PhD: Adoption of Functional Agrobiodiversity and Modelling Ecosystem Services

Do you have knowledge of spatial analysis and modelling, and experience with survey methods? Are you interested in multidisciplinary work, and contributing to more sustainable forms of pest regulation in arable farming? Then we are looking for you!

Your function

You will be part of a multidisciplinary project (FABforward) on various aspects of functional agrobiodiversity (FAB), funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). You will mainly work on economics and ecosystem services of FAB adoption by farmers. The position involves working across multiple research institutes. At the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you will design and implement a survey and choice experiment aimed at assessing FAB adoption by Dutch farmers. The survey findings will provide input to your work on natural capital models for FAB-related ecosystem services, and on applying these models in a spatially explicit way; this work will be mainly carried out at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR). You will be supervised by Dr Mark Koetse and Prof. Pieter van Beukering from IVM, supported by RIVM and WENR staff.

Your duties

  • you develop, improve and apply models for ecosystem services provided by FAB
  • you design and implement a survey and choice experiment among Dutch crop farmers on barriers and incentives for FAB adoption
  • you model costs and ecosystem services benefits of various FAB adoption scenarios

Your profile

  • you hold a MSc degree in environmental sciences, economics, or a related field
  • you have knowledge of and experience with development and application of spatial models using Python, QGIS, batch/command prompt is desirable
  • you have keen interest in contributing to the sustainability of agricultural systems
  • you desire to work in a multidisciplinary team

We realise that each individual brings an unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

What do we offer?

An interesting position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 2.770,00 (PhD scale 85.0) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD scale 85.3) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile PhD candidate. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, if there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Additionally, we also offer a PhD education programme including training for teaching assistants and courses that are part of the SENSE graduate school.

About us

Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).

The department of Environmental Economics (EE) leads the institute’s efforts in improving insights into the interaction between the environment and the economy. The department is one of the main groups of environmental economists in Europe, consisting of around 35 scientific staff and PhD researchers. The department strategy is to consolidate and further strengthen its position as a major player in the European field of environmental economics. Important fields of application include climate change, energy, circular economy, water, ecosystem services, and environmental and natural resource management. The philosophy of the EE department is to closely integrate its research projects with its teaching programme and to initiate and conduct research jointly with stakeholders and collaborating institutes.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely – a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility.  Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity
Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

About the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is committed to a healthy population and a sustainable, safe and healthy living environment. We do this on the basis of independent scientific research. Together with our clients, we identify which research is needed and carry it out. We provide advice to the government, professionals and citizens and share our knowledge. In this way we support society to keep ourselves and our living environment healthy. The quality of the living environment is of paramount importance to the Center for Sustainability, Environment and Health (DMG). The center has four departments, with the Sustainable Environment, Drinking Water and Biodiversity (DDB) department conducting research into the quality of natural resources and biodiversity. Consider the subsurface, which plays a crucial role in drinking water and food production. Or greenery in the city that provides a healthy living environment and offers cooling. These “ecosystem services” are not infinite and must therefore be handled sustainably. We provide insight into the contribution of ecosystem services within social themes such as climate change, sustainable agriculture, housing construction and a healthy living environment. Would you like to help the Netherlands deal with our ecosystem better and more sustainably?

About Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR)
Wageningen Environmental Research is the knowledge institute for the green living environment. It is part of Wageningen University & Research and provides expertise in the field of green space and its sustainable social use: knowledge of water, nature, biodiversity, climate, landscape, forest, ecology, environment, soil, landscape, land and space use, geo-information, remote sensing, urban greenery, recreation, etc. Wageningen Environmental Research conducts strategic and applied research for policy, management and design of green space on a local, national and international scale. On the one hand, this concerns innovative, interdisciplinary and interactive research into complex problems in the field of green space, and on the other hand, we provide ready-to-use knowledge and expertise to solve practical problems quickly and adequately.

Interested

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your CV and a letter detailing your interest in the position. The job interviews are planned in the period mid-August to end of September, so please take this into account when applying for the position.

