Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Utrecht University

Tenure Track Assistant Professor

Natural Hazards, Earth Observation and Geocomputation (0.8-1.0 FTE)


The Department of Physical Geography at Utrecht University has a strong and unique profile in research on land surface processes, natural hazards, hydrology, coast and river processes and morphology, spatio-dynamic modelling, earth observation and image processing. The candidate will contribute to ongoing research in the group.

We are looking for a candidate to establish a research line on natural hazards and earth surface processes (floods, droughts, landslides, erosion, storms, multi-hazards). This research line may comprise the development and use of spatio-temporal models to simulate and study natural hazards, the use of various earth observation techniques (satellite/airborne/drone imagery) for monitoring hazards, development of Rapid Response tools and methods, development of risk analysis and mapping and contribute to emerging research fields and applications related to hazards. The research line will be developed in close collaboration with the, in the department available, expertise on earth observation, spatio-temporal modelling and hydrology. It is envisioned that the candidate will build or continue this own line of expertise based on external funding.

The candidate will be involved in the co-supervision of PhD candidates and postdocs, sharing responsibility for the field- and laboratory experiments, and presenting results in journal papers and at international conferences, in collaboration with the other staff. He/she is also expected to contribute to teaching in the field of earth observation, natural hazards and fieldwork as well as contribute to management tasks within the group, research institute and/or department/faculty.

Candidate’s profile

The candidate holds a PhD degree in a relevant area e.g. earth sciences, environmental sciences, physical geography, civil engineering, geocomputation, earth observation, or a closely related field. Selection criteria for the position will include the academic track record of the candidate, his/her research vision, funding potential, experience with or affinity for teaching, and communication skills.

We offer

The staff position will be tenure track starting at the level of assistant professor (UD). After 4 years and 2 positive evaluations (after 2 and 4 years) the position will become permanent. The gross salary is in the range between € 3,427 and € 5,330 per month, dependent on qualifications and experience (scale 11-12) of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities). Academics qualifying at a higher academic level are also invited to apply. Negotiations about a contract depending on the qualifications of the candidate are feasible.

The candidate will be provided access to computing facilities, laboratory infrastructure, coaching trajectory towards the Basic/Senior Teaching Qualification, coaching for supervision of researchers, and training and support regarding the acquisition of external funds.

We offer flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model), partially paid parental leave, a pension scheme and collective insurance schemes. Facilities for sports and childcare are available on our campus, which is only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht. The gross salary is in the range between € 3,400 and € 5,735 per month, dependent on qualifications and experience (scale 11-13 of the Collective Labour Agreement of 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 offer: a pension scheme, a partially paid parental leave, flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities. The research group will provide the candidate with necessary support on all aspects of the project. More information is available on the website.

Our organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability. The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a charming old center and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its century-old university. Utrecht city has been consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the Netherlands. The Faculty of Geosciences consists of four departments: Physical Geography, Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning and Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences. The Faculty is home to 3000 students and nearly 700 staff and is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Faculty's academic programmes reflect developments in today's society.

Department of Physical Geography

Research of the Department is directed to understanding the physical processes, patterns, and forms at the Earth's terrestrial surface. We strive to understand their mutual interactions, and their relations to biotic factors, including humanity. The natural hazards and hydrology group investigates, and build simulation models, of floods, droughts, landslides, soil degradation by wind and water erosion, loss of biomass and vegetation impoverishment and we study the impact of global change and human impact on these processes. The hazardous processes are a threat for society and reduce the global availability of natural resources like clean water and fertile soil. We study these hazardous processes using various earth observation techniques, advanced spectral and object-based image analysis techniques, innovative geocomputation methods, field and laboratory experiments. Simulation models of the hazardous processes are constructed and used to develop projections for the next decennia and to assess the impact of human activities.

Applications only via the website until 31-10-2016 at this address:


For additional information contact prof. dr. Steven M. de Jong or prof. dr. ir. Marc Bierkens

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