Job Zomerplaag MA, MSc

PhD fellow

Research group(s):
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions

Job Zomerplaag is a Program Editor at Studio Europa Maastricht (SEM), a center of expertise for Europe-related debate and research associated with Maastricht University. Job is responsible for creating, coordinating, and producing public events, multimedia content, and participatory projects that engage with topics of European identity and European cooperation from the bottom-up.

In addition, he is pursuing a joint Ph.D. at Maastricht University (UM) and United Nations University-MERIT (UNU-MERIT). His research focuses on the governance of (bottom-up) sustainability transitions, particularly the role of community-based initiatives and public-civic partnerships in neighbourhood decarbonisation. His research is supervised by Prof. René Kemp (UNU-MERIT/UM) and Prof. Mathieu Segers (UM), and continued by Dr. Maja Ročak after the passing of Segers in December 2023.

Job is passionate about undertaking applied, empirical work that provides theoretical and practical insights to advance our understanding of the role of individuals, intermediaries, and institutions in driving social and sustainable change. He enjoys advising on policy development and implementation, and teaches undergraduate and graduate students on topics such as storytelling and sustainable innovation. Additionally, he serves on the jury of the Awards for Excellence in Science Communications awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the US.

Before starting his Ph.D., Job worked as a journalist and communications strategist. He has been involved in various public engagement projects in several cities across Europe. Job is regularly invited to host and moderate events and to speak about his research in public settings.

Job has an interdisciplinary background with an M.Sc. in Public Policy specializing in the governance of innovation (UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University), an M.A. in Urban Studies (4CITIES Erasmus Mundus with courses at universities in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid), and a B.Sc. in International Communication and Media (Erasmus University Rotterdam) with a minor in Urban Geography (Utrecht University). In 2021, he received the Kremers Incentive Prize for his thesis on empowerment in participatory processes.

Job is based in Maastricht, the region where he grew up. He has previously lived in Rotterdam, Utrecht, Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid for study and work.