Postdoc Socio-Ecological Modelling

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Do you want to contribute to better methods for modelling socio-ecological systems? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Socio-ecological systems understanding is key to achieving sustainability across scales: from urban food systems and global value chains of land-based commodities to achieving climate and biodiversity targets. Modelling can help to better understand complex, multi-scale systems by enhancing system understanding and assessment of the systemic effects of policies and other interventions. However, modelling tools for socio-ecological systems analysis need further development and real-world testing. This postdoc position aims at contributing such modelling work to a series of externally funded projects. The overall aim is to advance our methods for addressing socio-ecological systems. One of the projects focuses on urban food systems in Africa, another one on the adoption of alternative farming systems in Europe. In addition, the postdoc will supervise Msc students during their thesis work.
The successful candidate has experience in socio-ecological systems modelling and possesses knowledge of different modelling approaches such as Bayesian Networks and Spatial modelling.

Your duties

  • conduct innovative research and contribute to project ambitions
  • publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals
  • contribute to Msc thesis supervision (and potentially some other teaching)
  • assist in applications for existing project funding
  • contribute modelling skills to smaller consultancy projects


  • PhD in environmental sciences, ecology, quantitative social sciences or geography
  • strong evidence of writing skills by a good publication record
  • collaborative and teaching skills
  • willingness to contribute to the coordination of multi-partner projects

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), 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 initial employment contract will affect a period of 1 year, upon good performance the contract will be extended to a total of 3 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
  • contribution to commuting expenses


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 department
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognized 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 Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. 
The Department of Environmental Geography investigates the role of spatial variation in human-environmental systems. The focus of the group is on Land System Change with research on Ecosystem Services, Food Systems, Urban Sustainable Development and Spatial modelling. The department bridges disciplines by using a wide range of mostly quantitative methods across local to global scales. Advanced methods for stakeholder participation and ex-ante evaluation are developed and tested to support environmental management and land use planning.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until November 27, 2020. 

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Prof. Peter Verburg
Position: head of department Environmental Geography