The candidates must undertake a doctoral thesis in Environmental Sciences and Management, with a research focus in a field of research related to environmental issues by mobilizing methodologies derived from scientific approaches. The thesis will be carried out under the supervision of an academic member of the research group SONYA (organized by Pr. Marie MANCILLA GARCIA, Tom BAULER and Wouter ACHTEN) of the Institute for Environmental Management and Regional Planning.

SONYA is a research center bringing together different perspectives on the links between society and the environment. Our work contributes to empirical and fundamental research on socio-environmental dynamics and to a transformation towards a sustainable society, through education and participation in societal debates. We use a wide range of methods (both quantitative and qualitative), approach environmental issues from a systemic / holistic perspective that combines micro and macro, and we particularly focus on environmental governance, transitions to just and sustainable societies , environmental mobilizations, life cycle analysis, environmental impact assessment, and ecological economics. We seek to create a reflective, open and supportive environment within the University, promoting decent and collaborative work.

In order to promote the integration of the two doctoral assistants into the SONYA research team, and to allow them to interact throughout their research career, candidates are asked to develop a doctoral thesis project in the same field of research, namely that of intergenerational and/or inter-age dynamics in the processes of socio-environmental transitions. Thesis projects must therefore give an important place to dealing with “time”, “temporaries”, durations”, “ages”… in the context of socio-environmental transitions. This temporal aspect can be integrated in a methodological way (e.g. using longitudinal, prospective, historical, etc. methods), or through the research subject itself (e.g., eco-anxiety in the elderly, etc.), or through the object of research (e.g. the counterproductive effects of future transition policies, etc.) or even by the research question (e.g. identifying the future neglect of climate compensation policies …).

Just like the other assistants, the candidates participate in the supervision of practical work, seminars, personal work and excursions linked to a series of courses of the Master program in Environmental Sciences and Management, specialisation ‘Management’. Supervision activities are linked to learning a research approach (eg preparation for the final dissertation) and in learning interdisciplinarity. The candidate becomes part of a multidisciplinary team of assistants with profiles complementary to his own, and the distribution of supervisory work is done in particular according to the skills of each.

The candidates will contribute to the supervision of the following courses and educational activities (list can  be adjusted according to the candidate’s profile and distributed between the two assistants): 

  • ENVI-F-422 Projet interdisciplinaire 1 (titulaire-enseignant : Maria MANCILLA GARCIA), qui évoluera vers ENVI-F_xxx Compétences universitaires (Titulaire : Wouter ACHTEN) et ENVI-F-422 Méthodes qualitatives pour une analyse interdisciplinaire (Titulaire : Maria MANCILLA GARCIA) en 2022-2023.
  • ENVI-F-501 Projet interdisciplinaire 2 (titulaires-enseignants : Wouter ACHTEN, Tom BAULER, Maria MANCILLA GARCIA), 
  • ENVI-F-5001 – Questions approfondies de Gestion de l’Environnement (titulaires-enseignants : Wouter ACHTEN, Tom BAULER, Maria MANCILLA GARCIA) 
  • MEMO-F-530 Mémoire de fin d’études, 
  • ENVI-F-453 Connaissances de base en sciences (titulaire-enseignant : Wouter ACHTEN).

Main Research Field : 16. Environmental Sciences 

Required educational level : Master level in Environmental Sciences and Management (or equivalent), or Sciences, or Engineering, or Bioscience Engineering, or Human or Social Sciences (economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, history, …) with a specialization in environment.

Required Languages :        Français – Excellent. English – Good 

Interested ? For more information, please contact Mr Wouter ACHTEN – E-mail: ).

Applications must be sent by e-mail to the rectorate of the Université Libre de Bruxelles ( ) and to the faculty deanship ( ) for the June 30th 2022, and interviews of candidates will take place on July 7th 2022 in Brussels. 

They must include the following :

  • a motivation letter
  • a Curriculum vitae including a list of publications :
  • a note on the applicant’s PhD research project (4 pages)
  • two letters of reference
  • An electronic copy of a scientific writing of the candidate (paper, master dissertation, …)

Equal opportunities policy

ULB’s personnel management policy is geared towards diversity and equal opportunities.

We recruit candidates on the basis of their skills, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, origin, nationality, beliefs, disability, etc.

Would you like to be provided with reasonable accommodation in the selection procedure because of a disability, disorder, or illness?  Please contact Marie Botty, the person in charge of diversity aspects for the academic and scientific staff ( Be assured of the confidentiality of this information.

  1. if you want you can complete a standard form via our website at completed, it must be downloaded and attached to the application file.

More details on the ULB gender and diversity policy are available at

You will find all the regulations relating to research careers on our site at

Reference : 2022/S182

Application deadline : 30/06/2022

Start date: 01/10/2022

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