Post-doctoral Fellowship on Governance for Decarbonization Transitions 2017, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Utrecht University


March 31, 2017

Opportunity Cover Image - Post-doctoral Fellowship on Governance for Decarbonization Transitions 2017, Utrecht University, Netherlands

A Post-doctoral position on Governance for Decarbonization Transitions

Job description

Utrecht University has opened a post-doctoral position on governance for decarbonization transitions. This position will be affiliated with the Environmental Governance group, one of the four departments of the university’s Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, but also related closely with the Innovation Studies and Energy Sciences groups. The Environmental Governance group is a dynamic, ambitious and internationally leading team of researchers with a focus on fundamental and policy-oriented research of environmental governance processes, from local to global levels. The Copernicus Institute has been evaluated in a 2014 international review as the highest ranked research institute in environmental sciences in the Netherlands. Since then, the institute has intensified its efforts in maintaining its leading position, among others by investing in several new international faculty appointments and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programs.

The post-doc’s main tasks (three years fulltime) relate to the EU funded project ‘Realising Innovation in Transitions for Decarbonisation (REINVENT)’. The aim of the REINVENT project is to help Europe achieve its long-term climate objectives while supporting the development of broader societal benefits and the economy. REINVENT has the ambition to develop a new evidence-based framework to assess the viability, challenges and governance implications of decarbonisation pathways on four key economic sectors: steel, plastics, paper and food (meat and dairy). The project aims to study and understand transitions and emerging initiatives within these sectors and extrapolate the results to the wider European economy and a global context. The post-doc will contribute to the aims of REINVENT by carrying out research on the interactions and coherence between the EU climate policy, decarbonisation initiatives in the four sectors, and the global sustainable development agenda, as expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals. The post-doc will also contribute to key deliverables of the REINVENT project and assist in raising future funding.


Successful candidates will:

  • hold a doctoral degree (PhD) in Political Science, Public Administration, Sustainability Science or related discipline;
  • have a proven affinity with environmental governance research, particularly on issues related to decarbonisation and energy transitions. Knowledge and understanding of the four key economic sectors mentioned above is considered a plus;
  • have proven experience with publishing scientific work in high-impact refereed international scientific journals;
  • can demonstrate that they can work both independently and as part of a team;
  • are willing to contribute to the teaching programs of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development (max. 5% of the time), mainly by helping in courses and aiding the supervision of MSc students for their MSc thesis.


The successful post-doctoral candidate will be offered a full-time position for three years. The gross monthly salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and will start between €3,068 and €4,028 (scale 10 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. We also offer a pension scheme and flexible employment conditions. Candidates who transfer to the Netherlands from abroad may apply for a 30% rebate on their income tax with the Dutch tax authorities (if certain conditions apply).

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

Utrecht University has been ranked first nationally in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 65th globally. The University is committed to a strategies orientation on four overarching themes, which include ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Institutions’. The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With 2200 students (BSc and MSc) and 550 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. 

The Faculty is organised in four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning. The vacancy has been opened within the Department of Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences. The research of the department is organised in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. 

The Environmental Governance Research Group is part of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The institute is responsible for research on relations between humans and the environment, environmental policy and its influence on sustainable development and the management of innovation.


Additional information

For further information about the vacancy, please contact Dr Agni Kalfagianni,


Applications should include a motivation for the application, curriculum vitae, and the names of at least two referees (with e-mail contact addresses and phone numbers). Applications should be sent by March 31, 2017. The exact date of the interviews with the post-doctoral candidates will be decided at a later stage.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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Publish Date
February 23, 2017