Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

PhD programmes of the departments

IVM’s high-level PhD programme is directly supervised by staff from the four IVM departments.


The PhD research in the department of Environmental Economics investigates how economic growth (including the improvement of livelihoods for the world’s poor) and environmental sustainability can be reconciled. Part of the answer lies in the use of economic principles such as the polluter pays, market mechanisms for ecosystem services, resource use and flood protection, and other economic instruments such as environmental taxation. Our research tools include economic models, statistical analysis, empirical data collection (e.g. surveys, choice experiments) and methods such as cost-benefit analysis.

Important fields of application include IVM’s four main topic areas (water, climate, energy and ecosystems), but also other areas such as air pollution and waste. A list of our current key projects is found here. The PhD research is linked to three scientific themes, covering a wide range of policy relevant environmental themes: (1) Economics of natural capital and ecosystem services; (2) Climate change economics; (3) Economics of sustainable energy. Click here for more information on the Environmental Economics department's research.

For more information or applications, please contact Prof. Wouter Botzen or Prof. Pieter van Beukering.


The PhD programme in the department of Environmental Geography has a strong methodological focus in developing, applying and interpreting novel approaches for the description, mapping, and modelling methods land and food systems on different spatial and temporal scales. The main objective is to study the complex interactions between human activities and the natural environment reflected in land use.

PhD students in the EG department follow the department’s four main research themes: (1) Socio-ecological system mapping and modelling, (2) Trade-offs between climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services, (3) Land system change and sustainability transformations, (4) Sustainable land management and cities (more information on our research themes page).

The EG department is well embedded within the international research community, and the PhD students in the department are often part of research projects consisting of international collaborators. While several of our PhD students perform global-scale research, many study land use in regional contexts all over the world: woodlands in Kenya, traditional landscapes in Greece, tiger habitats in Cambodia, coastal land use on Curaçao, cocoa smallholders in Ghana, peri-urban areas in Switzerland and city parks in the Netherlands, to name a few.

For more information or applications, please contact Prof. Peter Verburg or Dr Nynke Schulp.


The PhD research in the department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) focuses on the theme of governance for sustainability. Governance has become a key concept in policy research, where it denotes the departure from old-style government to new forms of horizontal and vertical steering. This generally includes a transition from bureaucratic, centralized top-down policies to new forms of decision-making that are more inclusive, more decentralized, more flexible, less hierarchical, and more complex.

Within this context, we investigate several overarching questions: for example, how effective are modern systems of environmental governance in achieving the transition to sustainability? Which theories can best explain variation in the effectiveness of different forms of governance? How can we scrutinize unintended effects? How does a multitude of institutions that co-exist with an issue area interlink, overlap, and interact? How do unsustainable practices change into sustainable ones? And finally, how can we stimulate innovation in terms of governance approaches?

The EPA department runs PhD research projects linked to their three Research themes: (1) Governing under Complexity; (2) Governance Innovation and Institutional change; (3) Governance Evaluation (more information here).

For more information or applications, please contact Prof. Philipp Pattberg or Dr Oscar Widerberg.


The PhD programme of the Department of Water and Climate Risk aims at developing data and modelling methods for the analysis of societal and environmental risk related to water and climate. The focus is on water and climate extremes such as floods and droughts, to estimate impacts from these extremes on various economic sectors, and to examine what strategies can be developed to reduce impacts and risk.

The PhD programme of the WCR Department follows the department's three main research lines or specialisations: (1) Climate Extremes, Attribution and Forecasting; (2) Flood, Drought and Multi-Risk Assessment; (3) Socio-Hydrological Feedbacks and Risk Management (more information here).

The department of WCR has a strong international orientation with a large research network and there are many collaboration activities with colleague universities and institutes from all over the world. Many of our PhD students use their tie as guest researcher at one of our international network institutes: e.g. JRC, Columbia Earth Institute, PIK Potsdam, Oxford University, etc.

For more information or applications, please contact Prof. Jeroen Aerts or Prof. Philip Ward.