Leiden University

PhD candidate - biodiversity & society: the Dutch home as a multispecies space

2024-05-16 (Europe/Amsterdam)
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About the employer

Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

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Vacancy number 14709

Job type PhD positions

Hours (in fte) 1,0

External/ internal External

Location Leiden

Placed on 2 April 2024

Closing date 16 May 2024 43 more days to apply

The Faculty of Science is looking for a:

PhD candidate - biodiversity & society: the Dutch home as a multispecies space
Vacancy number: 14709

Project description

A substantial part of biodiversity is situated within private spheres of homes and this is also the biodiversity that most intimately affects humans: for example, backyard meadows can be essential for the survival of many insects in urban spaces, whereas insects in the kitchen are commonly considered as unwanted guests. Whereas urban ecology or urban planning usually considers larger spatial scales such as cities or neighborhoods, this project looks human and non-human relations in the institutional context and ecological scale of individual homes. This project considers multispecies homes in both ecological and social sense, thus the applicant should have a keen interest in both humans and more-than-humans in homes and especially in their relations. Similarly, there is an expectation that this project will map biodiversity within homes and also how it relates to humans and humans relate to it.

Do you want to understand the most intimate relations between humans and other species? We are looking for interdisciplinary minded PhD candidate who can work with humans and non-humans. The project allows for a developing specific approach suitable for the candidate’s background. PhD candidate will start the project by mapping out how Dutch homes are multispecies assemblages or communities and this will be followed up by choosing interesting and specific cases of multispecies relations, formulating research questions on them and finding and executing suitable research methods.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Tuomas Aivelo, assistant professor of Biodiversity & Society within the Institute for Biology (IBL). Promotor and possible additional supervisors will be chosen depending on the focus of the work.

Key responsibilities

  • In this PhD, you will study the multispecies aspects of Dutch homes.
  • You will publish academic papers on your findings, present your work at academic conferences and partake in outreach.
  • You will build your own network and work in and on a new and interdisciplinary research field.
  • You will assist with student supervision and teaching and complete a PhD thesis in four years.

Selection Criteria

  • Master degree or similar in biodiversity-relevant field, such as ecology, communication research, urban planning or architecture, environmental studies, sustainability studies, human-animal studies, or other relevant disciplines;
  • Excellent social skills enabling you to work in a interdisciplinary field;
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English;
  • Motivation and ideas to do research on Dutch multispecies homes;
  • Preference for fluency in Dutch language due to the nature of the project;
  • Background or experience in field work with participatory approaches / citizen science is a big plus.

Research at our faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

For more information, see www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and https://workingat.leiden.edu/

The Institute for Biology
The research within the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) aims to work on the science base of biodiversity and health, which is reflected in our leading principle Harnessing Biodiversity for Health. We perform innovative curiosity-driven research to answer fundamental questions, and solutions-driven research to help solving major societal challenges. The latter include protecting nature’s biodiversity, creating sustainable biotechnology and agriculture and increasing good health. Our research focuses on four Research Themes: Bioactive Molecules, Host-Microbe Interactions, Development & Disease and Evolution & Biodiversity. Located in a thriving scientific environment with our Faculty of Sciences, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Leiden Bioscience Park, IBL offers an exciting, internationally oriented and inclusive place to work and study.

Diversity and inclusion
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Terms and conditions
The starting date is ideally September 2024 but can be negotiated.
We offer a full-time, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional maximum of three year based on performance.
Salary range from € 2.770,- to € 3.539,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Enquiries can be made to Dr T.J.E. Aivelo (t.j.e.aivelo@biology.leidenuniv.nl). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Christina Kamerman (Sylvius@biology.leidenuniv.nl).

Applications for this vacancy can be submitted via the blue button of our online system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number.

The application should include

  • Cover letter which includes: 1) motivation on why you would like to join our group and how your research interests and background fit this topic (max. 1 page) and 2) short outline of what you would like to study and what kind of research approach would you see yourself doing (max. 1 page).
  • A Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Contact details of two persons that can provide a reference if requested.


The closing date for applications is May 16th 2024.

Job details

PhD candidate - biodiversity & society: the Dutch home as a multispecies space
Rapenburg 70 Leiden, Netherlands
Application deadline
2024-05-16 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam)
2024-05-16 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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About the employer

Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities.

Visit the employer page

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