Two Full Professors/chairholders Earth Systems and Global Change

Your job

We are looking for two innovative, dynamic and inspiring full professors/chairholders to co-chair the Earth Systems and Global Change (ESC) group at Wageningen University & Research: a professor/chairholder in Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA), and a professor/chairholder in Water Systems and Global Change (WSG) (0.8 - 1.0 fte). You are a figurehead in this research field and want to develop this scientific field further at Wageningen University and Research. You are - together with the other chairholder - co-responsible for the research, education, and operational management, including finances and HR of the ESC group.

Vacancy 1: Professor/chairholder Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA)

The professor/chairholder of Environmental Systems Analysis has a unique focus and quality with respect to the development of methodologies, tools and approaches for integrative environmental research. ESA is well-known for its systemic modelling approach: an approach that accounts for the interactions and interdependencies in social-ecological systems that are relevant for addressing complex environmental problems. The ESA professor/chairholder leads the fields of conceptual development and improvement of innovative, integrated research tools and methodologies that investigate environmental problems and sustainability challenges, often with an inter- or transdisciplinary focus. The tools use both quantitative and participatory approaches. ESA applies these tools to advance scientific understanding of environmental problems from local to global scales and to contribute to the understanding of and solutions for environmental problems by policy and decision support. The focus is on the following themes: (i) climate change, (ii) biodiversity and ecosystem services, (iii) integrated nutrient impact modelling and (iv) pollution management. These themes are applied across rural, urban and natural environments, with a focus on terrestrial systems.

You can find the full description of the chair profile here.

Vacancy 2: Professor/chairholder Water Systems and Global Change (WSG)

The professor/chairholder of Water Systems and Global Change leads the field towards improved understanding of anthropogenically driven changes in water cycles in relation to interactions between climate, water, energy, agricultural and environmental systems. This includes the dynamic feedbacks and interactions between water resources and global change, modelled and observed at different spatial and temporal scales; impacts of global change on water, agricultural and energy sectors, including trade-offs, vulnerabilities and risks; and opportunities to reduce impacts of global change through different adaptation and mitigation strategies for water and agriculture. One of the focus areas will be developing adaptation and mitigation strategies; comprising of novel approaches such as adaptive water management and ecosystem-based adaptation. The WSG professor/chairholder is expected to strive for an integrated approach across the water, food and energy systems. The focus is on the following themes: (i) water, climate and food, (ii) water quality, (iii) land-based mitigation, and (iv) climate services and adaptation. These themes are studied at global to regional scales, and applied across rural, urban and natural environments, with a focus on water systems.

You can find the full description of the chair profile here.

Your qualities

  • You have a doctorate (PhD degree) and an internationally proven scientific track record in the field of environmental sciences, preferably with a focus on the quantitative environmental systems analysis (vacancy 1) or a focus on water systems and global change (vacancy 2). At least one of the two professors should have expertise in climate science.
  • You have an inspiring long-term vision regarding the development of the scientific field, the research agenda and the teaching profile in the ESC domain;
  • You have experience in leading professionals in a multidisciplinary team. You bring empathic and inclusive leadership with a focus on people's development, team building and creating synergy;
  • You have a broad international network, as well as active involvement and experience with effective interaction with stakeholders and in the societal dialogue;
  • You have a keen interest to work in an interdisciplinary environment;
  • You have proven experience and success in attracting funding in a (inter)national context;
  • You have a passion for, and ample experience in, BSc, MSc and PhD education and in the individual supervision of students, PhDs and staff, with an ability to work with students from a wide range of backgrounds;
  • You have excellent command of English and - for international applicants - willingness to learn Dutch.

We offer you

You will be working for an inspiring international organisation with a large number of interdisciplinary projects all over the world. The scientific quality of Wageningen University is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indexes. We offer you a challenging position as full professor and chairholder. Besides a competitive salary (maximum gross salary for starting professors is € 9.680,- per month), we offer several additional benefits, such as an end-of-year extra month's salary, a holiday allowance, and a pension plan with the Dutch pension fund for government and education. International candidates moving to the Netherlands may benefit from a special tax relief, by which a part of their salary is exempt from tax for 5 years. Working hours can be discussed to optimize the work-life balance (32-38 hours per week).

Do you want more information?

Further information about the position can be acquired from Prof. Dr Huub Rijnaarts, Chair of the Appointment Advisory Committee. Email:

For more information about the procedure you can contact Johan Feenstra, Secretary of the Appointment Advisory Committee. Email:


You are invited to upload your complete application via the apply button on this page.

Your application should include the following documents in pdf format (and each of them saved with the filename ESA + your name for the first vacany, and WSG + your name for the second vacancy)

  • A motivation letter
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A list of publications
  • Your vision on research and education in the domain of the Chair and the characteristics of your leadership style (max 2 pages).

The closing date for applications is 20th March 2024.

The Appointment Advisory Committee will interview selected candidates for this position on Monday 22 April 2024. The Committee will thereafter invite short-listed candidates for a second interview and a trial lecture on Friday 24 May 2024.

An assessment could be part of the procedure.

WUR's policy is to increase the number of female professors. Therefore, all female candidates matching the profile are especially invited to apply, and we want at least one of the final candidates to be female.

Equal opportunities

WUR employs many people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who encourage and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organization and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The Earth Systems and Global Change Group (ESC) The mission of the ESC group is to improve the understanding of the impacts of global change on earth systems to contribute to sustainable futures. In our research and teaching we combine quantitative, qualitative and multi- and transdisciplinary approaches.


Our research focuses on the earth systems climate, water, land, and nature, the interaction between these systems and with society. We study how global change affects the interactions between these systems and how we can reduce the impacts of global change through mitigation and adaptation. In our methodologies, we combine model development, integrated assessments, data collection and transdisciplinary approaches to study impacts of global change, develop innovative solutions and co-develop adaptation strategies.

Education and PhD Training

The staff members teach courses at BSc and MSc level. ESC plays a key role in the study programmes Environmental Sciences (BES, MES), Marine Sciences (BMS), Urban Environmental Management (MUE), Climate Studies (MCL), International Land and Water Management (BIL, MIL) and Tourism (BTO, MTO) of Wageningen University, and contributes to other programmes. We teach courses, and train PhD candidates in the broad interdisciplinary field of earth systems and global change, and more specialist and in-depth courses in environmental systems analysis and water systems and global change.

The ESC Group

The Earth Systems and Global Change group brings together a unique combination of people with backgrounds in ecology, hydrology, meteorology, and environmental sciences. It is a large group consisting of several personal professors, special professors, associate and assistant professors, lecturers and other tenured staff members. In addition, more than 50 PhD candidates are supervised by current staff. The ESC group is divided in 7 different subgroups, each focusing on a specific topic related to earth systems and global change: (1) Water Quality, (2) Nutrients, Food & Environment, (3) Biodiversity & Ecosystem, Services, (4) Water, Climate, Food, (5) Land Based Mitigation, (6) Climate Services and Adaptation and (7) Empower Sustainable Futures.

More information

More information on the ESC group can be found here.

published: 15 February 202     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.