Postdoctoral Researcher Spatial Energy Planning Making City (0.8 FTE)


Faculty of Spatial Sciences


University of Groningen

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences consists of approximately 100 members of staff, 100 PhD students and around 1.000 undergraduate students. We focus on high quality teaching and research in the fields of social and economic geography, demography, and spatial planning. With a single collective research theme of 'towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation' (tWIST), it is our mission to produce research which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant. With two Bachelor and eight Master programmes, we provide a wide range of courses within the fields of geography and spatial sciences.

The Department of Planning and Environment of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) is looking for an postdoctoral researcher on the topic of spatial energy planning.

The Department of Planning and Environment has 22 members of staff and 25 PhD candidates. Its research is centered on institutional design for purposeful interventions within the human environment. The Department offers a vibrant academic environment with an international staff and extensive experience in working within international research projects. The Department actively pursues societally relevant research, as is also expressed in its research targeting energy transition in relation to spatial planning to which the postdoctoral researcher is to contribute.

Job description

The postdoctoral researcher will be the main researcher for the Faculty of Spatial Sciences within the EU Horizon 2020 Lighthouse project Making City (2019-2024; As a postdoctoral researcher your job will be to perform the Faculty’s tasks within the Making City project in collaboration with and under the supervision of Dr Christian Zuidema. Central tasks within the Making City project include:
- support participating cities (8 in total) in pursuing new long term energy planning towards 2050 and the development of positive energy districts based on an analysis of international experiences in local energy planning
- analyze the process of developing and implementing new long term energy planning and positive energy districts in participating cities
- identify and analyze institutional opportunities and barriers for energy planning on a local scale
- support the development of tools and policies to foster and evaluate social and institutional innovation regarding energy planning on a local scale
- conduct research activities including: literature analysis, policy analysis, stakeholder interviews, surveys, focus-groups.

Next to working within the Making City project, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to lead and support in the development of peer-review articles in international journals, both with colleagues within the Faculty of Spatial Sciences and other project partners. The postdoctoral researcher will also be involved in supervision of PhD candidates, to pursue publishing and attracting research funding beyond his/her involvement within Making City; i.e. the development of her/his own line of research is encouraged. Participation in teaching is not a formal part of the position, but can be explored.


- has a PhD in in the wider field of spatial planning, geography, environmental policy, public administration, or another related disciplines with proven affinity with spatial planning
- has proven affinity with the topics of sustainability and/or energy
- has publications in international peer-reviewed academic journals
- has good qualitative research skills with expertise in conducting in-depth interviews, experience with qualitative data analysis software is desirable
- is a team-player with good communication skills and preferably has experience with international collaboration
- is fluent in English (reading, writing, speaking) and preferably has knowledge of or is willing to learn Dutch.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
- offers a salary depending on qualifications and work experience starting from a minimum of € 3,545 (salary scale 11.0) to a maximum of € 3,916 gross per month (salary scale 11.3) for a full-time position
- 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees. For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check:
- a temporary appointment for a specified period of one year, with the possibility for an extension with 3 years. The appointment will be for 0.8 FTE, but a 1,0 FTE appointment can be discussed

We aim at a start date of 1 February 2020

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

- a letter of motivation
- a curriculum vitae (including date and place of birth)
- full list of publications and other research activities and output clearly showing your expertise in relevant areas, the names of two academic referees)
- if the PhD defense will be after the application, please send information on the defense date or a confirmation from your PhD adviser (or professor) on the expected defense date
- two sample writings.

You can submit your application until 1 December 11:59pm / before 2 December 2019 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). Please merge all your application documents in one single PDF file under the Letter of Motivation attachment.

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. We have adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Christian Zuidema (about the research role and academic content)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219571

Digital application form