PhD 'i-Change: finding urban climate adaptation interventions together'

Wageningen University


November 7, 2021


Job description

Climate change and urbanization put the environmental quality of cities under pressure through urban heat, poor air quality, floodings and droughts. In this PhD position you will review the current climate challenges faced by European cities, as well as the use of climate sensing technologies by citizen science and crowdsourcing applications. Based on the insights gained from the review, you will set up a Living Lab of individual low-cost sensors and web tools together with local communities in Amsterdam to monitor urban thermal comfort, greenhouse gases concentrations, and air pollutants, and analyze the observations. Moreover, you will evaluate local interventions and behavioral changes through co-creation with citizens, and study co-benefits of urban nature based solutions that enable the engagement of citizens.

In your research, you will collaborate internationally with i-CHANGE project partners and Living Labs in multiple European countries, as well as with Dr. Marjolein Pijpers-van Esch (dpt Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft) and with the Living Lab Program Team of the AMS- Institute.

We intend to start the PhD project by December 1st 2021.


  • an MSc in Meteorology or Environmental Sciences;
  • skills in data analysis and programming (e.g. Python);
  • good communication and collaborative skills;
  • a strong drive to publish in the academic literature;
  • excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page;
  • Knowledge of Dutch is desirable.
  • ,

    Conditions of employment

    Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
  • In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

    There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere. You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

    Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


    Employer Wageningen University & Research

    Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

    With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

    Read the 5 reasons why your future collaegues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

    The Meteorology and Air Quality (MAQ) Group contributes to the further understanding of atmospheric processes and their relevance for weather, air quality and climate. MAQ is part of the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG) of Wageningen University. ESG provides academic education and research on our living environment: the atmosphere, soil, water, nature, landscape and land usage. Knowledge is applied for adaptation to climate change, ocean management, competing claims on space, biodiversity and the sustainability of management and production. Wageningen University is part of the Wageningen University and Research Centre.

    AMS Institute is a public-private institute founded in 2014 by Wageningen University & Research and Delft University of Technology, together with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We are an internationally leading institute where talent is educated and engineers, designers and both natural and social scientists jointly develop and valorize integrated metropolitan solutions. Our mission is to develop a deep understanding of the city -sense the city- to design solutions for its challenges and integrate these into the city of Amsterdam.

    AMS Institute is located at Marineterrein Amsterdam, an area in the heart of the city. The AMS Climate Resilient Cities program evaluates the functioning, adaptation and resilience of the urban system in times of climate change. The entire urban air-water-soil-green system is analyzed, to understand the functioning of the climate system in and around Amsterdam. We then use this information to create effective solutions and a climate adaptation planning approach that carefully designs and assesses interventions such as greening and the sustainable (re)design and maintenance of the city's infrastructure. To create impact we work in close cooperation with the asset managers of the city in their Future Proof Assets program.

    We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


    Additional information

    For more information about this position, please contact Dr. G.J. (Gert-Jan) Steeneveld, For more information about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis, corporate recruiter,

    Do you want to apply? You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

    This vacancy will be listed up to and including 25 October 2021. We will schedule the first job interviews soon afterwards.

    Equal opportunities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.