Appointment of Chair in Innovation & Transition Studies (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 1 month ago

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Appointment of Chair in Innovation & Transition Studies (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The Faculty of Geosciences is seeking to appoint a new Chair in Innovation & Transition Studies. The chair will provide Utrecht University with the opportunity to strengthen its teaching and research leadership. This will be achieved by providing inspiring leadership and drawing on the existing work of colleagues in the Department of Sustainable Development and beyond. This chairholder is further invited to link to the university-wide strategic themes ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ , ‘Institutions for Open Societies’  and/or ‘Life Sciences’ .
For this vacancy for a Full Professor in Innovation & Transition Studies we are interested in a versatile scholar, open to qualitative and quantitative approaches, and able to analyse innovation from process- and system-level perspectives. We look for a scholar with strong expertise in topics and approaches that can strengthen, broaden and complement the expertise on innovation and transition studies within the section of Innovation Studies.
A non-exhaustive list of examples of scholarly expertise include the topics of:

  • Sustainability transitions in energy, mobility, housing, food, health, and/or clothing;
  • Socio-technical innovations in materials, design, circular economy, and waste management;
  • Key Enabling Technologies in digital and engineering domains;
  • Innovations and transitions in Global South contexts;
  • Institutions, practices, behaviour, and cultural change;
  • Responsible business, sustainable organizations, and servitization.

The chair holder will be appointed for 0.8-1.0 full-time equivalent. Depending on the exact management responsibilities, the appointee is expected to spend around 50% of time on research activities, 40% on teaching and 10% on management. Additionally, societal impact and team spirit are important elements of recognition and rewards of Utrecht University and parts of the Faculty of Geosciences ‘MERIT’ appointing and promotion scheme, focusing on Management, Education, Research, Impact, and Team spirit. 


We are looking for a professor who fits well with the following conditions:

  • Strong social, organisational and strategic Leadership evidenced by an inspiring vision on teaching and research;
  • Wide experience in teaching at different levels (undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes) with significant contributions to the development and delivery of high-quality teaching at an internationally competitive level;
  • Having a PhD and proven research expertise on innovation and transition, with a background in Innovation Studies, Transition Studies, Science & Technology Studies, Human Geography, Heterodox Economics, Business Studies, Sociology, or a related field, including familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative research methodology;
  • Reputation in the international scientific community in the field of research as evidenced by a strong publication record, successful engagement with international networks and projects and a recognised contribution to the development of the research field;
  • Significant contributions to establishing and leading research groups, acquisition of research grants, engagement in supervising PhD students and postdocs, and mentoring early career researchers more generally;
  • Interest in societal challenges related to sustainable development and experience in interactions with various stakeholders related to these challenges;
  • Experience in and inspired to function in, and to lead, academic teams;
  • Contributor to inter-cultural collegial environment ensuring social safety.


The salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges from €6,099 to € 8,881 gross per month for full-time employment (scale H2 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities).
The salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, we encourage you to grow and support work life balance. That’s why Utrecht University offers an excellent pension scheme, professional development , partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions.
For more information on terms of employment at Utrecht University please see: Terms of employment - Working at Utrecht University

About the organization
A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. Utrecht University is located in one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old centre and an internationally oriented culture. At the university the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
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 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.
The Department of Sustainable Development conducts teaching and research across a large range of sustainability challenges, with a special focus on environmental sciences, environmental governance, business and innovation, and energy and resources. The department hosts a highly international staff of over 200 junior and senior scientists and lecturers. Research and education in our department thrives on inter and multidisciplinary collaborations, which are highly needed to address today's intricate sustainability issues.

Additional information

Further enquiries and questions can be directed to Prof. Koen Frenken (Full Professor in Innovation Studies) at or Dr. Karin Rebel (Associate Professor) at .


Everyone deserves to feel at home  at our university. We stimulate inclusive leadership at all levels and welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Applications should consist of a letter of motivation addressing suitability against the MERIT requirements and a full curriculum vitae including a publication list.

Applications can be uploaded via the ‘apply’ button. The closing date for applications is on May 8th . 

Applications will be considered by the Committee at the end of May and shortlisted candidates will subsequently be invited for a first-round interview on June 5th and 8th . A second-round interview and site visit will be organized on July 4th . Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate will take place thereafter.

When invited for the second round, candidates will be asked to give three names of contacts that can be asked for a reference letter.

The application deadline is
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