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  • Writer's pictureMeghann Ormond

PhD position available

New PhD position available!

Prof. Edward Huijbens and I, at the Cultural Geography group at Wageningen University, are bringing on a PhD student to examine connections between migration, mental health and climate change-induced ecological loss or degradation.

For further details and to apply by 1 November 2019, please visit:

We are looking for

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic young scholar wanting to do a PhD that brings together the fields of migration studies, health geography, landscape studies and climate change. The PhD project will examine the dynamics of ‘solastalgia’ (Adger et al., 2013) -- commonly defined as the mental or existential distress caused by environmental change (Albrecht, 2005) -- among migrants and refugees that have borne witness to climate change-induced ecological loss and degradation in their previous or current places of residence (Rose 2017; van Dooren 2014). Building on the motivation of the prospective candidate the project will engage with several of the following aspects:

  • Practices surrounding the valuing of landscapes in times of rapid climate change

  • Culturally-specific notions of physical and psychological well-being

  • How individual and collective trauma and its presumed causes are constructed, recognised and ‘treated’ (Fassin and Rechtman 2009)

  • Migrants’ and refugees’ transnational relations, mobilities and practices

  • Aspects of ‘planetary health’

We ask

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A good first degree with a social science component;Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of, cultural geography;

  • A Master’s degree completed (before starting the PhD) to a high standard in a relevant social science;

  • Research methods training, including completion of qualitative methods at postgraduate level;

  • Completion to a high standard of a qualitative-based research dissertation or equivalent experience;

  • Relevant fieldwork experience would be considered an advantage

The PhD position is available as a four-year PhD only. The position will commence in January 2020. 

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,- in the first year rising up to € 2972,- per month in the fourth year. In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;

  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;

  • flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;

  • excellent pension plan through ABP;

  • 232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;

  • flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;

  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;

  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus.

More information

Additional information about this vacancy can be obtained from Prof. dr. E.H. Huijbens, Chairholder: and Dr. M.E. Ormond, Associate Professor:

Information about the employment conditions can be obtained from Ms. Patty van Beek, HRM-advisor, email: All applicants should complete and collate the following documentation: (Note: The application e-mail attachment must include in English)

  • Cover letter detailing the following in a single document: your research interests; a detailed course description of your Master's research training; details of any other relevant training and skills you have; your long-term career goals; a short statement (max 1,000 words) explaining your vision for the project and how the above fit with, and can add to, the research project

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Academic transcript(s): Final and current degree transcripts including grades and degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed) - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s

  • Degree Certificate(s) and an official translation, if needed - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s

  • Furthermore, if you are selected for an interview, you will be asked to provide two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional) - one must be academic, the other can be academic or professional. Together with the invitation for the interview, you will receive instructions on how to hand in these references. Please note that these references are mandatory for those candidates that are invited for an interview.

Applications for this position should be submitted before 1 November 2019.

Selection process Applications will be assessed by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by 7 November 2019. Interviews will take place in November and December.

Please do not send you your application directly to Prof. Huijbens, Dr. Ormond or Ms. Van Beek. See submission details and link here:

We are

Wageningen University & Research Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus – each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. The Cultural Geography group (GEO) is part of the Department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University. The department’s fundamental research and education concern our living environment: nature, landscape, land use, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, water management, and various competing claims on space. The GEO group is committed to social theory in all its spatial articulations. It aims to advance critical-constructive scholarship with special attention to questions of inequality, exclusion, mobility and plurality. It seeks to translate knowledge into practical action in four closely related fields of application: landscape, tourism, nature, and health and care.

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