HOURS PER WEEK: 28 to 40FACULTY: Faculty of GeosciencesDEPARTMENT: GEO / Dept SDAPPLICATION DEADLINE: 14 September 2023



Job description

The Faculty of Geosciences has a position for a professor in Sustainable Food SystemsIt will be a full-time professorship within the Department of Sustainable Development, also known as the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.

The aim of the chair is focusing on Sustainable Food Systems from a system perspective. Our focus is on a just, healthy and sustainable transformation, by understanding the spatial local to global connection in the food system. Hereby the environmental and social impacts of various forms of agriculture, dietary scenarios and attention for planetary health challenges and the two-way relation between food production and consumption are taken into account. Particular attention should be paid to the interrelationships in the food, water, energy and ecosystems (WEFE) nexus.

With the systems perspective the chair will develop and study strategies for food transitions and scenarios that go beyond incremental and adaptive change strategies and develop new concepts for sustainable food production and consumption that are just for society.

For this vacancy for a Full Professor in Sustainable Food Systems we are interested in a versatile scholar, with strong methodological system thinking skills and preferably open and familiar to both quantitative and qualitative methods. We look for a scholar who can acquire and lead (large) research projects, will be teaching in the BSc and Msc programmes and is expected to play a leading role in de Graduate School Geosciences. The chair guides and facilitates de development early career staff and fosters a culture of mutual respect and collegiality. 

The chair holder will be appointed for 0.8-1.0 full-time equivalent. Depending on the exact management responsibilities, the appointee is expected to spend around 50% of time on research activities, 40% on teaching and 10% on management.


We are looking for a professor who fits well with the following conditions:

  • having a PhD and proven excellent research expertise in sustainable food systems or with a disciplinary background in Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Sustainability Science, Environmental Governance, Innovation Studies, Economics, Political Science, Biology, Agricultural Sciences or Agro-ecology;
  • strong social, organisational and strategic leadership external linkevidenced by an inspiring vision on teaching and research;
  • wide experience in teaching at different levels (undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes) with significant contributions to the development and delivery of high-quality teaching at an internationally competitive level;
  • problem- and theory-guided research achievements demonstrated by an excellent publication record and evidence of research and impact outputs which are consistently recognized as internationally excellent;
  • significant contributions to the development of research proposals, especially for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, and successful experiences in acquisition of (inter)national research grants;
  • experience in and inspired to function in, and to lead, academic teams;
  • contributor to inter-cultural collegial environment ensuring social safety.


The salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges from €6,648,- to € 9,680,- gross per month for full-time employment (scale H2 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the 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 encourage you to grow and support work life balance. That’s why Utrecht University offers professional development, an excellent pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions. For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University 

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, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes 

external link. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow external link.

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences 

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 studies the Earth: from the Earth’s core to its surface, including man’s spatial and material utilisation of the Earth – always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

The Department of Sustainable Development 

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 conducts teaching and research across a large range of sustainability challenges, with a special focus on environmental sciences, environmental governance, business and innovation, and energy and resources. The department hosts a highly international staff of over 200 junior and senior scientists and lecturers. Research and education in our department thrives on inter and multidisciplinary collaborations, which are highly needed to address today’s intricate sustainability issues.

Additional information

Further enquiries and questions can be directed to Prof. dr. M.B. (Merel) Soons 

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 via m.b.soons@uu.nl 

external link or Prof. dr. Stefan Dekker external link via s.c.dekker@uu.nl external link


Everyone deserves to feel at home  

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at our university. We stimulate inclusive leadership at all levels and welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation and publication list, via the ‘apply’ button.

Due to the vacation season, we are using a longer vacancy period. The closing date for applications is on September 14th.

Applications will be considered by the committee in the beginning of October and shortlisted candidates will subsequently be invited for a first-round interview on October 12th or 13th. The second round will be in the beginning of November. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate will take place thereafter.

When invited for the second round, candidates will be asked to give three names of contacts that can be asked for a reference letter.

The application deadline is 14 September 2023.


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