Postdoc Resilient Delta – Port Transitions

0,8 - 1,0 FTE
Resilient Delta
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Posting date
September 27, 2023
Closing date
October 18, 2023


The Resilient Delta initiative and the port transitions-theme

As a researcher, you will be connected to the Resilient Delta initiative, one of the 5 programs in the Convergence alliance. Resilient Delta has a dedicated team of academics and practitioners that organize research, education and collaboration to design resilience solutions in the real-world dynamics of our living lab; the Rotterdam delta. Through interdisciplinary research and co-creation, Resilient Delta builds on policies, technologies, business models and methodologies that address the concrete societal issues that are prevalent in urban deltas, and in particular climate change and inequality. Resilient Delta believes that a better understanding of the complex coherence and mechanisms of systems contributes to achieving the breakthroughs that are needed to really combat societal challenges. We therefore do our work in close cooperation with public en private entities, societal organziations and other knowledge institutions. Read more on www.resilientdelta.orgOpens external.

Resilient Delta works with six mayor perspectives: Port Transitions, Delta Systems, City Challenges, methodology, education and ‘Innovation, Tools & Assets’. Your research will be most connected, but not limited to the Port Transitions-theme of Resilient Delta. This theme is currently under development, as you will guide the changing focus from Port centred towards the wider scope of regenerating MainPorts. To research into spatially redistributing the economy, finding new industrial and economical business models for post-carbon (delta) society based on industrial ecology, agglomeration economies and spatial (re)distribution strategies. This also includes economic preparedness strategies: anticipating damage and lost income, creating new value models, including energy transition, supply-chain and distribution (risks) and CE based transition strategies.

Summarized: we aim to identify new paths for the future of the port, which are less based on current operations and paradigmas, and more on long term, and in relation to its changing surrounding environment; the people that live in the Rotterdam-the Hague Metropolitan area, and societal changes we foresee in the economy, mobility, housing etc. In short; the new port transitions coordinator will focus on building the expanded thinking around the theme and changing the focus of research from traditional activities in the port, to the place of the port in a strongly changing environment. This goal demands a transdisciplinary approach through which we can also define alternative scenario’s. All of this, of course, without losing sight of traditional port focus areas, but in a wider transitions and resilience framework. We also have to consider here that port, maritime, and technological path dependencies have shaped policies and strategies on future economic developments and scenarios for transitions. The field of History matters in this respect because transition studies have shown that past- and existing path-dependencies offer very little space for radical innovations.


Whereas Convergence and the Resilient Delta initiative are collaborations between multiple institutes and partners, your formal employment will be at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Department of History, Erasmus university. In your daily activities you will be part of the Resilient Delta initiative team and the Convergence research community. In agreement with the involved faculty, parts of your activities might take place at the faculty, for example through research or education activities which  are both relevant to Resilient Delta ánd the faculty.

The Resilient Delta team currently consist of a Scientific Director, a Program Director, a Project Officer, 3 Business Developers, an Education coordinator, 5 Theme Research Coordinators, 3 GLUON reserachers, an operations coordinator, a program support officer and a communications advisor. The Theme Research Coordinators each work on one of the Resilient Delta Themes (City, Port, Delta System, Methodology, Education) and both coordinate the practical organization and network of the Resilient Delta Theme and support the development of research proposals and projects, in close cooperation with the coordination groups of the respective themes and the business developers in the Resilient Delta Team.


Resilient Delta is part of a new way of working connecting academic knowledge production with societal challenges: transdisciplinary cooperation. As a post-doc researcher within the Resilient Delta community, you are enthusiastic about developing this new way of working and creating impact with your work. You are willing to invest too in new perspectives of integration science; like setting up new collaborations, within cross disciplinary boundaries, working together with professionals, societal partners, local practitioners, communities and citizen target groups.

The ideal candidate has a track record in interdisciplinary and intercultural cooperation and is a pioneer that combines scientific curiosity and rigor with a drive for societal impact. He/she has an interest in a wide range of subjects, a respect for other disciplines, a willingness to promote the success of other disciplines, good interpersonal skills, is proactive in engaging with other partners and has a keen eye for exploration and innovation. This postdoc research on port transitions will take place in the wider Rotterdam region, in close cooperation with the Resilient Delta Coordination Group Port Transitions, consisting of both senior scientic staff from the three Convergence universitites, and societal partners like Smartport and others. Your core activity will be to help build a portfolio of scientific research projects for the theme.

You are an intellectually curious, emphatic team-player who wants to understand what lies at the heart of the resilience and port transitions. You are eager to learn and explore new contents and perspectives, bold and persistent in making societal impact. You feel comfortable in multidisciplinary and experimental environments and care for colleagues, partners and their motives.

Position results areas

  • Writes or assist in writing research proposals for potential parties.
  • Helps formulating definitions of the problem and working hypotheses, as well as helps determining the research method and target groups and tailored to meet societal demand and the possibility of valorizing the knowledge to be developed.
  • Helps collect, analyze, and interpret research data.
  • Co-ordinates related research projects and monitors the progress of research.
  • Supports publication of research results.
  • Monitors progress and scientific output.
  • Takes part in and/or chairs committees or working groups, as well as performs assigned administrative and managerial tasks.
  • Builds a university-internal community for the theme, as well as relations with relevant societal partners. Helps to coordinate, with the support of our business developers and communications advisor partnering and funding activities, as well as dissemination and communication activities.

Requirements and Competencies

  • PhD, ideally in a background connected to the content of the research theme, but candidates  with different backgrounds (technical, public policy, history, economist) can apply as this is a transdicplinary role, so less connected to an individual field.
  • Emphatic, team-oriented, keen to collaborate, and a good listener.
  • Conceptually strong, intellectually curious, tenacious, pro-active.
  • Experience with and/or interest in inter- and transdisciplinarity (ITD) and diverse research methodologies.
  • Excellent oral and writing (jargon-free) skills in English, understanding and speaking Dutch is an advantage.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities. www.eur.nlOpens external.


Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

The Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) offers education and research in the fields of Media and Communication, History, and Arts and Culture Studies. The faculty has approximately 2400 students and 220 employees.


An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

This postdoc position is initially for two years with the option to renew, depending on funding. The start date of this position is as soon as possible and you will be based at the Campus Woudestein – Rotterdam, located at ESHCC. The position is for 0,8 fte – 1 fte. The salary is dependent on your experience and knowledge and ranges from a minimum of € 4.332 to a maximum of € 5.929 gross per month on a fulltime basis, in accordance with Scale 11 of the CAO-NU. In addition, we offer an 8% holiday allowance, an end-of-year payment of 8.3%, and a very generous paid leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave, fully paid extended birth leave for partners, a personal career budget, work-life balance coaches, discounted collective health insurance, and more. As an employee, you can also use EUR facilities such as the University library and receive a discount on subscriptions for the Erasmus sports center.

Erasmus University Rotterdam offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on payroll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with the nearby universities of Delft and Leiden.

Erasmus University Rotterdam aspires to be an equitable and inclusive community. We nurture an open culture, where everyone is supported to fulfill their full potential. We see inclusivity of talent as the basis of our successes, and the diversity of perspectives and people as a highly valued outcome. EUR provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship, or any other aspect which makes them unique. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained by contacting Hans de Voogd (director Resilient Delta) via