Assistant Professor Biotechnology for Sustainable Food Security

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 05 Nov 2023

Will you develop a top research group on sustainable design and impact assessment of novel food production technologies, thereby contributing to sustainably meeting the food demands of a growing population?

As the world’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for food. Yet food systems are vulnerable, particularly due to climate change, urbanisation, and their pressure on natural ecosystems, including freshwater consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. How do we sustainably feed the people across the globe? At TU Delft, we develop and research novel approaches to food production using biotechnological approaches. But what is the social, environmental and techno-economic impact of such innovations and how do we design sustainable systems for food security? And how does this relate to energy and water needs? That’s your challenge as Assistant Professor in Biotechnology for Sustainable Food Security at TU Delft.

The protein transition takes centre stage in designing new sustainable and equitable food systems. As innovations, ranging from cultured meat to precision fermentation, emerge, you will develop, design and apply novel approaches to assess their impact. You will also conceptualise sustainable food systems, embracing co-creation with stakeholders in the value chain. To realise your vision and research line, you will attract external funding and build an internationally recognized research group. In addition, you will help us grow our network of stakeholders, ranging from NGOs and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to the dairy and food technology industry. You will share your knowledge and findings, teaching BSc and MSc students, writing papers and speaking at conferences.

Joining the Biotechnology and Society section in the department of Biotechnology offers you a diverse and inclusive team of professors, PhD students and postdocs. Our different disciplinary and cultural backgrounds help us view our research from different perspectives. We share a drive to devise strategies for responsible, biotechnology-based innovation and circularity in fields ranging from energy, chemicals and wastewater treatment,  to feed and food. You’ll be working closely with like-minded, highly motivated colleagues from our department, faculty and other faculties. Working in a pioneering environment, with disciplines including anthropology and philosophy as well as biochemical engineering and biotechnology, we share knowledge and ideas, welcoming yours. We also regularly join in social activities and will give you all the support you need to grow your academic career. 

You thrive on developing entirely new approaches to researching complex bioprocesses and value chains geared to food security for the global population. To develop your own research, you harness your communication skills to inspire and convince stakeholders of your research proposals. As you will be working in an interdisciplinary field, you have a keen interest in biotechnology, environmental technology and social sciences & humanities, which you will embed in your own research. And you enjoy teaching and interacting with students, while developing your own competencies.

You also have:

  • A PhD in a subject involving impact assessment, such as life cycle assessment or responsible research and innovation.
  • A demonstrable background in biotechnology, industrial ecology, cellular agriculture, food technology or another relevant subject.
  • A good command of spoken and written English, as you’ll be working in an internationally diverse community. And a command of Dutch, or the willingness to learn the language, to facilitate first-year BSc teaching and your contacts with Dutch stakeholders.

We expect our new colleague to enthusiastically teach and develop courses in the BSc and MSc programmes Life Science and Technology (LST) and/or other relevant programmes on campus. In addition, you will supervise BSc, MSc, EngD, and PhD students during their research projects.

Successful applicants can expect a competitive start-up package for their research program, which they should further expand by attracting external research funding. Support staff and more experienced colleagues are available at TU Delft to help assistant professors in building and strengthening their own research programs, to provide administrative support, and act as mentor in discussions on scientific and personal development.

New assistant professors will enter the TU Delft Academic Career Track. Read more about this here: .

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. Challenge. Change. Impact!

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators. Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

If you would like more information about this role, please contact Prof. Dr Patricia Osseweijer , Biotechnology & Society Section Leader, tel: +31(0)15 278 1540, email 

If you would like more information about the selection procedure, please contact Tim Vos, Department manager,

To apply, please complete the application form and add the following documents to your application:

  • Motivation letter.
  • Detailed CV.
  • Recent teaching evaluations (if available).
  • Teaching statement (if available).
  • Research statement.
  • At least three relevant publications.
  • Names and contact information of at least three relevant references. We will not contact references without your consent.
  • Please apply before November 5th.

    After the first selection, (informal) video interviews will be held on November 13 and 15.

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