Thesis - Volunteer opportunity: climate adaptation and forecast on VU campus


VU’s facility management team

Are you interested in climate adaptation and would like to learn more about its implementation on a local level? Do you want your research to have a direct impact and your results to be realised? Do you want to gain experience in sustainability consulting? Then join the Green Action Lab and help VU Amsterdam to improve its water management!

The campus of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is currently being redesigned. Climate adaptation plays an important role in this process, since heavy rain as well as heatwaves are expected to occur more often. Some measures such as a blue-green roof have been realised and the university’s service department is looking for more ways to store and manage water in times of heavy precipitation as well as drought.


Through the Green Action Lab, you will collaborate with VU’s facility management team and collaborate with them on (not exclusively):

-Establishing a forecast in weather predictions for the VU campus

-Identifying options for water storage and management

-How can flooding be avoided?

-How can water be stored and used during droughts?

-Which changes are necessary in the design and use of buildings and other facilities to improve water management?

-Assessing their effectiveness and feasibility and giving recommendations

Throughout your assignment, you can tap on the knowledge of VU’s facility management as well as VU’s researchers. Furthermore, through the Green Action Lab, you will have access to a network of sustainability practitioners in Amsterdam and elsewhere, who you can contact for e.g. expert interviews. The intended outcome for the case commissioner is a list of feasible and effective measures to improve water management on campus.

Depending on your academic background and personal interests, you can choose to focus on physical, behavioural or other aspects.


- You are interested in climate adaptation, and

- You are a bachelor/master student at VU Amsterdam for the duration of the appointment

- You can come to VU on a regular basis

- You have good oral and written command of the English language

- You are open towards interdisciplinary collaboration and show a welcoming and tolerant work attitude

- Desired background in: Environmental/climate studies, Ecology and Evolution, Engineering, Environment and Resources management, or other sustainability-related fields.

What are we offering?:

By joining the project team, you will gain experience in developing educational modules from the latest climate research, use novel and creative tools for education and build your professional network. Beyond that, you will also gain:

-Sustainability consulting experience

-Professional & personal skills workshops with certificate for your CV

-Fexible desk and a study spot at the Green Office-VU

-Peer reviewed publication in “Science for sustainability” open access academic journal (when thesis is graded above 7.5)

-Certificate on climate action (SDGs agent)

Duration: From 1 February until 30 June 2023 (flexible)

Working hours: 8 hours per week of practical work, research possible for the rest of the week

Place: VU Amsterdam and remote

Supervision: Green Action Lab & VU FCO

*This project contributes to VU’s efforts to become the most sustainable university in the Netherlands and is embedded in its sustainability strategy 2020-2025.

Application process:

Are you interested in this position? Apply until 1st February 2023 by filling your information below and the Green Action Lab coordinator will contact you in 2-3 business days.

We are looking forward to receiving our application!

Closed for applications

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