Postdoc position: Food sustainability

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Postdoc position: Food sustainability
  • Doctorate
Do you have experience with research on food sustainability, and would you like to work on this in an academic environment with a multidisciplinary team of professionals? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Postdoc will have the following two main tasks. First, (s)he will be involved in a new EU H2020 project called CITIES2030, both as work package co-leader and as researcher (around 0.65 FTE). Within the project the Postdoc has ample opportunity for developing innovative and experimental research on sustainable food production and consumption; aim here is co-development with among others the project’s pilot cities. The second main task is contributing to teaching activities that match the expertise of the Postdoc (around 0.25 FTE). Among others this means teaching in a course on Food Sustainability Governance in IVM’s Environment and Resource Management MSc programme, and supervision of BSc and MSc student projects. We strongly support the integration of research and teaching, and connecting students to the CITIES2030 project, so the two main tasks are highly complementary. Other tasks (0.1 FTE) involve limited administrative duties in support of the strong teaching and research base at IVM and supervision of PhD students where relevant. Also, the candidate may be asked to contribute to writing research proposals for Netherlands and EU research calls on food-related topics.

Your duties
  • co-lead work package on ‘cities’ empowerment and synergies’ in CITIES2030 EU project (co-creating resilient and sustainable food systems towards FOOD2030)
  • develop innovative research within the CITIES2030 project, and publish research outcomes in international peer-reviewed journals and policy-oriented journals
  • coordinate and teach in the MSc programme ‘Environment and Resource Management’ and other programmes
  • PhD, MSc and BSc thesis supervision


  • PhD in environmental economics or policy/governance, or a related field
  • research interest in one or more of the following themes/methods: food science and sustainability, experimental and behavioural economics, food governance, economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity
  • the candidate should have knowledge of and experience with academic teaching, have strong (quantitative) methodological skills, and have excellent organisational qualities

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and ranges from € 3,619 gross per month (salary scale 10.6) up to a maximum of € 4,012 (salary scale 10.9), based on full-time employment and 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 starting date of the position is on or before 1 April 2021. The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 4 years.

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.

About the institute
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised 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 Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).

The department of Environmental Economics (EE) leads the institute’s efforts in improving insights into the interaction between the environment and the economy. The department is one of the main groups of environmental economists in Europe, consisting of around 30 scientific staff and PhD researchers. The department strategy is to consolidate and further strengthen its position as a major player in the European field of environmental economics. Important fields of application include climate change, energy, water, ecosystem services, and environmental and natural resource management. The philosophy of the EE department is to closely integrate its research projects with its teaching programme and to initiate and conduct research jointly with stakeholders and collaborating institutes. In the coming years, the EE department will further explore new research fields related to the economics of climate change and risk management, the economics of ecosystem services, and renewable energy economics. To advance its capacity in these emerging fields, the EE department offers a tenure-track position in environmental economics.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter before 8 January 2021. The job interviews are planned for the period January and February 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Mark Koetse
Position: Assistant Professor Environmental Economics
Telephone: +31 20 598 3194

No agencies Meer informatie en solliciteren