Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Education & Instruction
  • Languages
    English Dutch
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 15,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    Assistant Professor sustainable and healthy food consumption

    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 sustainable and healthy food consumption.

    Food systems worldwide, and particularly in the Netherlands, face the challenge of feeding growing populations, whilst needing to enhance the sustainability of food production and achieve healthier diets. This position focuses on a key actor in food systems: the consumer. In order to work towards strategies to promote more sustainable and healthy food consumption behaviour, we need a better understanding of present and future ‘food lifestyles’ of consumers:
    • how consumers relate to their broader social and physical environment, including other key actors in food systems (farmers, food producers, retailers, government and NGOs);
    • and how consumers see the other roles they play (such as being a citizen).

    The Assistant Professor will conduct research on more specific themes such as:
    • how diverse individual and collective lifestyles shape (un)sustainable consumption choices;
    • attitudes towards key actors in food systems and to food policies;
    • how images of sustainable lifestyles and novel practices such as short supply chains and Community Supported Agriculture can empower consumers;
    • and how consumers perceive their role in food system sustainability transitions.

    We are looking for an engaged, interdisciplinary scholar who shares the Institute’s ambition to work towards societal impact by close collaboration with societal actors, in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The candidate should be able to work with colleagues from various sections of the Copernicus Institute as well as within the university wide Pathways to Sustainability – Future Food hub.

    You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, you will be 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 (i.e. teaching in courses on food science, food and health, thereby contributing to developing a Sustainable Food Track) and in the Master's programme Sustainable Development contributing to the course on transdisciplinary case studies. 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%, increasing 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 has organized research around cross-topical themes and sustainability challenges. You will specifically contribute to the challenge of Sustainable Food and the cross-topical themes of Governance and Transformation.

    Profiel As our new colleague you:
    • hold a PhD in Social Sciences;
    • have expertise on various aspects of sustainable consumer behaviour;
    • have experience with and an interest in academic teaching;
    • have a basic teaching qualification or are willing to obtain this qualification within two years after appointment;
    • feel 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:
    Prof. Hens Runhaar, via
    Open Positions from Universiteit Utrecht
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