PhD position: A serious game approach to a coastal community living lab – Deadline 14 May 2023

Summary of work plan

Framed in the European Commission Mission on “restore our ocean and waters by 2030” the PhD work plan is integrated in the A-AAGORA project – Blueprint for Atlantic-Arctic Agora on cross-sectoral cooperation for restoration of marine and coastal ecosystems and increased climate resilience through transformative innovation. The work plan addresses the following research question – How to contribute to better inform citizens and decision makers by mobilising local actors and coastal communities in active and passive marine ecosystem restoration and by co-creating socially and economically sustainable solutions?

To address this question the work plan Considers ‘Living Lab’ concept that can enable transformative change advised by active and informed stakeholders and citizens; it implements fuzzy cognitive mapping to understand the relationship between anticipated social–ecological changes and differences in knowledge and perception; and builds on serious gaming approach, enabling stakeholders to participate at decision-making through their reasoning, viewpoints, arguments, and trade-offs.

The main objective is to co-develop implementable social-ecological innovations for deliberative democracy process in the Portuguese Centro Region coastal area (A-AAGORA project Demo-PT), and to prepare a framework for up-scaling of the gamification approach beyond this region.

Research will benefit from data and information that will be generated in close collaboration with the A-AAGORA team and involves: mapping of the main human driven and climate change related pressures, for identifying nature-based solutions for building climate resilience together with local authorities, business, and citizens, using a Living Lab approach; fuzzy cognitive modelling, to identify the key components of the coastal system and their inter-relationships; and developing the game that will build up on existing concepts like the Maptionnaire web-based application for accessing climate resilience ( It will use real world GIS (raster or vector) data to create the “game world” and will have configurable in-game stakeholder groups.

The work to be carried out by the grant holder will also include the following of crosscutting tasks: Bibliographic research, literature review, document and data analysis; Writing and contributing to publications in journals and/or reference scientific events within the scope of the research topic; Elaboration of technical and scientific reports and of documents intended for different stakeholders and audiences; Participation at the related project/projects meetings (national and/or international); Development of actions for the communication and dissemination of the project(s) and its results.

Profile of applicants

The candidates should have an academic background in marine science, marine ecology, or marine social sciences. Skills in computing programming and database analyses are required.


Ana Lillebø (CESAM, University of Aveiro, Portugal); Vera Hausner (The Arctic University of Norway); Rudi Voss (Center for Ocean and Society, Kiel University, Germany)

Hosting institutions

University of Aveiro (Portugal)

Doctoral programme

Do*Mar – Marine Science, Technology and Management

Evaluation panel

Henrique Queiroga (CESAM and Department of Biology, University of Aveiro); Ana Hilário (CESAM and Department of Biology, University of Aveiro); Ricardo Calado (CESAM and Department of Biology, University of Aveiro).


Scholarships are annual, renewable to a maximum of 4 years.


Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted online using the Application Form available on each scholarship page. Applications submitted by other means will not be accepted.

Application Process

Please note that you will need the items listed below. To ease the submission process, we suggest you gather them before you start your application:

  • Copy of your Identification Document (ID card, passport);
  • Certificate degree and grades transcript.
  • Your Curriculum Vitae and saved as PDF;
  • A Motivation Letter;
  • Your PhD work plan, if applicable (please check scholarship page for details before working on this);
  • 2 Recommendation letters.

Notification of results

Evaluation results will be communicated to the email address provided by the candidates in the application form.

Before applying, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you carefully read the Public Notice of the Call for detailed information on the application, evaluation and selection process. Public Notice can be found here.

To access the Application Form (found within each scholarship page), you need to Register (create an account). When doing so, please make sure to write your email address correctly since all relevant information regarding your application will be sent to that email. Once you register, a password will be sent to your email and you can then Log In. Access the Scholarship Programme tab and scroll down to see all the available scholarships.

You can only submit one application for each scholarship/theme. You can edit and save the application form at any time. The form will be available on the platform for editing until the application deadline, or until you submit the application. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to un-submit or make any changes.

Please note that the application to this scholarship program does not grant you a place in a PhD programme. Make sure you apply to the PhD programme identified in each scholarship.

Questions related to the application process or Application Form should be addressed to the AIR Centre through the email using the following subject line: AIR Centre PhD Scholarship Programme – [your name]. The AIR Centre will reply to all information requests up to 3 working days before the applications submission deadline. Before contacting the AIR Centre carefully read all the documents related to the Call and the information available on the AIR Centre’s website.”

Further information about this opportunity can be found here.

Have any news or opportunity in ocean sciences to share? Send it to