Assistant Professor Sustainable Land Use


Monday, November 1, 2021

Start Date

Monday, July 19, 2021

We are searching for a tenure track candidate with the ambition to develop interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field of Human-Environment Systems and Land-System Science. The tenure track candidate will become part of the Environmental Geography department at the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. While all candidates with an relevant track record in the field are welcome to apply, candidates with the following expertise are particularly invited to apply:

  • interactions between biodiversity conservation and land systems
  • integration of social processes and decision making into quantitative land system analysis
  • relationship between socio-economic development and sustainable land use

Expertise in one of these fields would have most added value to the research group. The Environmental Geography department and IVM have a strong emphasis on collaborative approaches to research and teaching, and the successful candidate is expected to contribute to a positive, engaging, and collaborative work environment.

Your duties

  • the candidate is expected to show academic leadership, maintain a high publication output, and raise competitive research funding
  • the candidate is expected to apply for external project funding for PhD students and postdocs working on projects around his/her field of expertise
  • the candidate has a research interest in one (and preferably more) of the following themes: Land use change, Human-environment systems, Modelling (e.g. Bayesian network models, Agent-based models, Spatial models, Optimization/prioritization), Land use decision making and Land governance, Biodiversity analysis, Ecosystem services, or Conservation biology
  • the candidate will teach and coordinate courses in existing teaching programmes and/or develop new courses to strengthen the institute’s profile in sustainability science
  • the candidate is expected to have strong methodological skills with a focus on quantitative approaches or on linking qualitative and quantitative approaches


  • PhD degree in a relevant sustainability science field with evidence of interdisciplinary skills
  • Significant experience in academic teaching and writing
  • Ability and motivation to work in collaboration with others
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English


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 €5,127 (scale 11), 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 between 1 November 2021 and 1 February 2022. We offer a tenure track position at the level of assistant professor, initially for the duration of 6 years. During the period, performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, contribution to the scientific field through publications, acquisition of prestigious personal grants or equivalent project funding, and growth in terms of academic leadership within and outside the group. 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 and good growth opportunities


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 endeavor – 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 IVM
Established in 1971, The Institute for Environmental Studies (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, spatial and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. This tenure track position is based in the Environmental Geography Department.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until August 19, 2021. Your cover letter should indicate why you are motivated for the position, explain the complementary value of the topics and approach of your research and teaching for our department, and how you would like to develop that. Mentioning the contact details of two potential references is appreciated..

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: Peter Verburg