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 quantitative modelling of human interactions with water systems (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Imminent and future climate change and socio-economic development have profound impacts on the global water cycle. This, in turn, leads to major challenges for mankind, such as increases in droughts and water scarcity and related threats to ecosystems and food and energy supply. Such severe impacts may be further exacerbated by geopolitical developments and conflicts. As humans are an integral part of the water cycle, it is imperative that we include the human dimension and interactions in future pathways of water systems and when searching for effective management strategies and solution options to mitigate detrimental impacts on water systems.

The Department of Physical Geography at Utrecht University is seeking an assistant professor in the quantitative modelling of human interactions with water systems to integrate such insights into their existing research line that focuses on large-scale modelling and assessments of the global terrestrial water cycle.

The department envisions that the candidate for this position will develop her/his own research line on human interactions with water systems, building on our large-scale high-resolution hydrological and water resources models. This entails, among others, understanding of past and future water demand and water use, including feedbacks between human water use and hydrology. The new research line combines large-scale water system understanding with socio-hydrology: the interdisciplinary field of studying dynamic human-water system interactions and feedbacks, by combining insights from social sciences, including hydro-economics and behavioural sciences, with quantitative approaches (e.g., from complexity theory).

For more information, please visit Earth Science and Physical Geography at the Faculty of Geosciences.

The successful candidate:

  • has a PhD in hydrology, water resources research, environmental sciences, hydro-economics, civil engineering, environmental engineering or related fields;
  • has proven knowledge and a scientific track record supported with peer-reviewed publications in the field of quantitative modelling of human-water system interactions or socio-hydrology;
  • shows a willingness to integrate insights from human-water interactions into large-scale hydrological and water resources models of our department;
  • has proven experience in academic teaching and eagerness to use insights and outcomes of her/his research in water-related courses in our BSc and MSc program;
  • is enthusiastic about performing research with impact by actively seeking contact and dialogues with stakeholders, journalists and the general public;
  • is capable to setup her/his own distinct research line in the field with the successful acquisition of research projects;
  • is sensitive to the fact that successful and impactful research is a team effort;
  • has excellent oral communication and writing 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, Sustainable Development, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 110 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Our research programme spans four intertwined themes: Climate & Life, Earth interior, Earth materials, and Environmental Earth Sciences. We house or have access to a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

About Utrecht

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of nearly 360,000 and forms a hub in the middle of the country. Its historic city centre and its modern central station can easily be reached from the Utrecht Science Park by public transport or by a 15-minute bicycle ride. Utrecht boasts beautiful canals with extraordinary wharf cellars housing cafés and terraces by the water, as well as a broad variety of shops and boutiques.

Additional information

For informal questions, please contact Prof. Dr Marc Bierkens via m.f.p.bierkens@uu.nl or Dr Michelle van Vliet via m.t.h.vanvliet@uu.nl.

You are also invited to join our online information session via Microsoft Teams on: Tuesday 25 October between 15.30 - 17.00 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.