Assistant Professor Urban Futures Studio tenure track position (0.8 - 1.0
At the Urban Futures Studio, you will actively contribute to the further
development of the Urban Futures Studio into an academically innovative and
societally relevant institute. You work to deliver innovative insights,
intertwined with collaborating in new transformative policy practices. In
conversation with the UFS Team, you study existing ways in which futures are
performed, for instance by policy makers or in society. You investigate the
techniques of futuring in use and report on your findings, both in peer-
reviewed articles and via media that can reach selected target audiences.
Within the established UFS interest in futuring, you are welcome to suggest
and contribute to new lines of inquiry – we are always happy to hear new
ideas. We are looking to strengthen our understanding of our four core topical
the relationship between democracy and the sustainability transition;
the collective imagination and its change;
reimagining the relationship between science and policy;
and, recombining techniques of futuring for sustainability transition.
You contribute to our teaching portfolio on futuring. In addition to regular
courses, we are in the process of setting up a new experimental form of
education: the Academy of Hope. This will be a novel programme in which
professionals and Master's students work together on the active engagement
with the future. You are also interested in collaborating with academics,
policymakers, and other parts of society.
Possible lines of inquiry include:
How do imagined futures travel from presentation and performance to
How can we (empirically/conceptually) enrich our understanding of the
performance of futures and techniques of futuring?
How can we further connect our work to authority, legitimacy, justice, and
How can we further develop an interdisciplinary futuring agenda, including
art, education, literature, and policy?
How can we connect our work on futuring to a new pedagogy oriented towards
interventions in societal processes?
We are currently looking for new colleagues that we hope will strengthen the
diversity and expertise of our current team.
In this tenure track position you will be working within the portfolio of the
Urban Futures Studio. Being a small team, the Studio works with annual themes
that help structure teamwork as well as our interaction with the outside
world. You work in close collaboration with the other members of the UFS,
including the Director, Prof. Maarten Hajer. Your research (50% of your
time) fits in with the broad themes that the UFS has laid out for the coming
years. Your teaching (50% of your time) is either in the domain of futuring
or in adjacent domains of the Copernicus Institute, such as Environmental
Governance or Innovation Studies. As an interdisciplinary research group, the
UFS welcome candidates from a wide variety of disciplines from the social
sciences of humanities, who bring relevant disciplinary knowledge and look
forward to operating in a creative and interdisciplinary climate. Successful
candidates understand not only how imagined futures weigh on action in the
present, but also how action in the present simultaneously creates these
imagined and path-dependent futures. Moreover, we encourage candidates to
reflect on different epistemologies and modes of interacting with the
future. At UFS you will combine an understanding of environmental issues and
politics with insights from fields like Science and Technology Studies
(STS), public policy, discourse analysis, human geography or governance,
and/or with artistic insights. You are expected to report your findings in
ways both appealing to a wider audience (e.g. short videos, blog posts,
presentations, one-pagers) and academic contributions (e.g. peer-reviewed
articles). Additionally, candidates are expected to play an active role in
the further development of ‘Futuring' education at Utrecht University. Given
the fact that the UFS reaches out to policymakers and societal groups, good
communicative skills are appreciated.
The candidate is expected to be/have:
a PhD in a relevant social science or humanities discipline, such as
political science, sociology, urban studies, science & technology studies,
anthropology, history, or the environmental humanities. Or a design
discipline such as architecture or urban design;
a proven track record of research skills (relative to experience);
academic writing and presentation skills;
shown an ability to contribute to international academic debates through
written contributions (peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, books,
the ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
an interest in setting up organizational experiments;
an experimental attitude and excellent communication and collaborative
experience in interdisciplinary work, design thinking and societal
challenges is considered an advantage;
acquired the Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO) of Utrecht University,
if you have not obtained this or a similar qualification yet;
able to demonstrate excellent English language proficiency. We require a
qualification level of English at C1 level (comparable to level 3 of the
Lecturer Assessment Grid) or you should be willing to obtain this level
For the tenure track we offer a temporary position (0.8-1.0 FTE) for six
years in combination with a 4-year tenure track qualification programme. Your
performance will be subject to annual evaluations as well as an end-term
evaluation after 3.5 years. Following a positive evaluation - based on the
faculty performance indicators - your employment will become permanent after
four years, or sooner depending on the moment you qualify. In case the
3.5-year evaluation is not satisfactory, the contract will be terminated. A
continuation after the first four years is only possible for the purpose of
compensation of maternity or parental leave or other recognized delays.
Further career development to Associate Professor (level 2) is possible,
depending on qualification.
About the organization
Utrecht University strives for excellence in teaching and study performance.
This also holds for the clearly defined research profiles with respect to four
core themes: Dynamics of Youth, Life Sciences, Institutions for Open Societies
and Pathways to Sustainability. Utrecht University has a strong commitment to
community outreach and contributes to answering the social questions of today
and tomorrow. The Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University offers a unique
environment to study this challenge as it combines knowledge on energy
efficiency, economics, energy policy, behavioural sciences, innovation
systems, as well as knowledge on (sustainable) urban development.
The Urban Futures Studio is a small research group at Utrecht University. We
critically study how images of the future, positive and negative, become
embedded in our collective imagination. We conduct empirical research on
existing practices, but also help initiate experiments. We aim to shed light
on how imagination and re-imagination can contribute to finding roads to
At the Urban Futures Studio we focus on futuring, turning our engagement
with the future into a (diverse) set of activities. Our goal is to
understand current ‘techniques of futuring', and, by doing so, to shed light
on the politics of the future. We always think about futuring in direct
relationship to deepening our democratic practice.
Our interest in sustainability animates investigations of the neighbourhoods
of the future, climate change and climate modelling, biobased building and
nature-based solutions, the future of energy systems, futures literacy, the
social theory of the collective imagination, and climate engineering.
Convinced that new thinking starts in crossovers and ‘soft spaces', we
actively initiate experiments with carefully staged meet-ups and exhibitions.
Our aim: to understand the dynamics of change and expand the reflexivity on
society's repertoire of action.
For further information about this position, please contact Prof. Maarten
Hajer (Director of the Urban Futures Studio), via email@example.com.
Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with
a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please click the
button below. Applications should include:
a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages);
statement with future research plans (max. 2 pages);
a curriculum vitae including a list of publications;
two samples of academic writing (journal articles, book chapters etc.);
one sample of writing for a broader audience (blog post, op/ed article
Interviews will be scheduled early October 2021. Employment will become
effective on a date to be negotiated with the Director - ideally before the
end of 2021.
The application deadline is