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PhD impact incubator (A2)

A2 coordinator: Dr Katarzyna (Kate) Negacz

Background

All research executed by SENSE PhD candidates is important and deserves to be communicated clearly, both within the scientific community and in its larger societal context. There is no better person to develop and to practice this communication than yourself. Within SENSE, we want to support and challenge you towards developing these specific PhD competencies. As a result, the A2 project is one of the compulsory courses for all SENSE PhD candidates.

Learning goals:

  • Increase the impact of your research
  • Learn and practice how to communicate with your stakeholders
  • Understand and communicate the societal relevance of your research
  • Position your research in an interdisciplinary context
  • Strengthen your scientific communication

Format of the course

This course is conducted fully online. Register for the A2 course on the SENSE Portal and follow the steps enlisted in the portal. You should prepare a project proposal and send it to the coordinator via a form in the portal. After a Go-No-Go decision, you can start your project. When your project finishes, you should prepare a short final report and submit it via a form in the portal. A summary of your project, its results and impact will be published on the SENSE website to increase the project’s visibility and inspire others.

Grading criteria for A2 projects

Your project should address all three criteria:

  • Scientific communication – clarification of analysis, accurate explanation of relevant knowledge, clarity of argument for experts as well as for laypersons. To meet this criterion, your project should communicate your research in a form appropriate for the audience, e.g. general audience or scientists from other fields.
  • Multidisciplinarity – the inclusion of relevant research questions from other scientific disciplines beyond one’s specialization and specific arguments for the relevance of such multidisciplinary research questions. To meet this criterion, your project should involve strong interaction with other fields of science, e.g. by engaging researchers from other fields or interdisciplinary approach to the problem.
  • Societal impact – bridging research with the societal issues, making results available to the non-academic public. To meet this criterion, your project should have a direct impact on societal stakeholders, e.g. by involving them in the project workshops, designing software for their use, communicating via relevant media channels.

Forms the A2 activity

Key questions for the A2 course are: Who should know my research? And by what activities can I reach these people? Therefore, for all the activities, please consider what your target audience is, why you bring these people together and what outcome you want to achieve.

Project for a general audience or specific stakeholder groups

  • Organize a conference;
  • Organize a SENSE PhD Colloquium or a SENSE Context Symposium (about the “bigger picture” of your research);
  • Organize a course including (online) in-depth courses; summer schools; PhD courses that include societal perspectives and are interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary; courses for high schools or the general public, etc.;
  • Organize a workshop/webinar for your stakeholders;
  • Write a research proposal (for a new research project) with a focus on stakeholder interactions;
  • Design and develop a media campaign and media network to get your work into newspapers, or other media. This can include writing press releases, and discussing with the press office of your institute how to go about.
  • Create and upload your own scientific ‘home video’ at Youtube, this may generate many hits and interest for your work including promotion strategy for your video.
  • Create (or contribute to) an information page in Wikipedia (link with examples)
  • Write a policy brief (recommendations from your research for current policies) and design a strategy to reach the policymakers
  • Write a research view (a short, max. 6 pages, critical evaluation of the PhD candidate’s research) for the SENSE e-News or in journals that publish VIEWS, e.g. Re/Views in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology or Environmental Chemistry Letters.
  • Conduct a project with a community, art group, elementary/secondary/high school, etc.
  • Propose your own project.

Please note that there are some activities which are related to your PhD environment but cannot count as A2 project. These include e.g. organising a group BBQ or pub quiz, a small workshop for PhD candidates of their chair group, and other activities with limited scientific or societal impact. These activities can still count for credits under the management section of your TSP.

Schedule and planning

This is an ongoing (year-round) course. We advise submitting your A2 project proposal in 1-2 year of your PhD.

Contact

  • To learn more about the course, please visit the SENSE Portal).
  • For individual question related to the course, please contact the project coordinator via email:  k.e.negacz@vu.nl.
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Organisation and people

Management & Office

  • M-VU General Director)
  • Marleen de Ruiter (IVM-VU; executive secretary)
  • Johan Feenstra (WIMEK-WUR; executive secretary)

General Board

  • Prof. Martin Wassen (UU-Copernicus; chair)
  • Dr. Pieter van Beukering (IVM-VU)
  • Prof. Jan Hendriks (RUN)
  • Dr. Maarten Krol (WMG-UT)
  • Prof. Karin Pfeffer (ITC-UT)
  • Prof. Ken Irvine / Prof. Eddy Moors (IHE Delft)
  • Prof. Klaus Hubacek (IREES)
  • Prof. Dave Huitema (OU)
  • Prof. Carolien Kroeze (WUR-WIMEK)
  • Prof. Arnold Tukker (CML-LU)
  • Prof. Detlef van Vuuren (PBL)

Research Committee

The SENSE Research Committee is an advisory committee to the General Board of SENSE. It meets about two times per year, to discuss the coordination and organisation of discussion meetings, workshops, symposia and staff & PhD networks on relevant topics. The research committee especially focuses on the stimulation and support of the societal impact and outreach of PhD research.

Composition: research coordinators of the SENSE institutions and representatives of the SENSE PhD council, supported by a secretary (Johan Feenstra)

Education Committee

The SENSE Education Committee is an advisory committee to the General Board of SENSE. It meets about two times per year, to discuss the general policy regarding the SENSE TSP requirements; coordination, organisation and tuning of educational and training activities, such as courses, summer schools, workshops, etc.

Composition: PhD coordinators / PhD contact persons and PhD (council) representatives of all participating SENSE institutions, supported by a secretary (Marleen de Ruiter).

SENSE Taskforce External Affairs

The SENSE Education Committee is an advisory committee to the General Board of SENSE. It meets about two times per year, to discuss the general policy regarding the SENSE TSP requirements; coordination, organisation and tuning of educational and training activities, such as courses, summer schools, workshops, etc.

