Universiteit Leiden

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Postdoctoral fellow, Industrial Ecology

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
0.8-1.0 FTE
External/ internal
Internal, External
Placed on
07 August 2018
Closing date
07 September 2018

20 more days to apply

The Faculty of Science and the Institute of Environmental Sciences are looking for a Postdoctoral fellow, Industrial Ecology (0.8-1.0 FTE).

Key responsibilities

Due to their pervasive short and long terms effects, disposable plastic bags have become a global example of environmental degradation. For years billions of plastic bags have been used and disposed, with just about 1% reaching a recycling facility. In 2016, the Netherlands followed other European Member states and imposed a ban on free disposable bags. What is the outcome of this ban on the diffusion of plastic bags and on their related impact on the environment? The project “One-bag-at-a-time” aims to assess the effects of this policy intervention on the environment, and to compare solutions adopted in the Dutch system to other equivalent across the globe. In this context, we are looking for a postdoctoral fellow who will join our team at the CML-Industrial Ecology (IE) Department.

Key tasks include:

  • Quantify the flows and stocks of plastic bags through the Dutch economy and the related stocks using material flow analysis (MFA);
  • Quantify the environmental impacts across the life cycle of plastic bags using life cycle assessment (LCA), including consideration of various fate scenarios, alternative end-of-life treatment, and waste management options;
  • Assess the efficacy of policies implemented before the ban, and the impact of the 2016 ban.

Selection criteria

  • You should have a PhD in a relevant field, and ideally have proven already to be productive in terms of scientific output. Relevant backgrounds include PhDs in industrial ecology, urban metabolism, sustainability science, or (regional) economics and modelling.
  • Knowledge of industrial ecology methods, and, in particular, life cycle assessment (LCA), and material flow analysis (MFA) is a strong advantage.
  • Strong data management, visualization and programming skills (e.g. in Matlab, Python or R) are an advantage.
  • Experience with the assessment of waste streams and recycling systems is an advantage, but not essential.
  • You must be proficient in spoken and written English, have good communication skills. Previous teaching experience will also be valued.
  • Moreover, you are a team player, are able as well to work independently, take initiative, and have a strong interest and motivation to pursue academic research.

Research at our Institute/Faculty

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) is positioned in the Faculty of Sciences. The core business of CML is to perform research and education in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Sciences. CML has two Departments: Industrial Ecology (CML-IE) and Conservation Biology (CML-CB). Presently, over 90 FTE (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at CML. CML collaborates with the TU Delft and Erasmus University (Rotterdam) in the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability (LDE-CfS) and Centre for Metropoles and Mainports (LDE-CMM).

Terms and conditions

We offer a one year term position with the possibility of renewal based on need, funding and performance. The salary range is from €2,640 to €4,166 gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.  


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Dr Stefano Cucurachi, or Professor Arnold Tukker.
See also “Further information”.


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV
  • A motivation letter
  • The names and phone numbers of two referees

Interviews will take place on 11 September between 1.30 PM and 5.30 PM. You are kindly requested to be available on this date.

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