Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate
Do you have experience in facilitating and studying transformation?
Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Apply for the position of:
Postdoctoral Researcher and lecturer in adaptive organisatons & reflective practices for inclusive innovation

FTE: 0.8

Job description

We offer the position of postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in adaptive organizations & reflective practices. The Athena Institute’s research programme aims to contribute to the improvement of societal and technological innovation processes in the realm of food and food systems, agriculture and rural development as well as in public health and well-being in a sustainable and equitable way. The way (public) organisations are able to respond to changes in their environment and take part in and accommodate inclusive innovation processes, is of growing importance in the light of current social challenges and an expanding area of research. The research involves studying and facilitating processes of change within (public) organisations (such as research institutions, governmental organisations, agricultural collectives, health & welfare organisations) with a focus on enhancing the reflexive capacity of organisations, teams and professionals through interactive methodologies for evaluation and co-design. By studying and designing inclusive, multi-stakeholder, innovation processes, this research should be considered to contribute to dynamics of societal transformation and system innovation. The postdoc position involves contributing to this research area for 50% of the time and teaching in various courses offered by the Athena Institute for the other 50%.

Your duties
Research tasks include, but are not limited to, contributing to research acquisition in this area, further conceptualising this area of research from a system innovation perspective, operationalising the research for and in collaboration with specific organisations, designing and facilitating focus groups discussions and reflection sessions.
Teaching tasks are embedded in the wide variety of courses offered by the Athena Institute and include course coordination, workgroup coaching and lecturing as well as supervising Master students during their internships and literature reviews on diverse topics pertaining to the wider educational programme of the Athena Institute.


• a PhD degree, preferably in the field of science & technology studies, public policy and governance, organizational change (incl. knowledge on communities of practice, reflective practitioners), knowledge cocreation, system innovation, public sector transformation or other discipline(s) that show(s) an integrated social sciences and natural sciences background
• are a team player, willing to integrate the characteristics and requirements of your object of research (enhancing the reflexive capacity of teams and professionals) into your own professional way of operating as a researcher and as a member of a transdisciplinary research team
• preferably have experience with designing and facilitating focus group discussions and reflection sessions as part of change processes. You also have experience or affinity with participatory research methodologies, reflexive monitoring in action, learning histories, most significant change techniques
• have potential for, or experience with, obtaining research grants
• hold a network of relevant (inter)national contacts
• have excellent teaching skills and you are an engaged and inspiring lecturer, as proven by student-evaluations
• are well capable of supervising a theoretical thesis, research projects and student internships
• have published in refereed international journals or books
• write and speak Dutch and English fluently

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 €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8 FTE. This position is also recruited through an Dutch-language advertisement with vacancy number #6763.

The appointment will initially be for a period of one year with a possible extension conditional upon assessment of adequate functioning.

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, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute's mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society.  Athena's research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research.
For more information about the Athena Institute, visit our website:


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until October 29, 2020.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Dr. A. Loeber
Position: Associate Professor

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