2 Tenure track assistant professors in Land System Science

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • 2 Tenure track assistant professors in Land System Science
  • Doctorate
Are you the interdisciplinary scientist that will address the large societal challenge to achieve sustainable land use? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8- 1

Job description

We search 2 tenure track candidates with the ambition to develop interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field of Human-Environment Interactions and Land System Science. The tenure track candidates will become part of the Environmental Geography department at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. While all candidates with an excellent track record in the field are invited to apply, candidates with the following expertise are specifically invited to apply: food systems analysis in relation to land use, integration of social processes into quantitative land system analysis and the relations between land system science and biodiversity conservation ambitions. Expertise in one of these fields would have most added value to the research group.

Your duties
  • the candidates are expected to show academic leadership, maintain a high publication output, and raise competitive research funding
  • the candidates are expected to apply for external project funding for PhD students and postdocs working on projects around his/her field of expertise
  • the successful candidates have a research interest in one (and preferably more) of the following themes: Land use change, Food systems, Human-environment systems, Modelling (like Bayesian network models, Agent-based models or Spatial models), Land use decision making and Land governance, Biodiversity analysis and Conservation biology
  • the successful candidates will teach and coordinate courses in existing teaching programmes and/or develop new courses to strengthen the institute sustainability science profile
  • the candidates are expected to have strong methodological skills with a focus on quantitative approaches or on linking qualitative and quantitative approaches


  • a PhD degree in geography, ecology or environmental science with evidence of strong methodological skills
  • experience in academic teaching and a strong motivation to teach students interdisciplinary methods and supervise students in doing societal relevant research in thesis projects
  • have the ability to work in collaboration with others
  • have strong oral and written communication skills in English

What are we offering?

Two challenging positions 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 €5,826 (scale 12), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The preferred starting date is between 1 February 2021 and 1 June 2021. We offer a tenure track position at the level of assistant professor, initially for the duration of 6 years. During the period, performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of prestigious personal grants or equivalent project funding. After a successful evaluation permanent employment will be granted. 

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

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.

About the department
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognized for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. 

The Department of Environmental Geography investigates the role of spatial variation in human-environmental systems. The focus of the group is on Land System Change with research on Ecosystem Services, Food Systems, Urban Sustainable Development and Spatial modelling. The department bridges disciplines by using a wide range of mostly quantitative methods across local to global scales. Advanced methods for stakeholder participation and ex-ante evaluation are developed and tested to support environmental management and land use planning.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until December 2, 2020. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Peter Verburg
Position: Head Department Environmental Geography
E-mail: peter.verburg@vu.nl

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