Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Education & Instruction
  • Languages
    English Dutch
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 17,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    Assistant Professor Biodiversity and Sustainability

    At the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University we are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious colleague to further strengthen our group in terms of research, teaching and representation in international networks and debates with a specific focus on biodiversity and sustainability.

    At the Copernicus Institute, our goal is to have a positive impact on the transition towards a sustainable future. Preserving biodiversity is one of the major sustainability challenges of our time, and strongly interacts with other sustainability themes. Both the drivers and the impacts of biodiversity loss are intertwined with natural and societal processes at various scales, ranging from local to global. The Copernicus Institute currently has a strong profile in studying these processes at local to regional scale, using a variety of approaches including experiments, field studies, quantitative and qualitative social science approaches and modeling. We see opportunities to strengthen this research at regional to global scales and connect our biodiversity research to relevant global policy agendas.

    We are looking for an outstanding and highly motivated scholar who will develop and consolidate an internationally recognized research line on biodiversity in the context of sustainable development. Your research contributes to understanding the relation between biodiversity and other global change and societal challenges, such as climate and land-use change at a variety of scales in order to design solutions for halting biodiversity loss. You have a systems approach (e.g., social-ecological systems, complexity or nexus approaches) and are able to integrate across multiple disciplines and scales. You work at the intersection of natural and social sciences and are able to translate knowledge from the local to global level and vice versa. You are an inspiring teacher who enjoys educating the change-makers of the future. You are committed to societal engagement and public outreach activities focusing on creating impact, for example by participating in international networks such as IUCN, IPBES, IPCC and/or others.

    You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, stimulated and coached in applying for a personal research grant, and you will be involved in supervising PhD students and postdocs. You will teach in the Bachelor's programme Global Sustainability Science and in the Master's programme Sustainable Development. We expect you to contribute to field courses and general courses on land use, biodiversity and related sustainability topics. You are expected to develop and coordinate new courses on the wider context of sustainable development, to contribute to the existing curriculum and to supervise Bachelor's and Master's theses. All our programmes are taught in English. In the first two years the teaching ratio will be 50%, which will increase to 60% after two years. You are expected to actively engage in science-science, science-policy, and science-public collaboration and communication.

    The Copernicus Institute works in interdisciplinary teams and organizes research around cross-topical themes and sustainability challenges.

    Profiel As our new Assistant Professor you:
    • hold a PhD in a relevant field in the natural sciences;
    • have expertise on biodiversity from local to global scale;
    • have an interdisciplinary background;
    • have experience with and interest in academic teaching;
    • have a basic teaching qualification or are willing to obtain this qualification within 2 years after appointment;
    • are comfortable working in inter- and transdisciplinary settings;
    • have a network for the acquisition of externally funded projects;
    • have a strong record of international peer-reviewed publications;
    • are well connected to relevant academic partners as well as relevant stakeholders in society;
    • have experience in social engagement and public outreach;
    • have excellent communication skills;
    • are able to demonstrate excellent English language proficiency. We require a qualification English at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or you are prepared to obtain this level by training;
    • are proficient in Dutch or prepared to acquire Dutch language skills.


    We offer a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) for 18 months. Upon good performance, according to the faculty’s performance indicators, the position will become permanent after 18 months. Further career development to Associate Professor (level 2) is possible, depending on qualification according to the faculty’s career policy for scientific personnel. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,807 and €5,211 (scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

    Over de organisatie

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

    Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

    The Copernicus Institute is part of the Faculty of Geosciences. At the Copernicus Institute, our goal is to have a positive impact on the transition towards a sustainable future. The Copernicus Institute has had an excellent research evaluation in 2021 and the Institute takes pride in maintaining its leading position in national and international sustainability research, and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes.

    Aanvullende informatie For more information about this position, please contact:
    Dr. Floortje van der Hilst, via
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