PhD position Facilitating the co-creation of sponge measures and strategies in European river basins

University of Twente
May 27, 2024
Offerd Salary:€2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Climate change exacerbates the frequency and intensity of both floods and droughts. Despite widespread recognition that improving the water retention capacity of landscapes or sponge functioning is a suitable approach to increase society's resilience to climate change and its effects, implementation of such approaches is still lagging. A key challenge is to mobilise and involve all relevant actors for the inclusive and integrative design and implementation of effective sponge measures and to translate long- term, regional river basin strategies to practical action perspectives. To address this challenge, this fully funded PhD position aims to develop approaches for inclusive, integrative and effective co-creation and knowledge production processes and to support their implementation processes. To achieve this aim, the PhD candidate is involved in the following tasks:

  • Investigating existing approaches and (digital) tools that support co- creative processes and translates these findings into practical guidance for integrated and inclusive design and implementation of sponge measures.
  • Critically reflecting on current design and implementation processes of practitioners and supporting them in the adoption of more inclusive implementation processes for water retention.
  • Enabling transformative change of river basin management by connecting the guidelines for sponge measures design and implementation to formal policy and decision-making processes of stakeholders. This is done by co-creating road maps with public actors and societal stakeholders for long-term sponge strategies at river-basin level.
  • The project

    The PhD research is part of the EU HORIZON2020 project called: “SpongeWorks: Co-creating and Upscaling Sponge Landscapes by Working with Natural Water Retention and Sustainable Management”. This four-year project is an Innovation Action project, which emphasizes the actual implementation of solutions. Therefore, practice and research are strongly interwoven. Spongeworks starts on the 1st of September 2024. SpongeWorks was initiated to lead the way for an urgently needed upscaling of ‘sponge measures' as nature-based solutions (NbS) to boost the natural water retention capacity in European river basins, thereby making regions more resilient to impacts of climate change. SpongeWorks follows an integrative multi-actor approach to demonstrate the effectiveness of multifunctional sponge measures with soil, water quality and biodiversity co-benefits in three large-scale demonstrators in the Pinios (GR), Lèze (FR) and Vecht (NL/DE) river basins. The PhD candidate of the UT part will predominantly work in the NL/DE context and interacts with stakeholders in other contexts via the ‘train the trainer' concept. Interactions with other researchers and practice partners ensures the delivery of context-specific and generalisable results to be applied by practitioners to river basins all over Europe.

    Your profile

    We seek a highly motivated and hard-working researcher who combines an interdisciplinary background with strong collaborative and analytical skills. We are looking for a candidate with the following background and qualities:

  • An MSc degree in Civil Engineering & Management, Technology, Policy & Management, Public Administration, International Land & Water Management, Spatial Planning or another relevant interdisciplinary design specialization.
  • Strong analytical skills, a talent for creative and innovative research approaches and strong communicative and organizational skills.
  • A passion for improving the (built) environment and infrastructure landscapes using co-creation and participatory research approaches.
  • Experience with and or enthusiasm for applying qualitative, action-based research in an engineering and design context.
  • A drive to collaborate with a multiplicity of (international) researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers from diverse organizational and disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English and preferably also Dutch and/or German or willingness to learn these languages.
  • Our offer
  • Challenging work in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Four-year fulltime PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30 EC), including visits to conferences.
  • A starting salary of €2.770,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to €3.539- gross per month in the fourth year.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.
  • Information and application

    Are you interested in being part of our team? Please submit your application before May 27th 2024. In your application, include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4) discussing your motivation to apply for this position, including how your background, interests and qualifications prepare you to carry out the proposed PhD research and any information about your circumstances relevant to assessing your suitability for the position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, the title and resume of your bachelor and master thesis, and extracurricular activities. If applicable, a list of publications. Please also include the names and contact details of two referees we may contact.
  • The start of the project is the 1st of September 2024. Candidates expecting to graduate soon are also invited to apply.

    The first round of interviews is planned to take place between June 10th and 18th, 2024, and the second round will take place between July 1st and 4th, 2024.

    Additional information can be acquired via e-mail from Beau Warbroek: [email protected]

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more Warbroek, W.D.B. (Beau)

    Assistant Professor

    Warbroek, W.D.B. (Beau)

    Assistant Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Beau for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer. If applicable, we will sign you up for screening.

    Your Colleagues
  • Warbroek, W.D.B. (Beau)
  • Personal page

  • Vinke - de Kruijf, J. (Joanne)
  • Personal page

  • Volker, L. (Leentje)
  • Personal page LinkedIn

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