Composition: PhD coordinators / PhD contact persons and PhD (council) representatives of all participating SENSE institutions, supported by a secretary (Marleen de Ruiter).

PhD Council

The SENSE PhD Council (SPC) is an important body of ideas and advice within SENSE. The council consists of motivated PhD candidates from the different SENSE partner institutes. A representative of the SPC is always invited to meetings of the SENSE General Board (which consists of the directors of the SENSE partner institutes). All input and suggestions from the SPC are highly appreciated and are taken very seriously. If you would like to become one of the members of the SENSE PhD Council and be involved in the development of SENSE, then please send a mail to sense.spc@gmail.com.

The SENSE Research School is a joint venture of environmental research groups of several Dutch universities and institutes:

Groningen University (RUG)
  – Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society (IREES)

 Leiden University (LU)
  – Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML)

Open University Heerlen (OU)
  – School of Science (OU)

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)

Radboud University Nijmegen (RU)
  – Department of Environmental Science (IWWR)

 University of Twente (UT)
  – Water Engineering & Management Department (WEM)
  – Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)

UNESCO-IHE Delft
  – Institute for Water Education (IHE)

Utrecht University (UU)
  – Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation

VU University Amsterdam (VU)
– Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
– Department of Earth Sciences
– Environment & Health (E&H)

Wageningen University (WUR)
– Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK)

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Global coastal flood risk assessment

  • 1 September, 2017
  • 1 September, 2022
  • VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
  • Prof. Philip Ward
  • Dr Hans de Moel

The overall aim of this PhD thesis is to improve our understanding of current and future global coastal flood risk and how adaptation measures can lead to changes in risk. In order to achieve this, the thesis is divided into two parts. The first part of the thesis will focus on assessing the benefits and costs of reducing coastal flood risk using structural, nature-based and hybrid measures. The second part of the thesis will focus on upstream-downstream effects of adaptation on coastal flood risk. The following objectives are established:
1. Assess the benefits and costs of reducing (future) coastal flood risk through structural measures;
2. Assess the benefits and costs of reducing (future) coastal flood risk using nature-based and hybrid strategies;
3. Attribute the costs of adaptation measure to individual risk drivers;
4. Develop a model framework to assess upstream downstream effects due to adaptation measures;
5. Assess these upstream-downstream effects at the global scale.

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Researcher

Timothy Tiggeloven

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Development of an efficient modelling approach to support economically and socially acceptable flood risk reduction in coastal cities – Can Tho city, Mekong Delta, Viet Nam

  • 22 November, 2021
  • 12:00-14:00
  • IHE Delft, Coastal & Urban Risk & Resilience
  • Prof. Chris Zevenbergen
  • Prof. Roshanka Ranasinghe, Dr. Assela Pathirana

Flooding is one of the most frequently occurring and damaging natural disasters worldwide. Quantitative flood risk management (FRM) in the modern context demands statistically robust approaches (e.g. probabilistic) due to the need to deal with complex uncertainties. However, probabilistic estimates often involve ensemble 2D model runs resulting in large computational costs.
Additionally, modern FRM necessitates the involvement of a broad range of stakeholders via co-design sessions. This makes it necessary for the flood models, at least at a simplified level, to be understood by and accessible to non-specialists.
This study was undertaken to develop a flood modelling system that can provide rapid and sufficiently accurate estimates of flood risk within a methodology that is accessible to a wider range of stakeholders for a coastal city – Can Tho city, Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
A web-based hydraulic tool, Inform, was developed based on a simplified 1D model for the entire Mekong Delta, flood hazard and damage maps, and estimated flood damages for the urban centre of Can Tho city (Ninh Kieu district), containing the must-have features of a co-design tool (e.g. inbuilt input library, flexible options, easy to use, quick results, user-friendly interface). Inform provides rapid flood risk assessments with quantitative information (e.g. flood levels, flood hazard and damage maps, estimated damages) required for co-designing efforts aimed at flood risk reduction for Ninh Kieu district in the future.

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Researcher

Ngo Quang Hieu

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Vulnerability towards floods: Improving the understanding and modelling of continental to global scale flood risk

  • 1 September, 2015
  • VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
  • Prof. Jeroen Aerts & Prof. Philip Ward

Globally, flooding is in terms of economic losses and loss of lives one of the most significant types of natural disasters. Drivers like population growth, urbanization and climate change are considered to lead to an increase of flood risk. Models can provide estimates about flood risk by representing it as the product of the three elements hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Vulnerability, however, is poorly represented in large-scale flood risk models. Focusing on both the estimation of economic damages and mortality, this PhD research aims to develop improved incorporation of the vulnerability aspect into a global scale flood risk model.

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Researcher

Johanna Englhardt

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We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.
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Global coastal flood risk under current and future climate conditions

  • 1 October, 2018
  • VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)
  • Prof. Jeroen Aerts
  • dr. Sanne Muis

Research summary: Storm surges that occur along low-lying, densely populated coastlines can leave devastating societal, economical, and ecological impacts. To protect coastal communities from flooding, return periods of storm tides, defined as the combination of the surge and tide, must be accurately evaluated. In my PhD research I develop a novel integration of two modelling techniques to assess the coastal flood hazard caused by tropical and extratropical cyclone induced storm surges. The resulting dataset with information on the coastal flood hazard can be used to assess global coastal flood risk. The impact of climate change on the global flood hazard and risk will also be assessed. Last, the existing static inundation approach that is often applied at the global scale will be improved by making this approach more dynamic.

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Researcher

Job Dullaart

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We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.
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Here you will find a selection of international events related to the socio-economic and natural sciences of the environment.
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