PhD Position in Social Science

Wageningen University

PhD Position in Social Science

April 11, 2024
Location Wageningen
End date Mon 27 May 2024
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Your job

Do you want to lead innovative social science research that contributes to circular society transitions in Dutch society? Are you eager to explore how social contexts can support repairing and sharing in diverse daily urban life settings? Then this PhD opportunity may be for you!

The Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University is seeking two highly motivated PhD candidates to join a dynamic research team focused on advancing circular sharing and repairing practices in the Netherlands. The PhD projects form part of the NWO funded project ShaRepair, which is aimed at embedding sustainable sharing and repairing practices into daily urban life. Despite their potential for realising circular economy ambitions, sharing and repairing of consumer goods, such as electric appliances, furniture, and clothing, remain marginal in Dutch society, with challenges in participation and scaling across diverse communities.

The ShaRepair project seeks to bridge this gap. Through a co-creative Living Lab approach, involving academic, industry and societal actors, we aim to explore, support, and scale sharing and repairing practices across societal contexts, addressing key knowledge gaps, and mitigating unintended consequences like negative rebound effects.

At the Environmental Policy Group, we will host two social science PhD positions that form part of the ShaRepair project; one PhD focuses on repairing and the other on sharing. As one of these PhDs you will work closely together to conduct co-creative sociological research that involves:

  • examining how circular repairing and sharing initiatives are emerging in two metropolitan regions in The Netherlands;
  • conducting sociological analysis of factors influencing how sharing and repairing practices can be scaled across different social settings;
  • collaborating closely with consortium partners and stakeholders, including municipalities, NGOs, and circular economy initiatives, to gather insights into everyday challenges and experiences;
  • participating in Living Labs, and networking and learning events to co-create research insights and foster collaboration;
  • producing academic publications and a PhD thesis and contributing to societal impact reports and factsheets aimed at both scholarly and societal audiences.
Combined, these activities will provide key insights into sociological factors supporting and impeding the emergence and scaling of circular consumption practices across different everyday life settings. You will work in an interdisciplinary team together with the other ENP social science candidate, as well as other PhD and postdoctoral researchers involved in the project, who focus on design and environmental assessment analysis.  In this context, it is expected that you will not only advance your academic research skills but will also develop and learn from actively participating in the broader interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary ShaRepair project.


Your qualities

You have:

  • a strong social science background, including a high interest/aptitude for conducting sociological analysis of environmental issues and consumption practices;
  • a high interest in collaborative and socially-focused research, and an ability to interact effectively with both academic and societal stakeholders;
  • a high interest in co-creation methods and a willingness to take part in Living Labs to drive change forward through your work;
  • a scientific ambition to conduct and publish research work, contributing to academic scholarship in the field;
  • curiosity and motivation to address important real-world problems through rigorous academic inquiry.
You also possess:
  • a Master’s degree in a field relevant to environmental social sciences, including sociology, human geography, anthropology, urban studies, or other relevant social science disciplines;
  • strong qualitative research skills, preferably with experience in conducting interviews and participant observation;
  • fluency in English and Dutch to conduct academic research and effectively engage with local Dutch stakeholders and communities.
For this position English and Dutch proficiency of C1 level is required. If you do not yet have this level of Dutch, but are already at an intermediate level, we can support you through out language center Wageningen in'to Language.

You will work here
These positions are hosted by the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University and part of the NWO ShaRepair project, led by dr. Mary Greene. You will be co-supervised by dr. Mary Greene dr Sanneke Kloppenburg, and dr Bas van Vliet, and form part of the wider team of ShaRepair’s academic researchers and societal stakeholders.


We offer you

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

  • 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.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,-  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. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 19th 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. Therefore, we expect that when you join WUR from abroad, you will actually live in the Netherlands.

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 for example helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling.

Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.


Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Mary Greene, , Assistant Professor,  by telephone +31 (0)634229999 or by e-mail:

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter, by email:

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 submit your CV, a cover / motivation letter,  and a sample piece of writing (MSc thesis, publication, essay or equivalent).

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 27 May 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on 10th and 11th June 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. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

Wageningen University & Research
TThe 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, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 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 the video below 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.