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PhD in Geography / Land Change Science

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR6554-THOHOU-003
Workplace : RENNES
Date of publication : Friday, February 08, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Thomas HOUET
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 1 768,55 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Job description
The PhD position (ESR) is part of the European Training Network TERRANOVA (H2020 ITN) in which 15 PhD fellows will collaborate to increase long-term understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe. Previously identified socio-cultural transitions and the effects of natural forcing's will be critically assessed in a new intellectual interdisciplinary arena created by the Terra Nova project. Local / Regional and continental syntheses will be used to anchor a new generation of landscape and climate change models, which include the effects of past human actions and future scenarios for landscape management and rewilding. Ultimately, this project will contribute to identifying major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes and provide options for the future transition to a low carbon society.

This PhD position (ESR) will evaluate the effect of knowledge on long-term landscape changes (over the past and the future) on the decision making process. It will analyze the added-value and drawbacks of such a dynamic and systemic understanding of landscape changes at various scales on decision making and policy making. It will use a comparative approach using (1) existing studies from others ESRs, research projects and the literature, (2) experimentations on participatory studies aiming at building scenarios of land uses management in the context of the Anthropocene. Envisioning possible futures of landscape may have various influence on the perception of land users, decision makers or policy makers. This position will contribute to develop protocols and decision support tools (crowdsourcing and choice experiments; testing research outputs from the ESR 10-11-13 with an engaged group of stakeholders and policy makers) for considering long-term landscape change in decision making. Thi PhD position will be applied on North European landscapes, with a special focus on intensively used landscapes in temperate-Atlantic area (in The Netherlands and France) facing the diverging challenge of a sustainable human / nature development under a low carbon future context.

Your duties
• analyze literature, conduct Land use and land cover modelling and participatory modelling studies
• publish scientific papers and deliver synthesis
• interact and collaborate with other PhD students in the project
• interpret and reconstruct scientific analysis in terms of landscape histories and (shifts in) energy regimes

• outstanding MA/MSc (or equivalent degree) in Geography, Agronomy, Modelling, Land change science or related fields
• previous experience in working with Geographical Information Systems and modelling
• interdisciplinary skills and strong interest in environmental issues, spatial planning, scenarios development
• next to English, an academic reading ability in French
• work or study outside France is an important experience of the successful candidate following the eligibility requirements of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Work Context

This PhD position will be jointly supervised by Dr. Thomas Houet (National Center of Scientific Research, Geography, University of Rennes, France), Dr. Peter Verburg (Environmental Spatial Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Dr. Welter Helmer (Dept. of Landscape Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, University of Leiden). Two secondments will take place at VU University Amsterdam (Verburg, Months 21-23) in order to learn land system analysis, at IUCN (Van Ham, Months 15-17) for the nonacademic setting of nature governance, and to Rewilding Europe (Helmer, M27) to develop marketable skills in landscape management and rewilding.

What are we offering?

• A challenging position in a socially involved organization. Renumeration according to the conditions of Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA).
• Be part of a team of leading scientists in different fields of academia and commerce (science, landscape management, modelling and imaging techniques).
• Prestigious EU fellowship.
• Develop multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research skills.
• Excellent training programme covering human-environment interaction, landscape histories, reconstruction, and management, energy regimes and spatial planning, among others.
• Establish a professional network in academia, business organizations and NGO's.
• Internships and visits to different disciplinary institutes within industry and academia.

Salary and conditions

The appointment will initially be for 1 years. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 2 more years.
Additionally, CNRS / University of Rennes offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
• a maximum of 44 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
• considerable employer's contribution to the pension scheme
• contribution to commuting expenses (up to 50% for public transport), lunch expenses and social events
• optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
The salary will depend on applicant's experience and personal situation but would be comprise between 1800€ and 2200€ net per month.

Additional Information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter before 15/04/2019, 17:00.

Application Steps
• Check that you meet the conditions specified in “Eligibility Criteria” to qualify for applying;
o All researchers recruited in a Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs). A ESR shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. The four years start to count from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate.
o Researchers are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. One general rule applies to the appointment of researchers: At the time of recruitment by the host beneficiary, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Note that the mobility rule applies to the beneficiary where the researcher is recruited, and not to beneficiaries to which the researcher is sent or seconded.
o For all recruitment, the eligibility and mobility of the researcher will be determined at the time of their (first) recruitment in the project. The status of the researcher will not evolve over the life-time of a contract.
• Please provide evidence that you meet the above mentioned eligibility requirements as an annex of your CV.

Key dates
Application deadline: 15 April 2019, 17:00
Evaluation, interviews and selection process: 16 April 2019-20 June 2019*
Successful candidates informed: 21 June 2019
PhDs are employed and ready to start: 1 October 2019
*An assessment event at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can be part of the selection process.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact: Dr. Thomas Houet
E-mail: thomas.houet@univ-rennes2.fr

No application would be eligible if sent by email. Use this web-application to apply.

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