Assistant Professor Global Change Modelling

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


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Job description

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty positions at the Assistant Professor level in the Environmental Sciences group. We are searching for highly self-motivated natural sciences oriented and quantitative scientists in the field of environmental sciences. Human-induced pressures such as climate change, increased food production, and deforestation are altering terrestrial systems.

With a new position on Global Change Modelling we aim to contribute to the solution of these challenges in environmental sciences while also increasing our fundamental knowledge of the system.

The world faces a number of important sustainable development challenges, including the question how to avoid dangerous climate change, how to stop the ongoing loss of biodiversity, and how to provide access to clean water, food and modern energy to 9 billion people in 2050. In other words, how to promote human development, while at the same time maintain earth system integrity? In order to be able to answer this, we need to understand the underlying causes, the possible response strategies, but also the key connections between the different challenges. From the research perspective, a systematic analysis is needed of the human imprint on the environment and how long-term interactions between human development and the natural environment will change. This research should be based on system approaches that are able to look at the relevant linkages, across scales and between different challenges. The so-called nexus between land, water and energy resources plays a key role in many of these interactions.


We are seeking for a highly motivated candidate with a background in integrated global modelling and knowledge on key interactions between human and environmental systems. You are expected to be able to assess possible future development of drivers of environmental degradation and the state of environmental systems. You also have interest in how science can provide a key role in providing policy-relevant information for national and international policies.

The candidate is expected to develop an internationally renowned research line at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, including acquisition and supervision of PhD students. You will be stimulated and coached in applying for a personal research grant. 

The candidate will teach in the BSc programme Global Sustainability Science; in the MSc programmes Sustainable Development, and Water, Science and Management; and supervise Bachelor's and Master's projects. Teaching is in English. In the first two years the teaching load will be 50%, after two years teaching load will increase to 60%.

We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

  • have a PhD and profound knowledge of integrated global modelling and sustainability problems;
  • have experience with and an interest in academic teaching;
  • have a network for the acquisition of externally funded projects;
  • have a record of international peer-reviewed publications;
  • are well connected to relevant academic partners, as well as relevant stakeholders in society;
  • have excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • are able to demonstrate English language proficiency at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or prepared to obtain this level by training.


For the tenure tracks 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 exclusively 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.