Vacancy for a student assistant to help with research project proposal ‘The implications of climate change for the Dutch Police’

The Centre of Expertise on Global Governance is currently preparing a major research grant application on the issue of climate change and its effect on policing and police training needs.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the intensifying effects of climate change (heatwaves, storms, drought and flooding as well as slow-onset changes, including sea level rise) have been increasingly impacting people’s health, livelihoods, food security, critical infrastructure, transportation systems as well as the sustainability of species and ecosystems (IPCC, 2022). Inequalities, conflicts, poverty, and weak governance heighten the climate change impacts and constrain society’s abilities to adapt to these changes. 

There is growing body of literature which suggests that the nature of policing will increasingly be affected by environmental harms, climate-induced migration, resource scarcity, and civil unrest, among others. In the Dutch (and European) context, the related consequences of climate change will likely increase the strains on social cohesion in society, leading to higher crime rates and increasing social conflicts, reducing formal and informal social control, weakening social support, and fostering beliefs and values that are favourable to committing crimes. This presents a new array of challenges for police forces (under the term ‘resilience policing’) while police resources continue to be curtailed. 

The lead applicants, Dr. Anna Matczak (Lecturer in Comparative Criminology, Researcher at Centre of Expertise Global Governance), and Dr. Sylvia Bergh (Senior researcher, Centre of Expertise Global Governance) are looking for a student assistant to:

  1. Conduct desk research on the state of the art in this field in the scholarly and policy literature. The document does not have to be written and formatted to publishable standards, but should be a ‘quick and dirty’ (but still quite exhaustive) review that can answer the following questions: what are the main case studies in NL and globally on this topic? What are the main theoretical concepts used? What are the main findings, both in empirical terms and in terms of policy implications? What research methodologies/designs have been applied in these case studies to examine this topic, and which ones are most promising/successful? Finally, what knowledge gaps have been identified in the literature, especially for the Dutch context?
  2. Build an easily searchable database of relevant literature (and include the documents used for the first task), including storing the documents systematically and providing a complete list of references.
  3. Take detailed notes at the co-creation workshop planned for 14 September 2022 from 14-17hrs. This workshop will bring together around 20-30 police officers and trainers, climate change experts and activists, as well as academics to discuss more in-depth the nature of these (current and future) challenges, how the Dutch Police can respond to them, and most importantly, what are the knowledge gaps that would need to be filled for effective police training programmes. It is hoped that this workshop will help the lead applicants to develop a successful funding application for a practice-oriented research project on this topic. Such a project would be both beneficial to practitioners as well as to educational and training programmes within and outside of THUAS. The workshop is thus also aimed at facilitating networking between the participants and identifying potential consortium partners.
  4. Help with setting up an online survey to gauge the demand from professional practice for this project.
  5. Help with drafting the grant application and with organizing a potential follow-up workshop or other smaller meetings with potential consortium partners, taking notes.

Requirements:

  • be a student enrolled in an educational programme at THUAS or other knowledge institution, with a fair understanding or high interest in the subject of police & policing, climate change, or disaster response,
  • good command of Dutch is recommended for this position, but motivated candidates who speak English only are also invited to apply,
  • have advanced computer skills, particularly MS Office, RefWorks, 
  • have very good organisational and interpersonal skills, 
  • prior experience in compiling a systematic literature review.

Please apply by expressing your interest to Anna Matczak (A.Matczak@hhs.nl) and Sylvia Bergh (s.i.bergh@hhs.nl) by 8 August 2022. Online interviews will be held later in that week.  It is desirable that the successful candidate can start the work soon after that.  Please include a short motivation letter and your CV, indicating your availability as well.

The assignment will have an expected duration of 14 weeks during 16 August to 22 November 2022, with a weekly workload of 16 hours (0,4 fte).

The student assistant will be issued a Student Assistant contract. The remuneration is in accordance with the applicable provisions of the HBO CAO Agreement with a gross salary of around 800 EUR/per month (0,4fte).