Utrecht University is hiring 11 assistant professors

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11 Tenure –track positions “Assistant professor Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development” (1,0 FTE)

Job description
The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University invites highly motivated candidates for tenure-track positions to teach in our Bachelor’s programme Global Sustainability Science. You will teach courses in one of the four study tracks:

  1. Water, Climate & Ecosystems
  2. Energy & Resources
  3. Governance & Societal Transformation
  4. Sustainable Business & Innovation.

You may also teach courses in English in other Bachelor and Master programmes of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.

Next to teaching, you are expected to be talented in research. You are also expected to develop an internationally renowned research line and to acquire new research funds. Coaching and supervising PhD students is also one of your responsibilities. Your time will be split between teaching (60{c8db3f4443fb2f1c80e20e2e8420a201d47393e6b007c83f4847286f4b955a35}) and research (40{c8db3f4443fb2f1c80e20e2e8420a201d47393e6b007c83f4847286f4b955a35}).

1. Water, Climate & Ecosystems (2,0 FTE)

This track deals with the processes within natural systems (soil, vegetation and atmosphere). We are interested in the interaction between humans and the environment, taking into account the nutrient and water cycle, in order to develop sustainable solutions for water management, nature management and restoration, and land use for different purposes, such as food production or energy-crop cultivation while maintaining its biodiversity.


You have (1) a strong background in understanding (future) land use change and the impact this has on climate, the biosphere, and on water and nutrient cycles. We encourage applications from candidates with background in GIS, remote sensing and have demonstrated capacity to work with global databases or (2) a strong background in environmental hydrology and water management within the framework of sustainable development, including possible technological mitigation options. We encourage applications from candidates with affinity for environmental research (water quantity, water quality and water-environment-human interactions) and preferable a combination of experimental, field and modelling work. You will be positioned in the research section Environmental Science headed by Prof Martin Wassen.

2. Energy & Resources (2,0 FTE)

This track deals with the transition towards a sustainable energy and resources system. We define ourselves by stating that “the energy transition is our topic”. We take a truly interdisciplinary approach to energy and resources science, combining deep technical understanding with assessments of technology, techno-economic and life cycles of specific technologies with energy and resources system studies. Since we view the transition as a challenge at the system level we investigate five main aspects on that level: bio-based economy, industrial energy, materials and the circular economy, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency, and renewable electricity and smart grids for the built environment.


We welcome applications from excellent educators and scientists in any of these areas, but we are particularly, but not exclusively, looking for candidates in the areas of energy systems modelling and the circular economy. You should be able to articulate a scientific aim for their personal research agenda in the societal context of the energy and resource transition. You will be positioned in the research section Energy and Resources headed by Prof Gert Jan Kramer.

3. Governance & Societal transformation (2,0 FTE)

This track deals with different modes of environmental governance (institutional design and effectiveness), normative foundations of governance (such as social justice and democratic legitimacy) and governance of societal transformations. We expect you to bring broad expertise (as evidenced by key publications and/or successful acquisition activities) on these themes. Empirically, you will have strong affinity with governance challenges in fields such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable production, biodiversity conservation, water management and/or sustainable urban development.
In addition, our research programme on environmental governance supports in all of its activities a transformative vision of change, expecting faculty members to engage in fresh thinking that goes beyond existing political institutions and governance systems, which have failed so far to address the fundamental sustainability challenges of our time. You will be positioned in the research section Environmental Governance headed by Prof Peter Driessen.

4. Sustainable Business & Innovation (3,0 FTE)

This track focuses on the strategies of firms in relation to sustainability challenges. There is a specific interest in the role of sustainable innovation and how this may accelerate sustainability transitions. You hold a doctoral degree (PhD) that is related to the field of Business Administration, Innovation Management, Change Management, Organization studies or a related discipline. You have a proven affinity with sustainable businesses, examples include: sustainability performance indicators,  sustainable business models or sustainable innovation / transitions; have a proven affinity with prominent theories of the firm and/or organizational change, examples include the resource based view, institutional theory, stakeholder management, or theories about leadership in change. You will be positioned in the research section Innovation Studies headed by Prof Marko Hekkert.

