Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues. Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Assistant professor in Nutrient Enrichment and Biodiversity Loss (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

At the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, we are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious colleague to further strengthen our group with a specific focus on nutrient enrichment and biodiversity loss. Ecosystems worldwide suffer under enrichment with nutrients i.e. eutrophication. Enrichment with nitrogen and phosphorus leads to disruption of ecosystem functioning and biodiversity loss. Especially in Western Europe high nitrogen deposition leads to loss of nitrogen limited ecosystems and biodiversity. In the Netherlands, this has resulted in a 'nitrogen crisis' that requires urgent actions.

However, also phosphorus eutrophication persists unless measures have been taken to diminish the phosphate load to surface waters. Agricultural fertilization has led to phosphate saturated soils and the legacy of this enrichment will continue for decades. It is therefore essential to analyse how nitrogen and phosphorus interact in soil and water and affect ecosystem processes, biodiversity and management outcomes to develop policies and measures to sustain and restore ecosystems.

The candidate is expected to contribute to an internationally renowned research line on nutrient enrichment and biodiversity. You apply a systems approach in which you connect fundamental process-oriented ecosystem research to ecosystem restoration and policies. You have plant identification skills and good knowledge of the European flora. You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, including acquisition and supervision of PhD students. We will enable and coach you to apply for personal research grants.

The candidate will teach in the BSc programme Global Sustainability Science? in the MSc programmes Sustainable Development, and Water, Science and Management? and supervise bachelor's and master's theses. Teaching topics include landscape ecology and nature conservation, ecohydrology, soil and water chemistry, system analysis, land use change. Teaching is in English. In the first two years, the teaching load will be 50%? after two years teaching load will increase to 60%.

We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

  • have a PhD in a relevant field in environmental sciences or ecology;
  • have experience in ecological field work and experiments;
  • have profound knowledge of soil chemistry;
  • have experience with analysing plant trait databases;
  • have experience with and an interest in academic teaching?
  • have a network for the acquisition of externally funded projects particularly in the Netherlands and the EU?
  • have a record of international peer-reviewed publications?
  • can demonstrate English language proficiency at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or are prepared to obtain this level by training;
  • are proficient in Dutch or prepared to acquire Dutch language skills.

Terms of employment:

We offer a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) as an Assistant Professor for a probationary period of 18 months. Permanent employment will be offered based upon good performance in this period, according to the Faculty's performance indicators. The Faculty of Geosciences has an excellent merit-based career and promotion policy. As part thereof, career development up to Associate Professor (level 2) is possible without a so called 'formation principle', yet based on performance. The gross monthly starting salary - depending on qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,821 and €5,230 (scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3% per year. In addition, you will have access to all equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure, coaching for teaching and supervision of researchers, and training and support regarding the acquisition of external funds. Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions external link, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University. Facilities for childcare and sports are available on campus.

About the organisation:

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With a population of 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, (the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning. At the Copernicus Institute, our goal is to have a positive impact on the transition towards a sustainable future. The Copernicus Institute has had an excellent research evaluation in 2021 and the institute takes pride in maintaining its leading position in national and international sustainability research, and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes.

The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a historic centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its centuries-old university. Utrecht has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands, and is well-connected to local and international transport hubs.

Additional information

For informal questions, please contact Prof. Dr Martin Wassen via m.j.wassen@uu.nl.

You are also invited to join our online information session via Microsoft Teams on: Thursday 10 November between 13.00 - 14.00 CEST. The link will be made available on the official application page. You can ask us about our profiles and tasks of the offered position, the possibilities of professional development, and moving to and living in Utrecht (housing, visa, schools, partner opportunities). We look forward to meeting you!

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link and the guidelines mentioned there. The application deadline is November 20th, 2022.After the selection procedures, the position can start as soon as possible and preferably in the 1st

However, note that international candidates that need a visa/work permit for the Netherlands require at least four months processing time after selection and acceptance. This will be arranged with help of the International Service Desk (ISD) of our university. Finding appropriate housing in or near Utrecht is your own responsibility, but the ISD may be able to advise you therewith. In case of general questions about working and living in The Netherlands, please consult the Dutch Mobility Portal.

Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.

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posted: 20 October 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.