Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve applied for one of the positions. When can I expect to hear from the selection committee?

Each of the three research partners organizes its own internal search and will be in contact with applicants directly. Typically applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed in June or early July. We aim to fill the positions by July 2015, with the exception of two positions at Leeds with an extended deadline of September 15.

What is an ITN?

An ITN stands for an Innovative Training Network, which is funded by the EU’s research and innovation framework, Horizon 2020. Its purpose to support the development of a new generation of researchers through funded PhD study and intersectoral training.
ITNs focus on an area of cutting edge research, and provide Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) with the opportunity to pursue PhD research in an environment that extends on the traditional academic setting through international collaboration and non-academic secondments. In the case of ENHANCE, the network brings together three leading universities for environmental research (the University of Leeds, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, and the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm), Europe’s largest science and technology museum (the Deutsches Museum), and a further five Associated Partners from the private and third sectors (Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Stiftung Bündnis Mensch & Tier, Dagens Nyheter, and the Capannori Research Center for Zero Waste).

ITNs provide enhanced career perspectives to highly motivated individuals in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary, and intersectoral mobility, and expert guidance and supervision.

What does an ESR position entail?

ESRs will work on a project associated with one of the core research areas of the network, all of which are designed to help advance the development of environmental humanities research. ESRs will work within the parameters of a specific area of interest, but will be pursuing individual PhD research leading to the completion of a doctoral dissertation (c. 70,000 words) at the end of three years.

All ESRs will have two supervisors based in different countries, and must not have resided in their proposed host country for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. During the course of their PhDs, ESRs should expect to spend one semester on secondment at the research institution of their second supervisor (e.g. those supervised primarily in Leeds may go on secondment to either Munich or Stockholm). They will also spend up to one semester on secondment with one of the network’s non-academic partners.

Academic and non-academic partners collaborate in delivering high-quality training, involving a number of courses and events over the duration of the network. ESRs will also be involved in organising conferences, symposia, and an exhibition, and in addition to their PhD they will collaborate to produce a series of policy advisory documents in relation to key EU environmental priorities.

What are the eligibility criteria?

ESRs should, at the time of recruitment,

  • Have a Master’s degree in a relevant field, e.g. English, Media Studies, Environmental Science, Geography, History, Biology, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology
  • Not have a PhD yet
  • Have less that 4 years’ research experience at the time the contract is signed (measured from the time the Master’s degree has been obtained)
  • Not have resided or carried out their main activities in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference recruitment date
  • Have excellent knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written

What do the non-academic secondments entail? 

Each research project is linked to a secondment at one of the network’s non-academic partners. The purpose of the secondments is to help integrate cultural, historical, and ethical understanding of relevant environmental issues with public, third sector, and industry interests: from floods and droughts in the case of Yorkshire Water, to waste management in the case of the Capannori Research Center for Zero Waste.

ESRs will participate in a collaborative process of knowledge exchange, and will develop transferable skills that will enhance employability across a range of sectors. The secondments help ensure that ESRs are equipped either for a career in academia or in a range of relevant areas such as environmental consultancy, risk assessment, research and development, green business management, sustainable technologies, media and communications, and not-for-profit work (environmental and wildlife NGOs).

What level of funding comes with the ESR positions, and are there any relocation and family support allowances available?

The precise level of funding is determined according to cost of living in the ESR’s host country, but the gross basic allowance on which this calculation is based is €3,110 per month or €37,320 per year. ESR contracts are for 36 months.

In addition to this, a mobility allowance of €600 per month will be paid to recruited researchers, and those with families are entitled to apply for a further €500 per month family allowance.