Assistant Professor of innovation and participation in Science Shops (tenure track)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Assistant Professor of innovation and participation in Science Shops (tenure track)
  • Doctorate
FTE: 1

Job description

This tenure track position starts at the level of assistant professor 2 and develops into assistant professor 1. The time division between research, education, management is 40:40:20%. Your research is focused on the institutionalisation and development processes of open participatory approaches to research and innovation, in particular focusing on the role of university-based Science Shops.

Science shops are known for the promotion of public engagement, participatory research and evidence-based advocacy. It is yet unknown to what extent science shops can serve as niches for a transition towards a more responsible and open research and innovation system.  It should also consider several interrelated dimensions, such as the individual researchers, the groups they belong to, the university they are based in, as well as the broader environment, including existing structures of incentives and rewards for academic research. Your research does justice to this complexity and enables you to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder processes that contribute to solutions that facilitate (organizational) change processes at micro, meso, and macro levels.

You draw inspiration from and contribute to discussions in innovation studies and system innovation (e.g. Science, Technology­ and Society – STS, and Evolutionary Economics). Acquisition of external funding for research is an important task. In the longer term, you are expected to build a successful line of research around your field of expertise in collaboration with Athena colleagues and others.

Your educational tasks comprise course coordination of, and lecturing in, relevant courses offered by the Athena Institute (e.g. on organisational behaviour, management, innovation). You will also supervise BSc and MSc student projects. In addition, you are expected to fulfil more overarching tasks with respect to curriculum development and quality control.
With respect to management you will supervise several PhD students, junior researchers/lecturers and postdoc researchers and participate in coordination and strategic meetings of the Athena Institute (and beyond).


  • A PhD degree in business, economics, innovation studies or STS
  • Several years of post-doc research experience in the field of organisational science and science shops
  • Experience in acquisition and project management of large, competitive international research grants, (e.g. European Framework projects (H2020)
  • Thorough knowledge of organisational theory
  • Good communication skills to interact successfully with students, communities, users, other stakeholders as well as researchers of other disciplines
  • The ability to initiate and build a line of research, as shown for instance by applications to external funding agencies and PhD supervision
  • Extensive experience in working in interdisciplinary teams (open, flexible, adaptive, pro-active)
  • A basic qualification education certificate (BKO)
  • Extensive experience in teaching (development and coordination of courses) amongst others in the field of organisational behaviour and management
  • The ability to establish and foster networks with both science-based institutions and societal organizations.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,746 (scale 11)
and a maximum €5,127 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1 FTE.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 5 years, with the possibility of a permanent position afterwards.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

Athena Institute
Athena is a centre of excellence in the field of inter- and transdisciplinary research on innovation and communication in the health and life sciences, with a specific focus on processes of inclusion and diversity. The overall mission of the Athena Institute is to contribute to the academic understanding of complex societal problems, mainly in the fields of health, food, environment and education, and to develop a wide variety of innovative, science-based strategies to improve wellbeing, especially for marginalized, vulnerable groups. As part of the scientific analysis of problems and innovations, Athena’s research program focuses on developing reflexive, participatory methodologies and strategies for knowledge articulation, integration and embedding


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until July 30, 2020. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. dr. M.B.M. Zweekhorst
Position: Chair Innovation and Education in the health and life sciences

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