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Utrecht University | Vacancies: Utrecht University is looking for 4 Assistant Professors

Assistant Professors in Human Geography, International Development Studies and Spatial Planning (4 x 0,8/1,0 FTE)

Job description

The Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning has developed the challenging research programme ‘Urban Futures: Transitions towards Economic and Social Sustainable Cities’. In this programme faculty members from different sub disciplines of human geography and planning work closely together on two main research themes: ‘Economic Urban Transitions’ and ‘Social Urban Transitions’. Within this programme several interrelated topics are studied: urban economic resilience, networks and flows in and between urban regions, healthy urban living, urban inequalities and diversities, transnational mobilities, and smart urban governance. The Department is also responsible for one undergraduate programme in Human Geography and Spatial Planning and for a number of graduate programmes in urban and economic geography, spatial planning, international development studies, and GIS.

Our ambition is to further develop the two integrative research themes with a focus on the issues and topics mentioned. From an education perspective, the Department wants to strengthen faculty expertise in: urban and regional economic development and policy, geography of urban social issues, transnational mobility and urban life, land and real estate development, and GIS, all subjects in the context of the global North and South. This will be achieved by appointing four excellent assistant professors who are able to contribute to these ambitions from their respective specializations in urban and economic geography, international development studies, spatial planning and related disciplines.


We are looking for colleagues who show leadership and who initiate, both independently and in collaboration with other researchers and external partners, new research projects within the ‘Urban Futures’ research programme, thereby enriching the current research agenda. Next to research duties, the assistant professor will have teaching tasks in BSc- and MSc-programme and will be involved in PhD-supervision. We envisage positions with 0.5 fte research and 0.5 fte teaching for the next four years of appointment.

We seek highly motivated candidates who hold a PhD in Human Geography, Spatial Planning or a related discipline. If you

  • have experience in conducting scientific research leading to high-quality publications
  • have extensive experience in qualitative and/or quantitative methods of research and/or GIS
  • have a good (international) research network
  • see added value in collaborating within interdisciplinary research projects
  • are able to acquire research funding in competition, preferably with a proven track record
  • are enthusiastic about – and have experience in – teaching and supervising students from undergraduate to PhD levels
  • are willing and confident to teach subjects beyond your niche of expertise
  • have a Basic Teaching Certificate (BKO) or similar teaching qualification, or are willing to acquire such a qualification as soon as possible
  • are proficient in both written and spoken English
  • have the willingness to learn Dutch (passive proficiency required, in case- of a non-Dutch speaking candidates)
  • are a team player, looking forward to contributing to, and collaborating with different disciplinary groups within and outside our department

we encourage you to apply and are looking forward to meeting you.

Candidates with a background in Human Geography, International Development Studies and/or Spatial Planning have our preference, however candidates with a different disciplinary background and with an interest in Human Geography and Spatial Planning are also invited to respond.


Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. We offer a fulltime 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. The gross monthly salary is based on experience and qualifications, and ranges from a minimum of € 2,920 to a maximum of € 4.654,- on a fulltime basis (as of January 2016). The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and childcare are available on our campus, which is only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht. For more information visit Working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

Utrecht University is a research-intensive university that values excellence in teaching as well as in research. Its clear research profile is centred on four strategic themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Dynamics of Youth, and Institutions for Open Societies. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues.

The Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 faculty and staff, the Faculty is a vibrant and ambitious organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Innovation, Environmental and Energy Sciences; Earth Sciences; Physical Geography; and Human Geography and Spatial Planning.

Additional information

More information can be obtained from prof. Martin Dijst, email:


  • A letter of application which describes your motivation and qualifications;
  • A one-page document stating how your expertise and innovative ideas would contribute to the ‘Urban Futures’ research programme;
  • You curriculum vitae and a list of publications;
  • And the names and addresses of two referees.

The application deadline is

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