• Room 8A-93, NU-building

  • Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), De Boelelaan 1111

    1081 HV Amsterdam

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2008: PhD, Department of International Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

1989: Academic Professional Training in Environmental Management, the Netherlands.

1983: Master's Degree Dutch Law, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, NL. Major Fields: Civil Law, Consumer Law and Environmental Management.


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Dr Nicolien van der Grijp is a senior researcher of the department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). Her research interests are related to environmental law and policy at the international, EU, national and sub-national level. She is specialised in applying social scientific research methods to evaluate how legal instruments are implemented in practice.

Important foci in her research are multi-layered implementation processes, public-private interaction, and innovative governance arrangements. She has 25 years of experience in doing contract research for international organisations, the European Commission, and the Dutch government. She co-edited books published by Cambridge University Press and Routledge on climate change related subjects. 

In recent years, her work got a stronger focus on national and local sustainability issues. She contributed to the EU NEXT-Buildings project in which she investigated the experiences of residents with living in nearly-zero energy buildings. She was also involved in a knowledge-action programme focusing on innovative governance in relation to the water-energy nexus (KAP Water) for the water utility of Amsterdam. She furthermore wrote a comprehensive country report about the Netherlands for the EU DG ENV project Development of an Assessment Framework on Environmental Governance in the EU Member States. 

From 2018 to 2022, she was involved in a European Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) project about the implementation of blue-green roofs in Amsterdam (RESILIO). These roofs are meant to serve purposes of climate adaptation and biodiversity. Her contributions focused on exploring governance arrangements that could support the uptake of blue-green roofs more widely as well as experimenting with approaches to enhance citizen engagement in blue-green roof development.

In the same period, she worked on a Horizon 2020 project about new clean energy communities in a changing energy system (NEWCOMERS) in which she led the workpackage that developed a theoretical framework based on polycentric governance. In addition, she examined the institutional conditions that stimulate and/or hinder the emergence and operation of energy communities in various countries.

Most recently, she started to work on a Horizon Europe project called RETOUCH Nexus that aims to design and foster integrated, innovative and inclusive water governance schemes and institutional settings based on WEFE Nexus thinking to promote a secure water future in the EU, resilient to climate change. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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