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Job announcement LESTRA project

In October 2021, the research project “Transactional investigations of learning in view of sustainability transitions” (LESTRA), financed by the European Research Council (ERC), starts at Ghent University. We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher for coordinating the LESTRA project together with the Principal Investigator (PI), prof. Katrien Van Poeck, and for independently conducting scientific research in the context of the project. You will be employed at the Department of Political Sciences, more specifically in the multi-disciplinary research environment of the Centre for Sustainable Development.


  • You spend 100% of your time on scientific research in the context of the LESTRA project.
  • You support the PI in project management and coordination.
  • You supervise 1 or more PhD students as co-supervisor.
  • You develop, together with the PI, the conceptual and analytical framework for the research by contributing knowledge and experience with research into sustainability transitions.
  • Together with the project team, you collect and analyse data in case studies on the role of learning in transitions with regard to food systems, mobility and plastics.
  • You conduct independent research into transitions (in-the-making) in the three cases studied.
  • You work together with the PI on the synthesis of the research findings.
  • You communicate about the results of the research through both academic publications and writings/activities for a non-academic audience (e.g. policymakers and practitioners involved in transition initiatives).


  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate in an area that is relevant for sustainability transition studies by the time the contract starts (obtained max. 6 years ago. This term of 6 years is determined by the date written on the above-mentioned required diploma).
  • You have a demonstrated track record in scientific research into sustainability transitions. This is evident from (forthcoming) publications in high quality scientific journals and/or peer-reviewed books. Please note that we are explicitly looking for someone with experience in sustainability transition studies rather than sustainability research in a general sense.
  • Experience with the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) on sustainability transitions and/or research on transition pathways, transitions-in-the-making and/or phases of transitions (e.g. emergence, acceleration, stabilisation) is a plus.
  • You have a strong interest in (research into) the role of learning in sustainability transitions.
  • You have the ambition to grow as a researcher and to conduct (partly independent) research in the context of socalled ‘frontier research’ funded by the ERC.
  • You are a team player with leadership qualities and are willing to lead a team of doctoral researchers together with the PI of this project.
  • You have some experience with project management and know what it takes to execute a project successfully.
  • You show a sense of initiative and you work quality-oriented.
  • You function well in a multidisciplinary environment and can promote multidisciplinary cooperation.
  • You are very proficient in Dutch and English, or you are willing to acquire sufficient knowledge of those languages ​​within 6 months (very good knowledge of Dutch is a crucial requirement for conducting the empirical research).


  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 5 years.
  • Your contract will start on 1/10/2021 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a fulltime job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staffbenefits (in Dutch).


Apply online through Ghent University's website before 15th of August 2021. We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.


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