The Institute of Physics aims to hire an assistant professor with a dual academic/managerial role for the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena.

Scope of the position

Between the microscopic world where the fundamental building blocks of matter reside and the macroscopic one that we see around us, there are numerous other scales that emerge from the microscopic world. Examples include the electronic scale, the atomic scale, the molecular scale or the mesoscopic scale. Traditionally, these different scales are individually focused on by separate (sub)disciplines in the sciences. Emergence, however, is seen by many as a universal notion extending beyond the realm of physics, mathematics and chemistry, reaching many other disciplines such as social sciences, information/computer science, as well as the humanities.

The Institute of Physics (IoP) aims to expand its research efforts in the direction of the physics of emergent phenomena, broadly defined, with the aim of establishing interdisciplinary connections to other research activities in this area within the Faculty of Science, the University of Amsterdam and/or other universities in the Netherlands. The aim is to put the IoP at the forefront of research into emergent phenomena.

On the managerial side, we are looking for someone who can play a leading, coordinating and supporting role in the developing university-wide research activities in emergent phenomena, which are a key part of the national DIEP (Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena) initiative, which is one of the game changers of route 2 of the National Science Agenda (NWA). This role includes responsibility for a broad outreach agenda, the development of courses and other teaching activities, community building, communication with scientists and stakeholders, fundraising through grant applications, the organization of meetings, workshops and conferences, and visitor programs.

Embedding of the position

The position will be embedded in one of the divisions of the IoP, depending on the profile of the candidate, and be associated to the current DIEP initiative at the Faculty of Science, referred to DIEP-FNWI below.

What are you going to do?

On the academic side, you are expected to:

  • be active in the fundamental theoretical or experimental research including in the physics of emergent phenomena, publishing in high level international journals, presenting at leading conferences and workshops and supervising PhD students;
  • take part in the regular teaching efforts of the Institute of Physics including supervision of bachelor and master students;
  • be active in the attraction of external funding;
  • be open to collaborations with other institutes in the area of emergent phenomena.

On the academic side we will base our selection on your scientific track record and on your vision for future research, as well as on your teaching achievement, qualifications, and vision for future teaching.

On the managerial side, you are expected to:

  • support and coordinate the DIEP-FNWI research program in emergent phenomena, including the organization of workshops and the visitor program;
  • maintain and expand the current outreach activities related to emergence;
  • maintain the website, create original content, and engage the broader research community via e.g. regular newsletters;
  • initiate and support grant acquisition for emergence research;
  • initiate, support and coordinate educational activities in the field of emergence;
  • expand the current network of researchers actively involved in DIEP-FNWI.

On the managerial side we will base our selection on your track record in all the aspects listed above, as well as on your strategy and vision for the future of DIEP-FNWI.

The academic and managerial parts of the position are evidently connected through the theme of emergence. Past experience in similar positions shows that a balance of 50:50 in workload between these two parts is realistic. This naturally means that although the definitions of success in academic (research and teaching) and managerial performance will not qualitatively differ from the high standards the Institute of Physics has across the board, we recognize that the quantitative measures will be different than for a position that is primarily academic or primarily managerial.

What do we require?

We require:

  • a PhD in Physics;
  • strong research track record, evidenced by a track record of publications in renowned international conferences and journals, and contributed and/or invited talks at international conferences/workshops;
  • teaching experience at university level and demonstrable didactic abilities;
  • ideally some experience with the (co-)supervision of MSc and/or PhD students;
  • strong track in coordination, management and outreach and all other qualities requires for the envisioned managerial role;
  • the ability to further develop management skills as required by the further growth of the portfolio of emergence -related activities;
  • an excellent command of English and willingness to learn the Dutch language. 

Our offer

We offer a contract for 38 hours a week initially temporary for two years, preferably starting as soon as possible. The intended continuation of the position into a tenured one is dependent on the successful evaluation of the candidate’s performance.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €3,746 to €5,826 (scale 11/12) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

About the Faculty of Science 

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

About the Institute of Physics

The mission of the Institute of Physics (IoP)is located in the center of the Amsterdam Science Park. The IoP – as part of the Faculty of Science – is housed in a modern building with excellent labs and technical facilities. Surrounded by several national research institutes and with our partners at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong physics center of international standing. IoP is proud to be founding partner of both the local and national DIEP initiatives.

The DIEP cluster at the University of Amsterdam is the Amsterdam based subsidiary of DIEP created in January 2020. It is currently funded by the Faculty of Science and is a joint effort of the Institute of Physics (IoP), the Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI), the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), the Informatics Institute (IvI), the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Its goal is to create an interdisciplinary research programme among these different institutes that covers subjects such information theory, topological phases of matter, multiscale modelling, networks, complex systems, emergence of causality, non-equilibrium systems, collective intelligence, among many others.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 10 February 2021. You can apply online by using the link below. 

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications and contact details of three referees.

No agencies please

Apply now

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