Postdoctoral researcher HOlistic ENvironmental/Ecological Innovations (0.8
This is a fixed-term, 16 month post-doctoral position that involves the
development and application of spatial microsimulation and agent-based models
for the analysis of environmentally friendly social attitudes and behaviours.
This position is part of PHOENIX (Participation in HOlistic
ENvironmental/Ecological Innovations: the Rise of Citizens Voices for a
Greener Europe) a large Horizon 2020 project co-ordinated by the University
of Coimbra (Portugal) and involving an international team of researchers
across 15 partners across Europe (including the University of Groningen).
The project is aimed at engaging with the European Green Deal (EGD). The EGD
transition pathway is a major challenge for Europe, whose targets were
elevated following the pandemic outbreak. Its ambitions require joint efforts
to harmonise diverse contexts and visions of humans/nature's relation.
Citizens' engagement, as envisioned in the EU Democracy Action Plan, is a pre-
condition for institutional policies and projects success, as behavioral
changes and transformations in large populations' lifestyles and expectations
are vital for the EGD's implementation. PHOENIX, anchored to the pictographic
idea of a collective resurrection (stronger and more resilient) from the
ashes of a shared tragedy, connects a multidisciplinary group of 15 partners
from the different macro-regions of Europe. It builds on a rich, consolidated
tradition of participatory processes and refined deliberative methodologies
successfully experimented in different policy-making domains, considering they
are necessary tools, but not sufficient ones, when it comes to facing the
ambitious goals related to ecological transition patterns. Elaborating on
their lesson learned, PHOENIX designs an iterative process to increase the
transformative potential of Democratic Innovations to address specific topics
of the EGD. Through a portfolio of sound methodologies and tools, we will
enrich them, augmenting their quality of deliberation and the capacity to
foster the readiness to change and the commitment of different actors.
The University of Groningen's main contribution to PHOENIX (co-ordinated by
Prof Dimitris Ballas, the principal investigator representing the University
of Groningen as a partner in the consortium) will involve the development and
application of suitable socio-spatial simulations, including spatial
microsimulation and agent-based models. The successful candidate will join the
University Groningen research team which, in addition to Prof Dimitris Ballas,
will also include Dr Richard Rijnks (Department of Planning, Faculty of
Spatial Sciences) and Dr Daniella Vos (Department of Cultural Geography,
Faculty of Spatial Sciences) and Prof Wander Jager (Center for Social
Complexity Studies / University College Groningen).
You will be based in the Faculty of Spatial Sciences and will be responsible
for liaising with relevant partners and for collecting and analyzing suitable
datasets as well as for developing spatial microsimulation and agent-based
models. You will also take the lead in the analysis of model outputs and
writing up the results as scientific manuscripts.
We are looking for candidates who have:
• a PhD in the area social sciences (with a strong quantitative social
science component and ideally in social simulations using spatial
microsimulation and agent-based models)
• a high degree of English proficiency
• experience with coding, ideally in R and NetLogo • familiarity with social
simulation theory and applications (and especially spatial microsimulation
and agent-based modelling).
The University of Groningen (founded 1614) is a research university with a
global outlook and is currently in the top 100 universities worldwide on
several influential ranking lists. The University creates and shares knowledge
through its outstanding research, scholarship and education. With an academic
tradition dating back to 1614 and a rich heritage, the University is a unique
academic community with a strong sense of belonging and a culture of
innovative education and research.
The Faculty of Spatial Sciences is a growing faculty with an open character
that has short lines between staff and students. There are four departments:
Cultural Geography, Demography, Economic Geography and Planning. The mission
of the faculty is to produce research which is world-leading, distinctive, and
policy-relevant to these major issues faced by contemporary society and that
is communicated and communicable to the global academy and to societal
stakeholders. The distinctive character of the Faculty's research is that it
explore the roles place, space, identity and culture play in the social and
spatial transformation of society from a multi-methods perspective. The
policy-relevant features of the Faculty's research derive from the issues
investigate. The research is built on evidence and experience, while
addressing issues of perception and identity.
Conditions of employment
We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch
• a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, with a minimum of
€ 3,408 up to a maximum of € 5,211 (salary scale 10 or 11 ) gross per month
for a full-time position
• excluding 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus, participation in
a pension scheme for employees and excellent secondary benefits. We offer 232
holiday hours per calendar year for a full-time employment
• an appointment on a temporary basis for 16 months.
For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the
University of Groningen, please check: https: // www. rug.nl/about-us/work-with-
Starting date, 1 March, 2022
Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should
• a motivation letter stating your motivation to apply for the position and
your key qualities relevant for this position max 1 page
• a brief, up-to-date curriculum vitae that focuses on aspects that are
directly relevant to the position
• contact information of two academic references. Please do not submit letters
of reference. If necessary, we will contact the referees ourselves.
You can submit your application until 20 January / before 21 January 2022
00.00h Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on
"Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).
It is anticipated that interviews will be held within the first two weeks of
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We
are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply.
Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code
(NVP), https: // www. nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European
Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,
https: // euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code
Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.
For information you can contact:
Prof. Dimitris Ballas, d.ballas rug.nl
Prof. Wander Jager, w.jager rug.nl
Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.