PhD Candidate / Postdoctoral Researcher: Governing the Acceleration of the Transition to Animal-free Safety Assessment – Radboud University – Nijmegen

Radboud University

The transition to animal-free safety assessment needs to accelerate. While our understanding of societal transformations is growing, how to govern the acceleration of such transitions receives less attention. Do you want to contribute to the transition to animal-free safety assessment and enhance our understanding of governing the acceleration of societal transformations? Then you have a part to play as a PhD candidate or postdoctoral researcher.

The Chair Group of Environmental Governance and Politics (EGP) at the Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University, is looking for a postdoctoral researcher or PhD candidate.

You will be part of a transdisciplinary consortium, called SAFE, working on the project ’Accelerating the Transition to Animal-free Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA): A Transformative Governance Approach’, funded as part of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA). The aim of this research project is to contribute to the acceleration of the transition to animal-free safety assessment of chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the EU (including the Netherlands) and the USA. To achieve this aim, the project applies a transformative governance approach.

The consortium experiments with transformative governance approaches to accelerate the transition through action research. As a PhD candidate or postdoctoral researcher, you will play a central role in the project, working together with two PhD candidates, one also based at Radboud University, and the other at Utrecht University.

Your research includes analysing how societal values and discourses and the political economy of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries affect the transition. You will develop a values framework to inform discussions on animal-free safety assessment in the context of other societal goals. You will also distil and bring together existing knowledge, including through drawing lessons learned from successful implementation of animal-free models; making existing knowledge of NGRA and NAMs more accessible (through text mining and developing index databases); and developing evidence and gap maps. Your research will be used in the action research performed by the consortium, in which you will also play a vital role.

We are looking for a colleague who is passionate about animal and sustainability issues – a researcher who wants to make a difference. We are looking for someone with the ability to make connections across disciplines and among a variety of societal actors, and with excellent organisational skills.


  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Nijmegen
  • Radboud University


  • You have a Master’s or PhD degree in a relevant social science field (e.g. political science, environmental studies, political economy), the humanities, or an interdisciplinary degree (e.g. combining the social and medical/natural sciences).
  • You have experience with both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • You have published relevant publications in internationally recognised high-quality journals (for applicants at the postdoc level).
  • You have proven experience and skills in coordinating research projects (or parts thereof).
  • You have excellent English language and academic writing skills.
  • You have a proven ability to collaborate in inter- and transdisciplinary teams, and are a team player.
  • Conditions of employment

    Fixed-term contract: 3 or 4 years.

  • Depending on your scientific track record and experience you will be appointed as a PhD candidate or postdoctoral researcher.
  • As a postdoctoral researcher, you will receive a temporary employment contract of 3 years, until 31 July 2027. Your salary within depends on your previous education and number of years of (relevant) work experience. The amounts in the scale are based on a 38-hour working week.
  • As a PhD candidate, you will receive a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (until 31 August 2028). You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year ().
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our . The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.
  • Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University’s primary and secondary . You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


    The SAFE consortium is a transdisciplinary consortium of academics, animal welfare NGOs and industry partners aiming to accelerate the transition to animal-free safety assessment. While closely collaborating with all partners in the consortium, you will be based in the EGP chair group.

    Our group is part of the Geography, Planning and Environment Department, and is a growing, inclusive and collaborative social science team of engaged researchers who aim to critically reflect on and contribute to sustainability transformations. We develop useful insights into the why and how of such processes, which can serve to enable, accelerate, deepen and broaden the transformation towards a global sustainable society. For this purpose, we engage in research, teaching and collaboration with societal partners. We are specialised in agriculture, animal, biodiversity, circular economy, climate change, energy, and freshwater governance. We focus on transdisciplinary research, incorporate futures studies, and mostly apply qualitative methods and comparative analyses. Theoretically, we mainly use discursive, institutional and practice-based perspectives.

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