Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Climate Extremes and Artificial Intelligence

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

The Faculty of Science of the Vrije Universiteit is creating 16 assistant/associate professor positions to strengthen its research and teaching in the fields of natural hazards and risks, climate change, water cycle, evolutionary adaptation, biodiversity, health and environment, carbon cycle and ecosystem services. These positions will support the expansion of the faculty’s capacity to intensify its research and teaching on sustainability. As part of this expansion, this position is advertised at the Institute for Environmental Studies.  Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.




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Job description

The application of AI methods in climate and extreme weather research has recently emerged and this field is expected to grow strongly as there are many opportunities including improved attribution analyses, (sub) seasonal predictability, and impact-based forecasting. We are looking for an Assistant Professor to strengthen our research and teaching on Climate Extremes and AI, and to strengthen our collaboration with KNMI. We are looking for a colleague who thrives on using AI methods in research and who has strong affinity with climate impact research. The candidate will have the responsibility to improve, maintain, and document AI methods developed and/or used within the IVM as well as foster the use of those methods in research and teaching. Moreover, the candidate will manage access to high-performance compute facilities, including the IVM cluster and storage and maintenance of large datasets. At the teaching level, the candidate will support and improve our python-based practicals and strengthen the uptake of Big Data in existing teaching programs. Our institute values diversity, we therefore especially encourage applications from women and other groups traditionally under-represented in the discipline.

Your duties

  • work on innovative projects relating to Artificial Intelligence and climate risks
  • teaching in computational/data science related to water and climate, including developing and leading Python-based practicals
  • supervision of Bachelors and Masters theses
  • lead the development of our computational/data science group, develop a computational/data science strategy, and act as the central contact point for those topics within the department
  • work together with the department's staff in the acquisition of external funds
  • (co-) publish scientific papers 

  • either PhD in computer sciences (or similar) with a demonstrable application of methods and datasets in climate science, earth science, environmental science, or similar
  • or PhD in climate science, earth science, environmental science (or similar) with demonstrable experience with Big Data methods
  • strong expertise in AI and machine learning methods, as well as their application to climate data
  • excellent programming skills (preferably in Python, or willing to learn Python), and experience in the use of Unix/Linux (HPC) environments
  • experience in academic teaching (or willingness to acquire it)
  • strong willingness to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • passion for both (Big) data science and research related to earth or environmental sciences
  • since some of the teaching programs are only provided in Dutch, speaking Dutch or willingness to learn is Dutch is required 

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,974 (scale 11) and a maximum €6,181 (scale 12), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

We offer a tenure track position initially for the duration of five years. A career plan to grow to a higher position will be made and during the track performance will be evaluated. After a successful evaluation at 18 months, permanent employment will be granted.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • help and assistance with relocation for international candidates, also they might be eligible for a tax reduction (30% ruling)
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • child daycare facilities available on campus
  • good paid parental leave scheme

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the institute

Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Geography, Environmental Policy Analysis; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Science at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU).

The department of Water and Climate Risk studies hydrological and climate processes, and how these processes lead to risks and opportunities for society, the economy, and the environment. A defining characteristic of the department is a multi-disciplinary approach that combines expertise from natural sciences with knowledge from the fields of economics, e-Science and geography. This approach has led to a unique research portfolio of water and climate risk projects, and the department is a global leading institute in flood and drought risk assessment, and risk management research.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until

15 October 2022


Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. Dim Coumou
Position: Professor of Climate Extremes and Societal Risk

Relocation support
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Sara Veldhorst
Position: Relocation Advisor
Telephone:  +31 20 59 85037

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