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PhD - Planetary health risks:Communicating climate change-related health impacts

Posted 8 Jul 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2,770 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
2 Aug 2024 00:00

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We invite you to join us in exploring the critical intersection of climate change and health as a PhD candidate.

One area of planetary health focuses on understanding and addressing the broad impacts of climate change on human health. Our changing climate poses significant risks: emerging allergies, increased mortality from extreme heat, and more. To mitigate these impacts, it's crucial to implement effective measures and ensure public adherence to guidelines that minimize health risks related to climate change.

Effective risk communication is key to this effort. However, to communicate risks effectively, we first need a deep understanding of public perceptions. This is where your research will come in. By examining how citizens perceive climate change-related health risks through a planetary health lens, you will uncover the complex interplay of factors that influence readiness to act.

Job description

This project aims to understand how people living in the Netherlands perceive different climate change-related health risks, how they search for and process information about these risks, and what factors determine readiness to act, to ultimately make recommendations about how to communicate effectively about the health impacts of climate change.

To do this, four studies are performed utilizing survey designs, social media analysis, and mixed methods (survey and focus groups/interviews). As a start, the risk perceptions of the general public in relation to several possible health risks related to climate change are examined. Special attention is paid to vulnerable groups, such as elderly, children, individuals with chronic diseases and migrants. Based on the results of this first study and literature review, a particular subgroup and risk will be chosen to focus on (for example mental health of young people, or heat stress among the elderly) in the subsequent studies.

Job requirements

The applicant for this position is expected to have a (research) master’s degree in the social sciences (e.g., sociology, social or health psychology, communication studies) or health sciences (public health, global health). A good statistical background and experience with quantitative research is essential; an interest or experience with qualitative methods is an advantage. Computer skills should include SPSS, SAS, R or similar statistical software. Applicants must have excellent speaking and writing skills in English and preferably Dutch, should hold a strong motivation for the research topic ‘planetary health’ and are fairly interested in risk communication.

Employment conditions and benefits

We offer you an internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with excellent working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU).

The start date of this position is 1 Sep 2024 (or in mutual agreement) and you will be based at campus Woudestein Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). This position is for 1 fte. The salary ranges from a minimum of € 2.770 to a maximum of € 3.539 gross per month Scale PhD on a fulltime basis (38 hours), in accordance with the CAO-NU. The contract is entered into for the duration of 1.5 year, which will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years if the candidate performs well.

Everything else we offer you, you can find below!

  • Everything you need for a good work-life balance: the option to work from home in consultation with your manager, 41 days of paid leave with a 40 hour contract, 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus, and a significant discount on a subscription for our on-campus sports centreOpens external!
  • Sustainable, inclusive and diverse work environment with an open culture, where you can be yourself and we pay attention to each other and to the world around us. Make the most of our bicycle budget, or join networks such as Young@EUROpens external, FAME or QuEUR.
  • Time and space for your development in the broadest sense: development days and a personal career budget and free access to our university library.
  • Good pension with ABP that EUR contributes 2/3rds towards, discounts on various collective insurances with Zilveren Kruis Achmea, Loyalis, and Allianz, and compensation for travel, working from home and home internet use.
  • Are you currently combining your job with parenthood, or do you want to do so in the future? EUR offers partially paid parental leave and fully paid additional birth leave for partners, and our campus features a daycare (daycare not paid for by EUR).
  • Moving to the Netherlands for your job with EUR? Then you may be eligible for the 30%-ruling if you meet the requirements of the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax agency), and with our Dual Career Programme we will also help your partner find the right job for them.


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 4.100 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.

Faculty / Institute / Central service

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM) is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam and is responsible for a bachelor and four master programs on policy and management in healthcare, which serve 1000 students. In addition, research is being done on three major research themes: ‘competition and regulation in healthcare’, ‘quality and efficiency in healthcare’ and ‘healthcare management’. ESHPM has about 175 employees. The position offered is within the department of Socio-Medical Sciences. The department of Socio-Medical Sciences within ESHPM addresses socio-medical themes such as patients’ experiences, quality of care, and the accessibility and use of (health) care services. Other topics addressed include the consequences of care provision and care reform for health and well-being of vulnerable groups (including vulnerable elderly, older migrants, youth with chronic conditions, people with an intellectual disability, the chronically ill, and low socioeconomic status groups).

Met een open blik op de wereld en met aandacht voor diversiteit van achtergronden en opvattingen werken onze wetenschappers en onderzoekers, docenten, studenten en professionals nauw samen aan het oplossen van maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Dit doen we onder het motto Making Minds Matter, wat staat voor onze ambities.
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