Do you hold a Master degree in development studies, anthropology, sociology, geography, politics or a related field? Do you have didactic qualities? And do you want to do innovative research on the intersection of tourism and conflict studies? Then you might be the junior lecturer/ PhD student we are looking for!

We are looking for
The Sociology of Development and Change group (SDC) is looking for a motivated and enthusiastic PhD student (60%) / junior lecturer (40%) working on the intersection of tourism, conservation and conflict/disaster studies (preferably in Southern or Central Africa, but other regions will be considered), with an interest in political ecology. The connections between tourism, conservation and conflict/disaster are manifold: tourism can aggravate or alleviate conflicts, including over natural resources, while, vice versa, conflict is often considered detrimental to tourism development. Whichever way one looks at these connections, they have been thoroughly upset over the last years by COVID-19 and are currently again being reshaped as the tourism industry is trying to regain lost ground. We believe it is important to critically study these dynamics, as they will help to share broader debates in political ecology, conflict studies, tourism studies. We are therefore keen to solicit ideas for research in these areas, whereby the precise empirical focus and topic of research can be chosen in collaboration with the supervisors.

The position will be for 6 years, whereby 60% of your time is reserved for PhD research, and 40 % for teaching (support). Teaching activities include the supervision of Bachelor theses and participation in courses around tourism, conservation, livelihoods and crisis and disaster studies.

Affinity and experience with qualitative and ethnographic research methods is welcome, as is experience with envisioning a multi-scalar research design.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • The (violent) histories of conservation/tourism spaces;
  • Tourism development and the political ecology of memory;
  • Extinction tourism in relation to disasters and conflict;
  • Tourism in conservation and/or conflict-affected areas;
  • Eco-war tourism (where tourism to war-affected regions is framed as contributing to the protection of the environment);
  • Privatization, securitization and militarization of tourism and conservation.

We ask

The successful candidate will meet the following academic qualifications:

  1. A completed MSc or MPhil degree in sociology, anthropology, political science or equivalent.
  2. If the candidate is non-Dutch, from a non-Anglophone country and has not completed higher education with English as the language of instruction, an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language should be submitted. Minimum required scores:
  • TOEFL internet-based 90, with minimum sub-score 23 for speaking
  • IELTS 6.5, with minimum sub-score 6.0 for speaking
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with minimum grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) any grade

Test results must be dated within 24 months prior to the application.

  1. Previous experience of undertaking research (e.g. undergraduate or taught master’s dissertation).
  2. Good understanding of and experience in using qualitative research methods in the social sciences.
  3. Knowledge of tourism and conflict issues and networks.
  4. Familiarity with planning and implementing independent research.
  5. Fluency in the language spoken in the candidate’s chosen case study is desirable.  
  6. Personal Attributes:
    1. Able to, under guidance, complete independent work successfully
    2. Personal resilience and strong cross-cultural communication skills

We offer

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.

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 17th 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. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. 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, and other issues.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Prof.dr. Bram Büscher, telephone +31 317 48 2015 or 2075 or by e-mail

For more information about the procedure, please contact Jeanine van ‘t Veer, Corporate Recruiter,

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.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 23th of June 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on as soon as possible after the closing date.

To apply we ask

  1. An initial research proposal relevant for this position (700 words max –  including problem statement, research question and methodological note).
  2. A cover letter outlining why you are applying and your motivation
  3. CV including 3 referees
  4. Academic qualification certificates/transcripts and when required IELTs/English Language certificate or validation as indicated above
  5. Listing of academic / popular or policy collaborations and outputs
  6. A (link to) a writing sample such as a thesis chapter or academic (or other) article (no more than 25 pages)

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University and 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 and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach.WUR has been named the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and 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, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

The Sociology of Development and Change Group (SDC)
SDC focuses on the structures and practices of development and change with a particular scientific interest in inequality, marginalization and political agency. The group’s vision is to be a world-leading, politically engaged and interdisciplinary research and educational centre in development studies, political ecology, anthropology of law and crisis and disaster studies. Our mission is to gain and communicate a deeper understanding of inequality and marginalisation generated by global and local structures of power and political-economy and so contribute to social and environmental justice. At the same time we study how actors generate forms of agency and practices that enable them to deal with these dynamics and create new opportunities. Together with the Rural Sociology Group, the Health and Society Group and the Cultural Geography group, the SDC group forms the WUR Centre for Space, Place and Society (see

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. Apply now

Please see the original vacancy here.

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