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2-year post-doctoral positions: Integrated approaches to regional energy transition challenges

Job description

We invite applications for two postdoc positions in our NWO-funded project “Regional Energy Transition as Systematic Integration” (RETSI). In this project, we closely collaborate with regional and local partners to identify and exploit synergies between the energy transition and other societal challenges. We are specifically looking for, preferably Dutch-speaking, researchers who are interested in exploring the potential for integrating the energy transition with either: (1) climate adaptation in urban areas (position with the Construction Management & Engineering group); or (2) circular agriculture in rural areas (position with CSTM, the Department of Governance & Technology for Sustainability).

The challenge

The energy transition has many interlinkages with other spatial challenges. In rural areas, the production of energy (e.g. from biomass) is, for example, very much intertwined with sustainable agriculture and circular food production. In urban areas, the development of carbon-neutral or gas-free neighborhoods often goes hand-in-hand, for example, with the realization of blue-green infrastructure to adapt to climate change. An integrated approach has added value and is urgently required to accelerate the energy transition. In RETSI, we aim to identify the added value of such an integrated approach and the factors influencing this integrative potential. The project, therefore, will focus on urban and rural contexts and their interface. In close collaboration with a wide range of partners from policy and practice, we aim to develop action perspectives for private and public actors to effectively exploit the added values of energy transition integration. RETSI is a two-year project that is funded by NWO and the Province of Overijssel under the call “Societal Aspects of the Regional Energy Transition” (MARET).

The focus
The main tasks of the two postdocs will be to develop a theoretical framework, to prepare a long-list of cases with integrative potential, to analyze selected cases in-depth and to contribute to the development of action perspectives.

The theoretical basis for the project is provided by the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, which was developed by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues. Inspired by this framework, we conceptualize rural and urban contexts as new integrated action arenas. Our empirical research focuses on the Province of Overijssel, however, our findings should be relevant to other Dutch provinces as well. Throughout the project, you will work in a research team of 3 postdocs and senior researchers. This team will closely collaborate with local and regional partners.

Your profile

  • You are a researcher with a PhD in social sciences (public administration, economics, business administration), environmental sciences, civil engineering, sustainable energy technology or a related domains.
  • You have experience with empirical research in at least of the following domains: energy, water, climate mitigation, climate adaptation or agriculture.
  • You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary team and to interact with local and regional partners.
  • You have strong analytical and communication skills. Being proficient in Dutch language is a pré.
  • You are able to start between April and June 2020.


For general information regarding these positions, you can contact Dr. ir. Joanne Vinke-de Kruijf (phone: +31 53 489 1425; e-mail:

You can submit your application, including a motivation letter and recent CV, until 29 February 2020 using the “apply now” button below. In your motivation letter please include your view on the implementation of the research activities and how you would build on your past experience.

Interviews are planned for the 17th of March 2020 in the morning.

Our offer

We offer you a post-doc position in a challenging multidisciplinary project. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues and contacts with industry and society.

  • A two-years postdoc position (0.8 or 1.0 fte).
  • You will be part of a dedicated team of researchers with whom you will collaborate with regional and local partners.
  • A gross salary between € 3.255,- and € 4.978,-  per month, depending on experience and qualifications.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual end of year bonus of 8.3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other extracurricular activities.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) strives to play a pivotal role in understanding, co-engineering and evaluating innovation in society. Innovation is driven by advances in technology. Through 'social engineering' these technological advances are embedded in society befitting human needs and behaviour, within proper public and private management and business structures. For this the faculty of BMS upholds high quality disciplinary knowledge in psychology, business administration, public administration, communication science, philosophy, educational science and health sciences. All with a focus on the challenges in society. Research is strongly connected to our institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

2-year post-doctoral positions: Integrated approaches to regional energy transition challenges
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