PhD position Virtual Tourism for Climate Justice (1.0 FTE)

University of Groningen
July 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
PhD position Virtual Tourism for Climate Justice (1.0 FTE) (V24.0316) Job description

In this PhD project, we investigate the potential role that VR technologies may play in mitigating the impacts of global tourism on Antarctica. While tourism is far from the only threat to polar environments, Antarctic tourism provides a unique laboratory in which to 1) critically examine the environmental impacts of our leisure; 2) explore new ways of interacting with vulnerable landscapes; and 3) to study how new (virtual) technologies may contribute to creating learning opportunities for tourists regarding human- created climate change.

There will be a strong focus on developing deep working research relationships with community and international partners. These will include scientific missions on Antarctica, environmental advocacy groups, international research bodies, RUG partners, and tourism operators. It is of critical importance that the research is immersed in the complex and transdisciplinary nature of the issue of tourism to Antarctica.

The Virtual Tourism for Climate Justice PhD project will involve a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. As the successful candidate, you are well-versed in topics relating to climate, tourism, and technology in order to skilfully balance the complexities of the study. The guiding research question is as follows: “How can virtual reality technologies be used in the context of tourism to reduce human footprint in Antarctica?”

The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.

Organisation Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 34,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Campus Fryslân is the ambitious eleventh and newest faculty of the University of Groningen, located in Leeuwarden. Campus Fryslân is an interdisciplinary faculty that works closely together with regional, national and international partners on worldwide (sustainability) challenges and local solutions. The sustainable development goals of the United Nations thus serve as an important guideline.

We offer challenging Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degree programs. The research institute covers six research domains: Global and Local Governance, Governance and Innovation, Sustainable Entrepreneurship in a Circular Economy, Language, Technology and Culture, Knowledge Infrastructures and Sustainable Health. In the summer of 2019, Campus Fryslân has moved to the new faculty building De Beurs: the first all-electric, monumental educational building in The Netherlands.


The succesful candidate should

  • Have a Master's degree in any area related to the project from an internationally visible university with excellent academic results.
  • Be willing to devote great dedication to curiosity-driven research and be a good team player.
  • Be willing to undertake qualitative and quantitative research, including but not limited to: interviewing, surveying, mapping, participant observation, Participatory Action Research, secondary source research, and to undertake data analysis.
  • Be willing to engage research participants with virtual reality technologies.
  • Be excellent at both oral and written communication in English (an English IELTS or TOEFL test. IELTS: a minimum overall score of 6,5 and a minimum score of 6 on parts. TOEFL: a minimum score of at least 92 on the internet based test, as well as a minimum score of at least 79 on the parts). You are exempted from proving proficiency in English, if you are a native English speaker, or have completed a secondary education (HAVO or VWO certificate) in The Netherlands or a Bachelor's or Master's degree fully taught in English.
  • Have highly developed conceptual capacity and analytical skills.
  • Have a strong motivation to complete a PhD dissertation in four years.
  • Be willing to travel, should the need arise.
  • Organisation Conditions of employment

    In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you

  • A salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income.
  • An 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.
  • A temporary 1.0 FTE appointment for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After nine months, an assessment will take place of the candidate's results and the progress of the PhD project, in order to decide whether employment will be continued. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.
  • A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. As part of the program, the PhD researcher will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia. During the course of the doctorate, the PhD researcher will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills. For this, the PhD researcher will receive a tailor-made programme from the GSCF. The PhD candidate is expected to conduct a total of 0.2 FTE teaching spread over the first, second and third year of their appointment.
  • Excellent work-life balance.
  • Willingness to move and reside in the Netherlands.
  • The appointment will ideally commence on the 1 September 2024. We allow 3 months from selection in case of VISA applications.


    Please submit your application in English, including

    1. A recent curriculum vitae. 2. A motivation letter of a maximum of two A4 pages and a short research proposal of max two A4 pages with your own research proposal in the wider frame of this project. 3. A writing sample of no more than 5000 words, e.g. an essay or part of a Master's thesis. 4. A copy of your diplomas with a list of course grades. 5. Proof of English proficiency. 6. Reference letters from two academic referees. 7. If available, a copy of an article, book chapter or other academic text that you feel best represents your work.

    Please send in your application as PDF files. The documents 1-6 are compulsory, and please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

    You may apply for this opportunity until Thursday 20 June 11:59pm / before Friday 21 June 2024 Dutch local time (CEST) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

    Interviews with selected candidates are scheduled online in the afternoons of Monday 15 July and Tuesday 16 July 2024.

    The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

    Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

    We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

    Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


    For information you can contact:

  • Dr Meghan L. Muldoon, Supervisor of the project, m.l.muldoon
  • Dr Raul R. Cordero, Supervisor of the project, r.r.cordero.carrasco
  • Dr Bianca Dijkstra, Coordinator of the Graduate School Campus Fryslân, cf- gs
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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