Ph.D. Position in Ocean Science (The Netherlands) Deadline: April 27, 2019

University of Gothenburg

Application Deadline

April 30, 2019

Program Commencement

September 01, 2019

Duration of the Program

Up to 4 Years

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Program Details

The institute Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of the Faculty Social and Behavioural Sciences of the University of Leiden seeks to appoint two Ph.D. candidates in the ERC project FluidKnowledge. As a leading research center, CWTS is dedicated to increasing its understanding of scientific quality, societal impact, and other related concepts. CWTS studies the conditions and consequences of research evaluation for the generation of new knowledge, and the role of research in innovation processes.

The FluidKnowledge team will investigate the past, present and future of evaluating ocean science. Ocean science, like many fields, is under great pressure to be both scientifically excellent, and relevant to the industry, and relevant to the future of the planet. How do steering efforts toward interdisciplinary engagement and societal relevance relate to other norms and criteria of scientific quality (e.g. excellence, global competitiveness) in actual practice?

  1. Regarding the past: How research priorities in ocean science evolved until now, which lines of inquiry became hot topics, and which died out, who became global players, who ended up in the periphery, who published on what, in which interdisciplinary collaborations?
  2. Regarding the present: analyze the knowledge cultures in different European marine institutes, study how researchers do their work: in labs, on ships, during team meetings, and in supervisory meetings.
  3. Regarding the future: look at priority setting in science policy, study how expectations about the role of ocean science are formulated in European policies, which values and priorities will ocean science be held accountable to, how do policymakers and ocean scientists work together, how and when does this fail?

The primary task of the Ph.D. candidates will be to contribute to an international research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) on how evaluation shapes ocean science. Candidates will pursue a Ph.D. in Social Sciences. They will be based in Leiden and will become part of the Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) research group at CWTS, led by Professor Sarah de Rijcke. De Rijcke is also the PI of the ERC project. The Ph.D. candidates will be enrolled in the graduate training program of the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture (WTMC), and will also become members of the graduate school of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Studies of Leiden University. They are expected to carry out qualitative empirical research, and contribute to (academic) debates by publishing results in relevant outlets as part of a team, as well as independently. They will undertake ethnographies on the knowledge cultures in different European marine institutes.

Eligibility/ Requirements

  •  Masters degree in Science and Technology Studies, Sociology of Science, Anthropology of Science, or a related field;
  • a proven track record of interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from varied areas beyond the original training discipline;
  • strong skills in designing, organizing and executing qualitative research, especially in conducting interviews and participant observation (an interest in methodological innovation is appreciated);
  • strong analytical capacity;
  • willingness and proven ability to do empirical research independently;
  • ability to work in teams;
  • willingness to travel and do fieldwork abroad;
  • fluency in spoken English and excellent writing skills in English.

More information here.

Application Process

Please submit online your application via the online application system. Applicants should submit online a letter of interest accompanied by a CV.

For information about the positions and the project please contact Sarah de Rijcke by e-mail at

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