged Neighborhoods
University of Amsterdam Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

PhD on Participative Design Methods for the Energy Transition in Underprivileged Neighborhoods

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Educational level:  Master
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  3 June 2022
Vacancy number:  8865

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is looking for a PhD candidate to conduct research in the JUST PREPARE project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and led by prof. dr. John Grin and dr Imrat Verhoeven. The project is a major, interdisciplinary collaborative effort with in addition to UvA, the Radboud University, Technical University Delft, Technical University Eindhoven and two Universities for Applied Science (Arnhem-Nijmegen and Amsterdam).

This particular PhD candidate will be embedded in the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. More specifically, the PhD will be part of the AISSR programme group Transnational Configurations, Conflict and Governance; Grin, Verhoeven and dr Stan Majoor of the Amsterdam University of Applied Science (HvA) will act as co-supervisors. A brief description of the sub-project for this PhD candidate may be found here.

What are you going to do

You will:

  • design new, or adapt existing methods, for involving residents in  local energy transition projects and their governance;
  • test these in practice through action research within the so-called Living Labs (with local residents, municipalities, housing corporations and other organizations). These living Labs provide a context for action research, set up and run by other partners in  JUST PREPARE;
  • write a PhD dissertation, including four articles based on the above, to be published in international, refereed academic journals;
  • write reports / weblogs on the interactions with stakeholders that are part of the action research;
  • participate in meetings of the project as a whole.

What do we require

Your experience and profile:

  • Master’s degree in one of the social sciences (e.g. planning studies, political science, science and technology studies, sociology);
  • a demonstrable affinity / background in planning and design thinking;
  • proficiency in Dutch well enough to read policy documents and communicate with residents of unprivileged neighbourhoods and other stakeholders;
  • capacity to communicate about research with non-academics and with academics from different disciplines;
  • affinity with at least one of the following themes: citizen participation / civic initiatives; collaborative planning and design; energy transition or a similar socio-technical innovation. 

Our offer

The position concerns a temporary appointment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years. The initial appointment is for one year, starting no later than 1 September 2022. Following a positive assessment after 12 months and barring other unforeseen circumstances, your appointment will be extended by a maximum of 36 months, at the end of which a doctorate should be conferred. You will follow a curriculum with other AISSR PhD candidates. You will also have the opportunity to attend additional training courses, summer schools and both national and international conferences.

Your salary will be €2,443 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €3,122 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

A stimulating work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is a university with an internationally acclaimed profile, located at the heart of the Dutch capital. The UvA is a member of the League of European Research Universities.

What else do we offer

  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued;
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programs. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

About the faculty

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organization? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

prof. dr John Grin,

Job application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 3 June 2022, before 17.00. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • a substantive outline of 2-3 A4 with first ideas on a research design.

These three components should be combined into one single pdf document.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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