Assistant Professor (Spatial Design and Water Management)

University of Groningen (RUG)

Groningen, , NL


The Department of Planning and Environment of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) is looking for an Assistant Professor Spatial Design and Water Management.

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences consists of 95 members of staff and around a thousand students. We focus on high quality teaching and research in the fields of cultural geography, demography, economic geography, and spatial planning. Our research theme is ‘towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation’ (tWIST). It is our mission to produce research which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant. With two Bachelor and eight Master programmes, we provide a wide range of courses within the field.

The Department of Planning and Environment contributes to the Bachelor programmes of Spatial Planning & Design and Human Geography & Planning, and is responsible for the Master programmes Environment & Infrastructure Planning and Socio-spatial Planning. The Department’s research is centered around institutional design for purposeful interventions within the human environment. We continuously renew our research and educational programmes, for example by incorporating innovative digital developments. We further aim to develop and improve our Centre for Advanced Studies in Urban Science and Design (CASUS).


As an Assistant Professor, you will contribute to teaching, research and co-ordination tasks. Your main teaching tasks will be in Bachelor and Master courses related to spatial and institutional design and water management, and in supervising Master and/or Bachelor theses. Other teaching tasks relate to strengthening our interactive and transdisciplinary studio and atelier courses, building on your expertise. To strengthen our team, we are looking for someone with a keen interest in promoting ‘design thinking’ in our educational and research programmes on water, infrastructure and environmental planning, and who is willing to contribute to design studios. The Assistant Professor will invest 60% of his/her time in teaching and management, and 40% in research (including PhD supervision).

Knowledge about water management related spatial design is appreciated, given the societal need to respond to climate change, risks of flooding, and planning in delta regions. In this respect design processes refer to the whole range of space, place and landscape analysis and evaluation with the latest design techniques and skills. We are specifically interested in cross linkages between abstract visioning and concrete implementation, analysis-synthesis, and creative and associative capacities. This will be supportive to planning as a process of institutional decision-making and as a driver for change and innovation. As team we think that spatial design and design thinking is contributing to and should be seen in the light of the contemporary debate on planning and decision-making.


The assistant professor:
  • has a PhD in the wider field of spatial planning, urbanism, water management, landscape architecture, geography
  • has an interest in, and has in depth knowledge about spatial design approaches and techniques, and its meaning for institutional processes of planning and decision-making
  • will develop and maintain design studio environment (atelier, laboratory, etc.) for research and education purposes
  • has experience in various teaching approaches; awareness of and willingness to use the latest innovations in teaching techniques
  • is in the possession of a university teaching qualification or is prepared to acquire this qualification within a reasonable timeframe
  • will take a responsibility in one or more Faculty committees related to the educational programmes
  • has publications in international peer-reviewed academic journals in the field of spatial design, spatial planning and water management
  • will develop a research agenda which is in line with the Faculty and Department research focus and will supervise PhD students within this research focus
  • contributes to profiling Departmental work on spatial design, development and innovation, and spatial planning and decision-making, also in collaboration with new and ongoing partnerships
  • is fluent in English and Dutch or has the willingness to learn Dutch.

Working Conditions

The University of Groningen offers a salary based on qualifications and experience between € 3,475 (scale 11 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) and € 5,405 (scale 12) gross per month for a full-time position, plus 8% holiday allowance and an annual end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. For more detailed information about working conditions and working with the University of Groningen, please check:

The post will be established for a fixed term period of two years. Towards the end of that period there will be a result- and development interview in order to decide whether the appointment may be made permanent.

The University of Groningen is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive our full consideration. Nevertheless, as we are committed to building a diverse faculty, female applicants and international candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Starting date: between 1 June and 1 September 2018

The interviews will be held between half April and half May 2018.

You may apply for this position until 31 March 23:59h/ before 1 April 2018 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications should include:

  1. a motivation letter
  2. a curriculum vitae including publications or other research output clearly showing your expertise in relevant areas
  3. email and telephone contact information of at least two referees.

Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be taken into consideration.