Decomposition Pathways Pilot - Research Internship

About Metabolic

Metabolic’s mission is to transition the global economy to a fundamentally sustainable State. We advise governments, businesses, and NGOs on how to adapt to a fast-changing global context. Combining systems thinking and data science, we map and understand local and global systems to assess where to intervene and develop solutions that can dramatically shift how the economy functions.

We are an international and dynamic team of around 90 people who share an ambition for catalyzing a sustainable future. Based in the Netherlands with an increasingly international reach as a company, we work at the cutting edge of sustainability initiatives for a broad range of clients across the Netherlands, Europe, the US, and Asia.

About Metabolic Institute and the Project

The Metabolic Institute is a non-profit think tank working at the intersection of academic research and real-world experimentation. The think tank advances open-source knowledge on global sustainability issues by prototyping how society can thrive while remaining safely within the bounds of the planet.

Designing textile materials and products in ways that ensure efficient decomposition and dispersal at the end of their useful life is one of the quickest routes to achieving a regenerative fashion industry. Yet, today, decomposition processes are often missing in supply chains and waste management practices. Metabolic Institute has launched a pilot project focused on identifying decomposition technologies for natural and synthetic textile waste that can be piloted and scaled in European cities, working in close collaboration with the Biomimicry Institute and other research partners. This project aims to (i) pilot and assess high potential decomposition pathways for EU textile waste and (ii) translate results into guidance for those business leaders and policy-makers shaping the future of the textiles industry.

About the Internship

The position is an opportunity to explore state-of-the-art distributed and decentralised decomposition technologies for urban textile waste streams. Within this role, you will work alongside the Metabolic Institute team to: 

  • Conduct an extensive literature review of state-of-the-art decomposition technologies, including Life Cycle Assessments.
  • Synthesise the findings from literature and expert surveys in a structured database that will be used to identify high potential decomposition technologies.
  • Map the textile recycling innovation network in Europe, and shortlist possible locations for the demonstration of the chosen textile decomposition technologies.

The position starts at the end of October 2021 and will be full-time, for six months. The internship requires a stipend amounting to €400/month.


We are looking for someone with the following qualifications:

  • Interest in materials science and/or engineering in the context of textiles
  • Strong interdisciplinary research skills, with adequate capacity in conducting research, synthesizing information, and communicating conclusions 
  • Have fun working on challenging projects as part of an enthusiastic and diverse team
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Great communication and teamwork skills
  • Experience with multi-stakeholder work is a plus

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an internship with Metabolic the following criteria must be met (non-negotiable):

  • Currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a relevant Master’s degree.
  • Have a residence permit in the Netherlands (valid for working purposes and for the entire duration of the internship).
  • Have a BSN (burgerservicenummer/citizen service number).

To apply

To apply, please use this form. You will be asked to upload your CV and letter of motivation. In case of questions, please feel free to contact us through

The deadline to apply is October 11th, 2021 at 23:59 CET. We will be evaluating applications as they come in, so we strongly advise to submit your letter and CV as soon as possible.