I am passionate about mentoring younger researchers, always striving to motivate them to not only excel in their scientific pursuits but also to put their newly acquired knowledge to use in society.

Six of my PhD students have won international or national awards for their doc­toral work, including one best book award; three best paper awards (two times ISA Graduate Paper Award; one Oran Young Award); two dissertation awards; and four students graduated "with distinction". Most former PhD students now hold prestigious academic postdoctoral and junior faculty positions; four are full professors.

I have led numerous training programmes for doctoral students, including a five-year Marie Curie Summer School, and served for seven years as director of the Netherlands Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment, which organizes education programmes for over 600 PhD students.

Utrecht University is an excellent host institution to undertake demanding doctoral research. For 16 years our university has continuously been listed as the best Dutch university in the international Academic Ranking of World Universities. In ‘Environmental Sciences’, Utrecht University is ranked as the 13th best university world-wide, and in Geography, we are ranked second best in the world.

Within Utrecht University, our PhD students are part of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, a world-leading centre for sustainability research and teaching.

At present, I am supervising seven PhD students, including Ashok Vardhan Adipudi (Dr Kim's ProblemShifting Project); Ksenia Anisimova (Dr Patterson's Backlash Project); Alexia Faus Onbargi (in cooperation with German Development Institute); Isik Girgiç (Dr Kim's ProblemShifting Project); Matthias Honegger (originally in cooperation with Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies); Abbie Yunita (GlobalGoals Project), and Valeria Zambianchi (University of Leuven).

Given the size of this group, I am afraid that I cannot accept new PhD students in 2024.

At times, we can offer fully funded PhD positions that cover a four-year salary and generous social security benefits. Such positions, once available, are advertised through our social media networks and filled in international competition. In addition, we accept self-funded PhD students, including researchers who are based at other research institutions but seek to pursue their doctoral training at Utrecht University. As a Dutch public university, we do not charge tuition fees for doctoral education. There is no formal course work for doctoral students except for some classes offered by our faculty's Graduate School.

Former PhD Students

I have supervised 25 PhD students to graduation. These include Professor Harro van Asselt (graduated with distinction; winner of 2014 PhD Award of the Netherlands Research School for Socio-economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment; now full professor, Cambridge University); Dr Dona Barirani (Azizi) (winner of the International Studies Association ‘Environmental Studies Graduate Student Paper Award’ in 2019); Dr Steffen Bauer (winner of International Studies Association ‘Environmental Studies Graduate Student Paper Award’ in 2005; now senior researcher, German Development Institute); Dr Ingrid Boas (now VENI and VIDI laureate and associate professor, Wageningen University); Dr Miranda Boettcher (now fellow with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs); Dr Maya Bogers (now Senior Advisor Climate Policy, Wetenschappelijke Klimaatraad); Dr Stijn Brouwer (now senior researcher, KWR Water­cycle Research Institute); Dr Sander Chan (now assistant professor, Radboud University); Dr Eleni Dellas (now civil servant with the German Government); Professor Klaus Dingwerth (summa cum laude, German National Academic Foundation laureate; now full professor of Political Theory, University of St Gallen); Dr Melanie van Driel (now postdoctoral researcher, University of Amsterdam); Dr Adis Dzebo (now senior researcher, Stockholm Environment Institute); Dr Sara Ramirez-Gomez (now postdoc Tropenbos); Dr Sandra van der Hel (winner of the 2015 Oran R. Young Prize); Dr Sean J. Low (graduated "With Distinction" [= top 5%], now postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University); Dr Aysem Mert (now associate professor, Stockholm University); Dr Francesco S. Montesano (now senior policy officer, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands); Professor Philipp Pattberg (summa cum laude; dissertation won 2009 Science Prize of German Political Science Association; now full professor and head of department at VU University Amsterdam); Dr Pieter Pauw (now senior researcher, Eindhoven University); Dr Carole-Anne Sénit (now assistant professor, Utrecht University); Dr Yanuardi Yanuardi (now lecturer, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta); and Professor Fariborz Zelli (summa cum laude; dissertation won dissertation prize of University of Tübingen; now full professor, Lund University).

(last update: April 2024)