Professor and Chair of Environmental Systems Analysis

Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen, , NL

We are looking for

We are looking for an innovative, dynamic and inspiring scholar in Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) and figurehead in the field of climate change and climate systems to join Wageningen University & Research (0.8 – 1.0 fte). ESA is part of the Environmental Sciences Group, the number 1 school for environmental science and ecology worldwide.

Mission of the Chair Group
The mission of the ESA Chair Group is to advance knowledge and educate students on the principles and applications of environmental systems analysis, and to relate those to the core themes of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Environmental Systems Analysis is a quantitative, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research field that aims to analyse, interpret, simulate and communicate complex environmental and sustainability issues from combined natural and social science perspectives. The aim of the ESA group is to understand causes and effects of complex environmental problems, to explore possible solutions for these problems, and to support decision making.

The ESA group’s unique focus and quality is the development of methodologies, tools and approaches for integrative environmental research. ESA is well-known for its systemic modelling approach: an approach that accounts for the interactions and interdependencies in social-ecological systems that are relevant for addressing complex environmental problems. The ESA group focuses on the conceptual development and improvement of innovative, integrated research tools and methodologies that investigate environmental problems and sustainability challenges. The tools use both quantitative and participatory approaches. ESA applies these tools to advance scientific understanding of environmental problems from local to global scales and to contribute to the understanding of and solutions for environmental problems by policy and decision support. The focus is on the following themes: (i) climate change, (ii) biodiversity and ecosystem services, (iii) integrated nutrient impact modelling and (iv) pollution management. These themes are applied across rural, urban and natural environments, with a focus on terrestrial systems.

The staff members teach courses at BSc and MSc level. ESA plays a key role in the study programmes Environmental Sciences (BES, MES), Urban Environmental Management (MUE), Climate Studies (MCL), and Tourism (BTO, MTO) of Wageningen University, and contributes to other programmes. This concerns both courses in the broad interdisciplinary field of environmental sciences and more specialist and in-depth courses in the environmental systems analysis discipline. Typical for this education is that it is multi, inter- or transdisciplinary, where students learn to understand the complexity of environmental problems and explore integrated tools, methods and solutions from the perspective of both natural and social sciences using quantitative and qualitative approaches.

As ESA Chair you will lead the Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) group. You will support the group’s research ambitions by further strengthening its position in national and international networks, by managing its internal processes and relations in a constructive and cooperative way, and by strengthening established research lines and bringing in novel ideas. In addition, you will play an active role in education at the undergraduate and graduate level. You will also give new impulses to further develop the contents of ESA’s courses, its teaching methods, and the coherence of the education programmes in which it takes part. You will ensure the group provides a supportive working environment to academics at a range of career levels. Strengthening the acquisition of external funding for research, and attracting PhD candidates are key elements of your responsibility.

We ask

  • a doctorate (PhD degree) in environmental sciences, preferably with a focus on the quantitative analysis of climate change and climate systems;
  • an outstanding scientific track record and international research profile;
  • the ability to manage professionals and have an inspiring, collegial, and unifying leadership style characterized by a passion to develop people, to build teams, and to create synergy;
  • an inspiring long-term vision regarding the development of the scientific field, the research agenda and the teaching profile of the ESA group;
  • a broad international network, as well as active involvement and experience with effective interaction with stakeholders and in the societal dialogue;
  • a keen interest to work in an interdisciplinary environment;
  • a proven record in acquisition of research funds from national and international agencies;
  • an outstanding record in teaching, mentoring and course development, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, with an ability to work with students from a wide range of backgrounds;
  • experience in management, and ability to harvest synergies between ongoing activities;
  • excellent command of English and – for international applicants – willingness to learn Dutch.

We offer

You will be working for an inspiring international organisation with a large number of interdisciplinary projects all over the world. The scientific quality of Wageningen University is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indexes. We offer you a challenging position as full professor of the Chair of Environmental Systems Analysis. Besides a competitive salary, we offer a number of additional benefits, such as an end-of-year extra month’s salary, a holiday allowance and a pension plan with the Dutch pension fund for government and education.

More information

Further information about the position can be obtained from professor dr Martin van Ittersum, Chair of the Appointment Advisory Committee (Email: [email protected] Tel: +31 317 482382). More detailed information on the profile and the ESA group is available upon request (via [email protected], secretary of the Committee).

You are invited to upload your complete application via the apply button on this page.

Your application should include:
• An application letter with curriculum vitae
• A separate list of publications
• Your vision on research and education in the domain of the Chair (Max 2 pages).

The closing date for applications is Monday 27 April 2020.

The Appointment Advisory Committee will interview selected candidates for this position on Tuesday 26 May 2020. The Committee will thereafter invite short-listed candidates for a second interview and a trial lecture on 31 August 2020.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, by which 30% of their salary is exempt from tax. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you and your family with the visa application procedures, and a specialized staffing agency will help your partner to find a job. Furthermore, you will get assistance with other issues, such as housing and schools for your children. Wageningen has excellent public schools and there are also international schools nearby in Arnhem.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. The following webpages contain (practical) information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen ( and

Equal opportunity employer
We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age. We believe that a diverse and inclusive work environment makes us a more relevant, more competitive, and more resilient organization.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive working environment makes us a more relevant, competitive and resilient organization. Click here for more information about working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of our University is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 6,500 employees, and 12,000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

Current ESA group
The present ESA group is a vibrant team of young and mid-career researchers who work in the field of environmental systems analysis (see The ESA group currently consists of 14 faculty members: 2 personal professors, 2 special professors, 1 associate professor, 5 assistant professors and 4 lecturers / other tenured staff members. In addition, more than 20 PhD candidates are supervised by current staff. The ESA staff works closely together with staff of other chair groups on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary topics for which the connection of disciplines is essential. The ESA group is part of the cluster for Climate, Water and Society (CWS), a new cluster of chair groups within the overarching Environmental Sciences Group (ESG).

The Group is efficiently organised and supported by dedicated secretarial, financial and HR advisors. The group and student community is largely international and the courses of the Group are taught in English.