Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: 15 Dec 2018

Do you have knowledge of land use and ecosystem services and want to contribute to more sustainable development of land use in Europe? Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get to know you. Apply for the position of:


Location:                       AMSTERDAM
Hours per week:              32-40 hours

Job description
The postdoc position is based in the international BiodivERsA project ‘ENVISION’ and offers a unique opportunity for collaborative, interdisciplinary research. The ENVISION Project will study the implications of different visions on the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and the people connected to it. We do so for a distinct set of case study areas in the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Alaska. The project team consists of experts in the field of conservation, socio-cultural valuation, land use science and landscape management.
While there is large consensus on overarching conservation goals such as halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, efforts to put such goals into concrete targets, often reveal a difference in the visions people have on future landscapes and their use. Each vision on future landscapes comes with a particular set of management actions, and has consequences, not just for biodiversity and ecosystem services, but also for other sectors such as agriculture and forestry, and for the people living, working and spending leisure time in the area.

Your duties
• develop new approaches to include science-based assessments and modelling of trade-offs under
alternative land management visions into a participatory process
• develop methods to quantify the effects of alternative visions on biodiversity and ecosystem
services to reveal synergies and trade-offs to feed into the visioning and scenario building process
• conduct the stakeholder meetings in the Netherlands and lead the activities of the project in the
multifunctional case study area in the central part of the Netherlands
• contribute to integration tasks across the different case study areas included in the project

• PhD in environmental sciences, ecology or geography with a profound interest in working in an
interdisciplinary team and engaging with stakeholders in the case study area
• experience with both quantitative (spatial/modelling) methods as well as affinity with using
qualitative (participatory) research
• knowledge of the Dutch language is an advantage for stakeholder interactions
• strong publication record

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 € 2.640,- and a maximum € 4.166,- in accordance with salary scale 10, depending on your education and experience. The job profile (Onderzoeker 4) is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for a position of 0.85 to 1 fte for a period of 2.5 to 3 years.
The initial employment contract will affect a period of one year, with extension to 2.5 to 3 years upon satisfactory performance.
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
• 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
• considerable employer’s contribution to the ABP pension scheme
• contribution to commuting expenses
• optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

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. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 23,000 students. We employ more than 4,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

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 around 6,000 students.

About the institute and department
Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognized 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 Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM is part of the Faculty of Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( ).
The Department of Environmental Geography investigates the role of spatial variation in environmental systems to increase our understanding of environmental change and support environmental management. The focus of the group is on land use change and its impacts on ecosystem services and society. Temporal dynamics and future scenarios are explored with spatial modelling of changes in land use and ecosystem services, including natural, rural and urban systems. Advanced methods for stakeholder participation and ex-ante evaluation are developed and tested to support environmental management and land use planning.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.
Are you interested in this position? Send us an e-mail with your motivation letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details of two references (we will only contact these for candidates selected for an interview) by 15 December 2018. Please mention the vacancy number 18445 in the e-mail header.
Name:                 Ms Marjolijn Staarink
Position:              Secretary

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name:                 Prof. Peter Verburg
Position:              Head of Department Environmental Geography
Telephone:           +31 20 5983594

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