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Your function

You will be part of a multidisciplinary project (FABforward) on various aspects of functional agrobiodiversity (FAB), funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). You will mainly work on economics and ecosystem services of FAB adoption by farmers. The position involves working across multiple research institutes. At the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you will design and implement a survey and choice experiment aimed at assessing FAB adoption by Dutch farmers. The survey findings will provide input to your work on natural capital models for FAB-related ecosystem services, and on applying these models in a spatially explicit way; this work will be mainly carried out at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR). You will be supervised by Dr Mark Koetse and Prof. Pieter van Beukering from IVM, supported by RIVM and WENR staff.

Your duties

  • you develop, improve and apply models for ecosystem services provided by FAB
  • you design and implement a survey and choice experiment among Dutch crop farmers on barriers and incentives for FAB adoption
  • you model costs and ecosystem services benefits of various FAB adoption scenarios

Your profile

  • you hold a MSc degree in environmental sciences, economics, or a related field
  • you have knowledge of and experience with development and application of spatial models using Python, QGIS, batch/command prompt is desirable
  • you have keen interest in contributing to the sustainability of agricultural systems
  • you desire to work in a multidisciplinary team

We realise that each individual brings an unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

What do we offer?

An interesting position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of minimum € 2.770,00 (PhD scale 85.0) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD scale 85.3) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile PhD candidate. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, if there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Additionally, we also offer a PhD education programme including training for teaching assistants and courses that are part of the SENSE graduate school.

About us

Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).

The department of Environmental Economics (EE) leads the institute’s efforts in improving insights into the interaction between the environment and the economy. The department is one of the main groups of environmental economists in Europe, consisting of around 35 scientific staff and PhD researchers. The department strategy is to consolidate and further strengthen its position as a major player in the European field of environmental economics. Important fields of application include climate change, energy, circular economy, water, ecosystem services, and environmental and natural resource management. The philosophy of the EE department is to closely integrate its research projects with its teaching programme and to initiate and conduct research jointly with stakeholders and collaborating institutes.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely – a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility.  Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity
Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

About the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is committed to a healthy population and a sustainable, safe and healthy living environment. We do this on the basis of independent scientific research. Together with our clients, we identify which research is needed and carry it out. We provide advice to the government, professionals and citizens and share our knowledge. In this way we support society to keep ourselves and our living environment healthy. The quality of the living environment is of paramount importance to the Center for Sustainability, Environment and Health (DMG). The center has four departments, with the Sustainable Environment, Drinking Water and Biodiversity (DDB) department conducting research into the quality of natural resources and biodiversity. Consider the subsurface, which plays a crucial role in drinking water and food production. Or greenery in the city that provides a healthy living environment and offers cooling. These “ecosystem services” are not infinite and must therefore be handled sustainably. We provide insight into the contribution of ecosystem services within social themes such as climate change, sustainable agriculture, housing construction and a healthy living environment. Would you like to help the Netherlands deal with our ecosystem better and more sustainably?

About Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR)
Wageningen Environmental Research is the knowledge institute for the green living environment. It is part of Wageningen University & Research and provides expertise in the field of green space and its sustainable social use: knowledge of water, nature, biodiversity, climate, landscape, forest, ecology, environment, soil, landscape, land and space use, geo-information, remote sensing, urban greenery, recreation, etc. Wageningen Environmental Research conducts strategic and applied research for policy, management and design of green space on a local, national and international scale. On the one hand, this concerns innovative, interdisciplinary and interactive research into complex problems in the field of green space, and on the other hand, we provide ready-to-use knowledge and expertise to solve practical problems quickly and adequately.

Questions about the vacancy?

Please contact

Dr Mark Koetse

Associate Professor

Interested

Are you interested in this position and do you believe that your experience will contribute to the further development of our university? In that case, we encourage you to submit your CV and a letter detailing your interest in the position. The job interviews are planned in the period mid-August to end of September, so please take this into account when applying for the position.

Submitting a diploma and a reference check are part of the application process.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

Questions about the vacancy?

Please contact

Dr Mark Koetse

Associate Professor

Application procedure

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