Will you help to develop a conceptual framework, to express the economic and societal value of water ?


  • HOURS38 – 40 hr.
  • SALARY INDICATION€ 2,541 – € 3,247
  • DEADLINE15 Oct 2022

This is one of two PhD positions that are part of an international and multidisciplinary research project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme entitled “Water Efficient Allocation in a Central Asian Transboundary River Basin”. The overall project goal is to develop and demonstrate a climate-sensitive Decision Support System (DSS) for water allocation in two sub-catchments of a transboundary glacier-fed river basin in Central Asia. Based on an innovative, data-driven water information system rooted in a deep understanding of local water availability, users’ water needs, water footprints, and allocation principles and policies, the project will enable local water managers and stakeholders to increase shared benefits for communities, the economy, and the environment, while fostering the adaptation of water resources management and planning to climate change.

The specific focus of your PhD project is to develop a conceptual framework, including its constituent approaches and indicators, to express the economic and societal value of water. You will draw insights from both literature on various societal, economic, and environmental value assessments and valuation techniques, as well as expectations and needs of local stakeholders. You will apply and validate your frameworks in the context of the two case study river basins in Central Asia, using quantitative data on green and blue water footprints of water-using activities (both for domestic consumption and related to virtual water trade) in conjunction with (local) socio-economic data. You will work together with other project partners and local stakeholders to co-design alternative water allocation strategies that capture currently overlooked social and environmental costs and benefits provided by the water resources. Moreover, you will translate these alternative allocation strategies into a serious game tailored to the local context, to be played with end-users in the region. Beside the clear policy relevance of your work, this PhD project has strong potential for ground-breaking scientific research, particularly in improving our understanding of the multiple values of water in a real-world setting and in identifying trade-offs and synergies between sustainable, equitable, efficient, and resilient allocation of water under climate change.


We are looking for an enthusiastic, professional, and ambitious colleague, with the following profile :

  • You hold a Master’s degree in an (Environmental) Economics, Complex Systems Analysis, or Environmental Sciences discipline;
  • You have experience in working with economic, environmental, and/or societal value assessments and valuation techniques;
  • You have affinity with quantitative modelling, Python and/or GIS, or are confident that you can learn these skills quickly;
  • You are a strong conceptual thinker with outstanding analytical skills;
  • You are comfortable translating abstract concepts and principles to operationalized and policy-relevant recommendations;
  • You exhibit high levels of self-motivation while also being a team player;
  • You enjoy working in a multidisciplinary research setting with an international research team to achieve both scientific excellence and policy relevance;
  • You are interested in short research stays in Central Asia
  • You can prove your excellent command of the English language and strong (professional) communication skills.


You will be employed full-time for a period of 4 years. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

  • A gross salary between € 2,541 per month during the first year increasing to € 3,247 per month in the last year (job profile PhD candidate);
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and 8.3% end-of-year;
  • A solid pension scheme and an optional model for designing a personalize benefits packages;
  • A maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment.


For additional information regarding this position, you can contact prof.dr.ir. Markus Berger, email m.berger@utwente.nl.

Women are explicitly asked to apply for this position. This is part of the University of Twente’s strategy to increase the proportion of women among its faculty and to create a working environment that is diverse and inclusive and supportive of excellence in research and teaching.

Please apply by uploading in one integrated file::

  • a motivation letter (1 page),
  • your CV (max 3 pages),
  • relevant certificates and references

until 15 October 2022 using the link below.

The first (online) job interview will take place on 8 or 9 November 2022.

A Game Based Assessment can be part of the selection procedure.


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