Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in Water Security and Impacts

Updated: 2 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.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

Anthropogenic influence on the water cycle (including abstraction, pollution, and climate change) is making it more and more challenging to balance human and environmental water demands. Additionally, water-related injustice and inequalities impede access to water and exacerbate impacts of drought and water scarcity situations. We are looking for an Assistant Professor to strengthen our research and teaching on water stress, focussing on drought impacts, vulnerability, adaptation, and management. We are looking for a candidate with experience in participatory approaches, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, for example with interviews, surveys, text-mining, statistical analysis, and/or modelling. The candidate will collaborate with many colleagues within IVM and VU, bridging IVM-wide research and teaching on water risk, linking the work of our departments of Water & Climate Risk and Environmental Policy Analysis. We are searching for someone who can strengthen our collaboration with the international policy arena, including NGOs and development agencies, especially in a Global South context. Our institute values diversity, we therefore especially encourage applications from women and other groups traditionally under-represented in the discipline.

Your duties

  • conduct innovative research on water security and societal impacts, with a focus on feedbacks within the human-water system (incl. vulnerability, adaptation, and management)
  • develop mixed datasets and methods for water security analysis in an international context
  • teaching in water- and methods-related courses and contribute to fieldwork courses
  • supervision of Masters and Bachelors theses
  • acquire external funds through grant proposals
  • publish scientific papers
  • work on science-policy interfacing and outreach 

  • PhD in geography, water resources management, earth or environmental sciences (or similar) with a  focus on water scarcity / drought
  • strong track record in participatory approaches, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis (e.g. surveys, text-mining, statistical analysis, modelling, workshops)
  • good programming skills (preferably in Python)
  • experience in academic teaching (or willingness to acquire it)
  • experience (or interest) to work in science-policy interfacing and strong willingness to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment
  • 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



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

Name: Dr. Anne van Loon
Position: Associate Professor in Drought 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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