Junior Assistant Professor Environmental And Sustainability Governance (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University


September 15, 2021


Junior Assistant Professor Environmental and Sustainability Governance (1.0


Job description Utrecht University has opened a new faculty position at Junior Assistant Professor level in the field of environmental and sustainability governance. Successful candidates for this professorship are expected to bring broad expertise (as evidenced by key publications and/or successful acquisition activities) on the main themes of our governance research programme, notably on different modes of governance (institutional design and effectiveness), on the normative foundations of governance (such as social justice and democratic legitimacy), and on the governance of societal transformations. The new Junior Assistant Professor will undertake cutting-edge research on global, regional or local level of environmental and earth system governance and develop competitive research proposals in the field. Empirically the successful candidate will have strong affinity with governance challenges in fields such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable food production, biodiversity conservation, water management or sustainable urban development. However, there is no specific empirical field or governance level linked to this recruitment. Our research programme supports in all of its activities a transformative vision of change, expecting faculty members to engage in fresh thinking that goes beyond existing political institutions and governance systems to address the fundamental sustainability challenges of our time.


The successful candidate will:

  • hold a doctoral degree (PhD) in environmental studies, environmental sciences, sustainability science, political science, public administration, sociology, international relations or a related social science discipline;
  • have experience with and talent for academic teaching at Bachelor's and Master's level;
  • have a strong record of international peer-reviewed publications or a promising pipeline of papers;
  • have experience in successfully acquiring and carrying out externally funded projects or have good prospects in doing so;
  • be well connected to relevant academic partners as well as stakeholders in society;
  • have excellent communication skills, be good in interpersonal relationships and an excellent team player;
  • have affinity with working in an interdisciplinary research and teaching environment;
  • have affinity with public outreach, working with societal stakeholders and transdisciplinary research.
  • Offer

    We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for two years with the possibility of an extension, depending on performance and the financial situation of the department. Your performance will be subject to annual evaluations. In these two years, you will have the opportunity to obtain your basic teaching qualification that is important in pursuing your academic career. You will also have the opportunity to do research acquisition. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,790 and €4,402 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment.

    Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development, an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

    About the organization

    A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

    Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

    The new junior assistant professorship in governance studies will be affiliated with the Environmental Governance group, one of the four sections of the university's Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The Environmental Governance group is a dynamic, ambitious and internationally leading team of more than 50 Researchers with a focus on both fundamental and policy-oriented research of governance processes, from local to global levels. In the last two years, the Environmental Governance group has won four prestigious ERC grants and two NWO-VIDI grants, among other recognitions. The group is also involved in various important European research projects. The Copernicus Institute has been evaluated in the last international review as the highest ranked research institute in environmental and sustainability sciences in the Netherlands. Since then, the institute has intensified its efforts in maintaining its leading position, among others by investing in numerous new international faculty appointments and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes.

    Our university is committed to a strategic orientation on four overarching themes, which include “Pathways to Sustainability” and “Institutions for Open Societies”. The Assistant Professor we are hiring will be able to develop his/her career at the intersection of these main strategic themes of the university, opening up numerous opportunities for university-wide interaction and support.

    Utrecht University has been ranked in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities as the best university in the Netherlands and worldwide as the third-best university in the field of Geography. Utrecht University's sustainability research in the field of climate change and ecosystems has the greatest citation impact worldwide according to a study conducted by Times Higher Education (2016).

    The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands.

    Additional information For more information about this position, please contact: Prof. Peter Driessen (Head Environmental Governance Research Group), via p.driessen@uu.nl or +31 30 253 57 71.

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation, via the ‘apply' button below. Apart from your letter and curriculum vitae please add a brief teaching statement and research plan (both two pages maximum). Interviews with selected candidates are expected to take place in the first half of October 2021.

    Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews may be subject to change.

    The application deadline is 15/09/2021

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