Researcher knowledge valorisation and impact  - Team Innovation and Valorisation

KWR is looking for an early career (minimum two-three years of experience) researcher with expertise on knowledge valorisation, societal impact of research and stakeholder engagement. The researcher will work on the development of conceptual knowledge and practical tools for theory-oriented research programme design, implementation and evaluation including stakeholders co-creation, knowledge synthesis, knowledge transfer, uptake and use with the ultimate goal to improve societal impact of KWR scientific research.

About KWR

Safe and clean drinking water is particularly important. KWR is an internationally-renowned research institute in the area of water quality, the water cycle and sustainable development. ‘Bridging science to practice’ is our mission. In our fully-sustainable building, our approximately 180 staff members work within the framework of two research groups (Water Group and Sustainability and Transition Group) on innovative projects in the Netherlands and, increasingly, elsewhere in Europe and beyond. Our shareholders are the ten Dutch drinking water utilities and the Belgian water utility De Watergroep. Our researchers work at the interface of science, the private sector and society. Their strength lies in the translation of scientific knowledge to implementable, operational solutions for end-users in the Dutch and international water sector.

The team and the position

Within the Sustainability and Transition research group, the Innovation and Valorisation (I&V) team initiates and coordinates research programmes and projects nationally and internationally as well as conducts research and develops practical tools for the implementation of these research programmes and projects, with a strong focus on the use of the knowledge generated therein. Nationally, we coordinate the drinking water sector’s joint research programme (BTO) with the aim of providing the Dutch water companies, De Watergroep (BE) and the branch association Vewin with top-quality scientific knowledge. Internationally, we play a leading role in several Horizon 2020 projects of the European Commission. We also share tested methods, techniques and experiences in Watershare, an international collaboration in which experts from leading knowledge institutes share and implement knowledge and expertise.

The researchers in our team have a mixed background in social science and natural science and a strong focus on developing and implementing conceptual knowledge, stakeholder engagement approaches and practical tools for the design, implementation and evaluation of impact-oriented research programmes and projects within the BTO programme and the EU-funded projects on topics such as circular economy of water, climate adaptation, water quality, water availability and water governance and policy. As a team, we work together in achieving our objectives in an open, collegial and constructive atmosphere.

We are expanding our team of researchers working on knowledge valorisation and impact. As a member of our team, you will work on conceptual and practical knowledge and tools for theory-oriented research programme design, implementation and evaluation and stakeholder co-creation and engagement. Your work will consist of a balance of research (theory) and the practical implementation of the aforementioned concepts with the development and implementation of tools within our research programmes and projects. Examples of your tasks include:

  • conducting and writing literature reviews
  • contributing to design research programmes with a theory-oriented approach (theory of change)
  • contributing to developing practical tools to support KWR researchers and project partners to design impact-driven projects
  • supporting KWR researcher in the implementation of the developed tool
  • contributing to developing impact assessment tools and indicators
  • contribute to refining the approach for the evaluation of KWR research programmes
  • contributing to conduct project and research programme evaluation (data collection and analysis and report writing)

You will also participate in international meetings with water sector stakeholders, and support stakeholder engagement within EU Projects, Watershare and BTO.

Your profile

You are a social scientist with a background in Science and Technology Studies (STS), transdisciplinary research or related fields and 2-3 years work experience in the field. You may also have a different background in sustainability studies as long as you have a 2-3 years experience working on knowledge valorisation, research impact and evaluation, and stakeholder co-creation and engagement. We are looking for a person with a solid scientific background as well as some practical experience in the aforementioned fields, who is also open to exploring other related research topics in collaboration with other teams in our company (e.g. the resilience and governance team, the energy and circular economy team).

You are proactive, organised and able to work independently and within a team. You have experience in conducting research in your field of expertise, as well as practical skills in designing and implementing research evaluation and research impact assessment studies. We expect you to contribute to developing new scientific knowledge on research impact evaluation and to help the team further develop this line of research, both in theoretical and practical terms. To this purpose, you can critically reflect on scientific knowledge and develop new conceptual ideas and frameworks as well as you have the capacity to turn scientific knowledge into practical tools to be implemented in our research programmes and projects. You are able to analyse empirical data, critically reflect on research results and write professional reports and scientific publications both in Dutch and English. Preferably, you also have meeting facilitation and coordination experience, including familiarity with in person and online tools for meetings and community building and engagement.

You are a researcher with:

  • a completed university education with a socio-scientific orientation, for example, in sciences and technology studies (STS), social studies of science, transdisciplinary research; an education in social studies of sustainability is also possible if accompanied with practical experience on knowledge valorisation, research impact and evaluation
  • knowledge about and experience with both quantitative and qualitative research techniques and methods;
  • the capability of conducting research independently and with an integrated perspective;
  • excellent Dutch and English speaking and writing skills;
  • 2-3 years of work experience as a researcher in the field is required for this position.

 Our offer to you

We offer a 32/40 hours per week contract for one year with a possibility to extend it into a permanent position.

This position will offer you:

  • Work with leading international water sector experts;
  • Gain experience in research programme design, implementation and evaluation, research impact assessment and stakeholder co-creation;
  • The possibility to contribute to further develop the knowledge valorisation and impact evaluation line of research within KWR and to write scientific publications on this research field;
  • The ability to work and gain experience in Dutch and European projects;
  • The opportunity to work alongside experienced scientific researchers as well as PhD researchers.

Furthermore, at KWR we attach great importance to personal growth and development, and we provide numerous possibilities to these ends, such as courses and skills training. A good work-life balance is a priority for us. KWR has excellent primary and secondary employment conditions, and is a party to the Water Utilities’ Collective Agreement (Flexible Employment Conditions Budget, ABP Pension).

The staff at KWR conduct their practice-oriented activities in a sustainable building, designed for collaboration and knowledge-sharing between teams and partners. The unique architecture, with ample glass and light, reflects the openness and transparency of our way of working. With this position and our profile – a societally-relevant organisation where we work together and make an important contribution to bridging science to practice – KWR offers a special working environment. A hybrid working mode office/remote working is possible in consultation with the team leader. 

Would you like to advance water research by contributing to the design, implementation and impact evaluation of major national and international research programmes and projects and work with us on a sustainable society? 

If so, then please e-mail your letter of application and CV to vacancy@kwrwater.nl before 20 January 2022, mentioning vacancy number 1510010.

Start date: As soon as possible

Location: Netherlands; office is based in Nieuwegein

More information

For substantive information about the position, please contact Stefania Munaretto (Scientific Researcher) at 06-54294132 or ; for general information about the position and the team, please contact Gerard van den Berg (Team leader, project manager) at .

For information about the application procedure, please contact José van Lieshout (Human Resources Consultant) at 030-606 9536 or jose.van.lieshout@kwrwater.nl.

Details from this advertisement are not to be used for marketing purposes. No agencies, please.

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