5. Interdisciplinary positions: Sustainability Science (2,0 FTE)

We search for two assistant professors who are able to bridge different disciplines within the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, and who are able to teach courses in which students are trained to carry out inter- and transdisciplinary projects. Contributing to the general courses on mathematics and statistics is highly appreciated.

For these positions, we invite you as someone with a wide variety of backgrounds, e.g. integrated assessment methods, social-ecological (or human-environmental) systems, transition studies, environmental impact assessment, industrial ecology or energy-water-food nexus, sustainability science, societal transformations, or complexity problems using big data (for example global and national datasets and new emerging data sets from citizen science and crowd-sourcing). We are also open for candidates with other backgrounds but with the capability to connect the different fields related to sustainability research.  Successful candidates can be positioned in any of the four research sections of the Copernicus Institute depending on main research interest.

We encourage applications from candidates who

  • have a PhD and a proven affinity with one or more of the above listed themes;
  • have experience with and talent for academic teaching;
  • have either a strong record of international peer-reviewed publications or a promising pipeline of papers;
  • have experience in successfully acquiring and carrying out externally funded projects or have good prospects in doing so;
  • are well connected to relevant academic partners as well as to stakeholders in society;
  • have excellent communication skills, are good in interpersonal relationships, are team players;
  • have affinity with working in an interdisciplinary research and teaching environment;
  • have affinity with public outreach, working with societal stakeholders and transdisciplinary research.
We offer 11 full-time tenure track positions that start with an initial period of two years, with an intended extension of either another two years or a conversion to a permanent position, subject to performance. Further career development to Associate Professor level is possible. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary is dependent on qualifications and experience and will start between € 3,475 and €  5,405 per month (scale 11/12). The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8{c8db3f4443fb2f1c80e20e2e8420a201d47393e6b007c83f4847286f4b955a35} per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3{c8db3f4443fb2f1c80e20e2e8420a201d47393e6b007c83f4847286f4b955a35}. We also offer a pension scheme and flexible employment conditions. Here you’ll find more information about working at Utrecht University.
About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, colleagues from various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Sustainability, Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, and Life Sciences.


Utrecht University has been ranked in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities as the best university in the Netherlands, and as one of the leading research universities in Europe. Utrecht University’s sustainability research has the greatest citation impact worldwide according to a study conducted by Times Higher Education (2016). The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands.


Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With 3400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organized in four departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning, Physical Geography, and Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences (IEES). The research of the IEES department is organized in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.


The Copernicus Institute is part of the Faculty of Geosciences. The Copernicus Institute has been evaluated in a 2014 international review as the highest ranked research institute in environmental sciences in the Netherlands. Since then, the institute has intensified its efforts in maintaining its leading position, among others by investing in several new international faculty appointments and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programs.


The tenure track positions will be affiliated with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and imbedded in one of the four sections of the Institute.

Additional information
  1. Water, Climate & Ecosystems – Prof Max Rietkerk, m.g.rietkerk [at] uu.nl
  2. Energy & Resources – Prof Gert Jan Kramer, g.j.kramer [at] uu.nl
  3. Governance & Societal Transformation – Prof Peter Driessen, p.driessen [at] uu.nl
  4. Sustainable Business & Innovation– Prof Rob Raven, r.p.j.m.raven [at] uu.nl
  5. Interdisciplinary positions: Sustainability Science – Prof Ellen Moors, e.h.m.moors [at] uu.nl
To apply you can click one of the buttons below. Please attach your motivation for the position and indicate clearly which of the mentioned themes you are interested in, a statement of your research interests, a statement of your teaching experience and philosophy, curriculum vitae, and the names and email addresses of two referees. If you are interested in more than one of these positions you will need to apply for each position individually.


  1. Assistant professor Water, Climate & Ecosystems – apply here
  2. Assistant professor Energy & Resources – apply here
  3. Assistant professor Governance & Societal Transformation – apply here
  4. Assistant professor Sustainable Business & Innovation – apply here
  5. Assistant professor Sustainability Science (Inter- and transdisciplinary positions) – apply here
The application deadline is

Der Beitrag Utrecht University is hiring 11 assistant professors erschien zuerst auf Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.

Source: AAU TEWI