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Call for Applicants: Connected World Top Talent Team

8 September 2022
Large scale fires are affecting natural and built up areas across the globe. As some of the recent headlines from international media highlight, we struggle to respond adequately to this growing challenge. Are you willing to help develop the vocabulary and research strategies to tackle this growing crisis?! Join our Top Talent Team, “Burning Lowlands”.

We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers from different faculties across the VU campus investigating innovative approaches to tackle the rise in large-scale (wild) fires in many parts of the world, including The Netherlands.

 We have been approached by the Fire Brigade and the Dutch Institute for Public Safety (NIPV) to join forces in national and international cooperative contexts. Specifically, they have asked our help in developing a conceptual framework for (wild) fire management that is appropriate to the ecological, socio-economic, cultural and governance context of The Netherlands.

 To this end, we have together initiated the Burning Lowlands project (see attached).

 Funded by the CLUE+ Interfaculty Institute we are able to offer 10 spots to highly motivated VU students, bachelor’s or master’s. Under our guidance, this Top Talent Team will work collaborative on the Burning Lowlands project.

 Who are we looking for?

  • Students wishing to help tackle urgent societal challenges;
  • Students keen to discover the value of their academic training;
  • Students excited to bring their expertise and personal traits to a heterogenous team of highly motivated researchers;
  • Students committed to dedicating 6ec worth of creative and resilient effort between September 2022 and January 2023.

 What can we offer?

  • Expert guidance by a team of VU researchers with extensive experience in directing international, interdisciplinary projects;
  • Exciting opportunities to work hands-on with relevant societal stakeholders and international scholars in our network through excursions, interviews and seminars;
  • Training in collaborative, interdisciplinary research methods;
  • Training in maximising the scientific and societal impact of your research.

 How can you apply?

Write a motivation letter - maximum 500 words - in which you explain:

  • Why are you excited to join this Top Talent Team?
  • What will you bring to the team, i.e. what are your key assets in terms of knowledge, skills and personal traits?

 Submit your letter by email to by Friday 15th September and in your email also specify:

  • The degree programme in which you are enrolled and no. credits obtained so far;
  • Your schedule for period 1 and period 2.

 How will we decide who to offer a spot?

  • There is a maximum of 10 spots available;
  • We are looking for highly motivated and committed students;
  • We are seeking to form a team of students from as wide a variety of backgrounds as possible, in terms of discipline, methodologies, linguistic skills, personalities, cultural background, etc.

To download the call for applicants and the project outline, click here.