PhD researcher Governance capabilities in implementing EU marine policies

Wageningen University
January 01, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Job description

Are you an MSc graduate interested in the sustainability governance of the European Seas? Are you excited about exploring what explains the lack of performance of current policies and eager to find ways to improve the implementation of marine policies? The Environmental Policy group at Wageningen University is looking for a PhD researcher to work in the Horizon Europe funded programme it coordinates, entitled Improving the PERformance of MArine GOVernance (PERMAGOV).

The EU has established ambitious goals and targets in the European Green Deal, among others to enable Marine Energy and Maritime Transport, protect Marine Life and prevent Marine Litter pollution. However, current EU governance is hampered by institutional barriers. At the same time, e-governance innovations are proliferating, and are expected to help overcome these institutional barriers by enhancing transparency and communication. How e-governance innovations affect the implementation of Green Deal objectives in practice, opens up questions about informational processes (data collection, data interoperability, data use) in a specific context. Also, the learning potential and decision-making abilities of public and private actors involved in the design and use of e-governance tools are shaping collaboration and coordination needed to implement Green Deal goals for EU marine governance.

The overall aim of PERMAGOV is to improve the implementation and performance of EU marine policies by developing and applying a Marine Governance Performance Assessment Framework and co-producing e-governance improvement strategies, which enhance the way in which individual actors can contribute to the implementation of EU marine policies related to Marine Energy, Maritime Transport, Marine Life and Marine Litter.

This PhD researcher will focus on how the performance of EU marine policies relates to the capacity of key-actors to implement EU marine policies, and how these capacities can be improved through e-governance. In order to do so, the PhD researcher will co-develop an assessment framework to identify the governance capacities of key actors and apply it to three case studies of: decarbonizing EU shipping, the regional action plan for marine litter in the Mediterranean sea, and sustainable fisheries in MPA development in Italy. After that, the PhD researcher will, together with a dedicated end user and an e-governance specialist, co-develop a Marine (e-)Governance Strategy for one of the case studies.

The PhD researcher will be positioned at the Environmental Policy group of Wageningen University and will collaborate with a Postdoc Researcher. The PhD project is supervised by Prof. Simon Bush, Dr Hilde Toonen and Dr Judith van Leeuwen. PERMAGOV consortium partners are different universities and marine related research institutions, e-governance and marine data specialists and case study end-users from industry and interest groups.


  • A MSc degree in Political Sciences, Sociology, Environmental / Marine sciences with a strong social scientific component, or related study.
  • Affinity with marine governance, fisheries, marine industries, and/or e-governance tools is an advantage.
  • Strong scientific writing skills
  • Strong qualitative research skills and affinity with/interest in assessment methods.
  • A willingness and motivation to travel and to carry out European case studies
  • Motivation to collaborate in the research team of PERMAGOV, with good communication skills
  • Fluency in English
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.
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    Conditions of employment

    Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
  • In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team. We offer you a 1.0 FTE position initially for 18 months, with extension of another 30 months after positive evaluation. Preferred start is 1 February 2023. The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours.

    There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere. You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the " Best University " in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling. For instance under the "30% rule", certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately 30% of their gross salary.


    Employer Wageningen University & Research

    Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines. Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

    We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


    Additional information

    Do you want more information? For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Judith van Leeuwen, email: For more information about the procedure, please contact Jouke van Oostenbrugge, Corporate Recruter via

    Do you want to apply? You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. Please upload your letter of motivation and a CV before 5 January 2022.

    We will be interviewing on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 January 2023. If invited, you'll be contacted on January 6. A second round of interviews is foreseen for the week of 16 January 2023.

    Equal opportunities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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