Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 06,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    Postdoc Circular Society - Circular and Inclusive Cities

    We are looking for a bright and inspiring postdoctoral researcher in the interdisciplinary field of circular and inclusive society. The research concentrates around the matter of how people in an underprivileged position can be more involved in transition processes towards a sustainable society, especially the transition towards a circular society, for example by promoting systems thinking and collective thinking. Systems thinking and collective thinking have been identified as promising avenues to engage (groups of) individuals with matters that transcend their own short term interest and contribute to the benefit of all including future generations. This approach also encourages the interdisciplinary understanding of how society as a whole can contribute to the transition of circular and inclusive societies by addressing behavioural change in the context of broader societal processes. The urgently required transitions to a more sustainable society often tend to be designed by and addressing the higher educated middle and high income population. However, the transitions will not work and the transition processes will meet with substantial resistance if underprivileged people and the lower income population is not sufficiently involved and enabled to take part in the transformation processes.

    The position shall be located at one of the faculties related to Social Science and Humanities at Utrecht University. These are the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance and the Faculty of Geoscience. In which research group and at which faculty you will work depends on you research interests, your proposed projects and your experience.

    This topic will be addressed in interdisciplinary research projects within the strategic alliance of our four Universities. The motto of the strategic alliance between Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht is 'Challenging Future Generations'. We strive to do this by connecting researchers, lecturers, and students and by collaborating across the borders of scientific disciplines. In the alliance, the four institutions combine their expertise to contribute to social transitions in the fields of health, food, energy, and sustainability (see Circular Society – Challenging Future Generations). A focus within the alliance is the theme ‘circular inclusive cities’. The research must fit into this focus and contribute to its development.

    We expect you to produce the following concrete deliverables within two years:

    • scientific publications on circular inclusive cities, more specifically for the inclusion of underprivileged, low income groups (aim for three, at least partly interdisciplinary);
    • having initiated a collaborative interdisciplinary research proposal related to an external call or having participated in such a proposal;
    • popular science publications in media with a broad audience;
    • contributions to selected social media;
    • contributions to the organization of workshops, sandpits on your research theme within the alliance.


    As a Postdoc you are an ambitious, enthusiastic, creative scientist and a team player, devoted to research and its applications in the field of circular society and circular economy. You also have:

    • a PhD degree in an area of scientific relevance for the transition to circular society;
    • a demonstrable interest and experience in circularity issues or issues related to the inclusivity of transition processes;
    • a demonstrable strong interest in multidisciplinary research;
    • strong organizational skills, able to come forward with concrete ideas to get things moving;
    • good communication skills, also comfortable outside of your own area of expertise;
    • good networking skills and enthusiasm to collaborate and interact with researchers from various disciplines and societal stakeholders;
    • ability in acquisition and proposal writing for getting research funding;
    • an affinity for impact on society, combined with social media skills.


    We offer

    • a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) for two years (24 months);
    • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,836 to €5,211 in scale 10 or 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
    • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
    • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions, based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

    In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

    Over de organisatie

    You will be working at one of the Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities of Utrecht University, mentioned above. The application procedure is organized by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, which is one of the leading faculties in Europe for research and academic teaching in cultural anthropology, educational sciences, interdisciplinary social science, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. We are a faculty at the heart of society and one which cooperates closely with others. Our almost 6,000 students are enrolled in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes. We have approximately 900 faculty and staff members, who all work closely together to educate and train young talent and to research and find solutions to scientific and societal issues. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth and Institutions for Open Societies.

    The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences aspires to have a diverse body of staff and students and strives to create and sustain a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, in line with Utrecht University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy.

    Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

    Aanvullende informatie

    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Prof. Denise de Ridder ( or Prof. Chris Backes (

    Questions about the application procedure? Please send an email to

    Open Positions from Universiteit Utrecht
    Related positions