Tenure Track Assistant Professor - Food, Biodiversity And Climate Nexus

Research / Academic
Humanity is in a historical moment in which the capacity to live without irreversibly compromising the environmental and biophysical conditions on which it depends is dramatically questioned. Anthropogenic pressure on the Earth system has reached a point where abrupt environmental change is feared with global sustainability becoming a mere utopia. Despite the adoption of governance initiatives, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development there are significant challenges and intrinsic trade-offs that arise from the interaction of social and environmental systems. In particular, the interdependencies among the food, biodiversity and climate are central to the global sustainability question, and require interdisciplinary research approaches, such as integrative modelling methods. Academia has a central responsibility to address this challenge but is generally limited by the boundaries of disciplinary constraints. IVM is in a privileged position to leverage expertise from its four distinctive departments to become a central arena for sustainability research that is cross-cutting across core sustainability related themes. Therefore, we propose a Tenure Track position for Assistant Professor to strengthen IVMs capacity to conduct interdisciplinary research and teaching in the cross-cutting domain of food, biodiversity and climate. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Tenure Track position, the position will be hosted by two or more departments at the IVM. Such a candidate would be able to leverage experience from different IVM departments and push for an integrative research approach and contribution to sustainability science.

Your duties
  • The candidate is expected to engage in interdisciplinary research. The candidate should have a strong basis in economics, geography, environmental or political science, and should be able to combine this discipline with other scientific disciplines and have ample experience collaborating with other scientific disciplines within the sustainability domain. 
  • In principle, teaching and research are strongly linked, allowing for mutual cross-fertilization. The candidate would play a central role in the ERM and GECP masters. The candidate could collaborate with most of IVM courses or create new ones on very relevant and emerging topics, strengthening the sustainability science profile of IVM.
  • The candidate with an applied focus, quantitative skills and a good theoretical foundation. The candidate should be able to apply mixed-methods for field-work oriented and meta-analytical studies. 
  • The candidate should be able to work on multiple scales, with a strong international focus, thereby show willingness to travel on a regular basis. 
  • The candidate should show academic leadership, maintain a high publication output, and raise competitive research funding. On the longer term, the candidate is expected to build up a successful group around his/her field of expertise.
  • Over time, the tenure track candidate will write innovative proposals to acquire external funds, thereby establishing a personal research domain within the field of sustainability science.
  • In summary, we are looking for a person with many talents who can apply her/his skills in multiple fields. 


  • PhD degree in a relevant sustainability science, preferably with evidence of interdisciplinary skills
  • have a significant experience in academic teaching
  • have the ability to work in collaboration with others
  • have strong oral and written communication skills in English

Salary Benefits:

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,746 (scale 11)
and a maximum €5,826 (scale 12), 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 preferred starting date is 1 December 2020. We offer a tenure track position at the level of assistant professor, initially for the duration of 6 years. Within an agreed period, tenure could be achieved if the faculty criteria for assistant professor are fulfilled. During the tenure, the performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of prestigious personal grants or equivalent project funding. After a successful evaluation permanent employment will be granted. 

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
  • good growth opportunities
  • good paid parental leave scheme
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

Work Hours:

32 - 40 hours per week


De Boelelaan 1105