Assistant Professor of Environmental Governance

Utrecht University

Utrecht, , NL

Job description

Utrecht University has opened a new faculty position at Assistant Professor level (tenure track) in the field of environmental governance, sustainable development and societal transformation.

Successful candidates are expected to bring broad expertise (as evidenced by key publications and/or successful acquisition activities) on the main themes of our environmental governance research programme, notably on different modes of environmental 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 Assistant Professor will undertake cutting-edge research on the global and regional level of environmental governance and develop competitive research proposals in this field. Empirically, successful candidates will have strong affinity with governance challenges in fields such as climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable production, biodiversity conservation, water management and/or sustainable urban development. In addition, our research programme supports in all its activities a transformative vision of change, expecting faculty members to engage in fresh thinking that goes beyond existing political institutions and governance systems, which have failed so far to address the fundamental sustainability challenges of our time.

The Assistant Professor will teach in the newly developed BSc in Global Sustainability Science and the internationally leading MSc in Sustainable Development. In addition, successful candidates will be expected to supervise BSc and MSc thesis projects, to act as daily supervisor of doctoral students, and to contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects. All teaching and supervision will be in English, which is also the working language of our research group.

The position will be affiliated with the Environmental Governance group, one of the four departments of the university’s Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The Environmental Governance group is a dynamic, ambitious and internationally leading team of researchers with a focus on fundamental and policy-oriented research of environmental governance processes, from local to global levels. The Copernicus Institute has been evaluated in a 2014 international review as the highest ranked research institute in environmental sciences in the Netherlands. Since then, the institute has intensified its efforts in maintaining its leading position, among others by investing in several new international faculty appointments and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes. Utrecht University has been ranked in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities as the best university in the Netherlands, and as one of the leading research universities in Europe. 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).

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

Successful candidates 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 at least two years of research experience at post-doctoral level;
  • have a proven affinity with academic teaching and environmental governance research;
  • have a proven expertise in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • have interest in and experience with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research;
  • have published at least eight papers in highly ranked international scientific journals in the field of environmental governance, including single-authored papers;
  • have experience in acquiring and carrying out externally funded projects;
  • be well connected to relevant academic partners as well as to stakeholders in society;
  • be able to apply successful strategies in order to derive societal products (outputs) from scientific research and to accomplish societal use (societal references) and societal benefits (changes in society) of research;
  • have excellent communication skills and be a team player.
We offer a full-time tenure track position that starts with an initial period of two years, with an intended extension of either another two years or a conversion to a permanent position, subject to performance. Further career development to Associate Professor level is possible. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience  – ranges between €3,427 and €4,691 (scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. We also offer a pension scheme and flexible employment conditions. For further information: working at Utrecht University.
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.
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.

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With 2,200 students (BSc and MSc) and 550 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The faculty is organised in four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning.

The vacancy has been opened within the Department of Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences. The research of the department is organised in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.

The Environmental Governance Research Group is part of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The institute is responsible for research on relations between humans and the environment, environmental policy and its influence on sustainable development and the management of innovation.
Additional information
For informal inquiries please do not hesitate to contact Prof Peter Driessen, email: [email protected]. The research strategy of the Environmental Governance group is available upon request.

To apply you can click on the button below. Please attach your motivation for the position, a statement of your research interests, a statement of your teaching experience and philosophy, a curriculum vitae, and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees.

The application deadline is