Full Professor in Land Use and Biodiversity

Ref: 5840

Utrecht University

Utrecht, Netherlands

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Role Managed by:

Merel Duin

Project Manager

Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 05/06/2022

Full Professor in Land Use and Biodiversity (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Job description

The Chair is a 0.8 – 1.0 FTE appointment, including a management component. The appointee will be expected to spend 60% of time on research activities, 40% on teaching and management. However, the exact percentages may change depending on specific responsibilities and management tasks.

The main focus of the Chair is to contribute to transformative change of land use towards sustainability, restoring biodiversity, resilience, and ecosystem services for humans. The research of the new chair will focus on:

  • understanding the key-drivers of biodiversity loss in an integrated way: land use and climate change, invasive species, pollution, and unsustainable natural resource use have all contributed to the decline;
  • investigating environmental change scenarios to understand biodiversity impacts for different biomes at multiple spatial scales (global, regional, local);
  • developing integrative solutions by combining direct (habitat restoration, sustainable natural resource use) and indirect (climate mitigation, eradication of invasive species) measures, bending the curves of biodiversity decline and resilience loss.

The Chair will strengthen the excellent international scientific profile of the Copernicus Institute in these fields. In addition, the chair will be expected to play an important role in Pathways to Sustainability, one of the strategic themes of Utrecht University. Within this theme, many excellent scientists from all faculties collectively do research on sustainability transitions and the role of land use and biodiversity. 

Furthermore, the appointee will be expected to substantially contribute to our Bachelor's and Master's programmes, especially the MSc programme ‘Sustainable Development’. The chairholder will coordinate and teach various courses in the Bachelor's and Master's programmes and play an important role in the development of the curriculum and innovations in teaching.

The Chair is expected to lead the research group in social impact creation and show leadership on a national and international level regarding societal impact activities.


We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • a PhD and proven strong relevant expertise;
  • outstanding problem and theory guided research achievements, demonstrated by an excellent publication record;
  • a strong reputation in the international scientific community as evidenced by successful engagement with international networks and projects;
  • an inspiring research vision, including a vision on future collaborations with adjacent fields and groups;
  • experience with research and/or teaching with stakeholders from government and society;
  • an interest in societal challenges related to sustainable development, and the ambition to engage in interactions related to these topics;
  • excellent social, organisational and management skills in teaching and research;
  • research leadership as evidenced by significant contributions to establishing and leading research groups and engagement in mentoring of early career researchers;
  • proven ability to successfully recruit and supervise PhD students;
  • ability to inspire others while supporting team spirit; ability to bring out the best in other people;
  • excellent didactic qualities and experience in teaching at all levels in order to provide, develop and organise high-quality education;
  • a vision for and experience with developing innovative teaching methods for the design and delivery of education;
  • strong and proven ability to communicate with the non-academic world.


The position is offered on a 0.8 – 1.0 FTE basis. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €5,864 and €8,539 (scale H2 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and childcare are available on the main campus, which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht. The University’s International Service Desk will provide support to new international faculty members with an onboarding process, as well as provide career services for their spouse. For more information: working at Utrecht University.

About the organization

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.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences 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 Copernicus Institute is part of the Faculty of Geosciences. At the Copernicus Institute, our goal is to have a positive impact on the transition towards a sustainable future. The Copernicus Institute has had an excellent research evaluation in 2021 and the institute takes pride in maintaining its leading position in national and international sustainability research, and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes. 

Additional information

For additional information about this position please contact: 

Dr Lisbeth van Cauwenberghe at Lisbeth.VC@perrettlaver.com


Applications, consisting of a covering letter explaining motivation and qualifications for the position and a full curriculum vitae can be uploaded at https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies/, quoting reference 5840 . The closing date for the applications is 5 June 2022.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee in early June. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in late June. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate and final campus visits will take place thereafter.

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.