Full professor in Urban Geography with a focus on Urbanization and Urban Social Challenges University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Netherlands

Full professor in Urban Geography with a focus on Urbanization and Urban Social Challenges


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies


Publication date
12 April 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€5,334 to €7,766 gross per month
Closing date
1 June 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) is the largest social-science educational and research institution in the Netherlands. The Faculty serves around 9,000 students in numerous Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Human Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, International Development Studies and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,200 employees at the Faculty, located in the centre of Amsterdam.


The Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies is one of the six Departments in the FMG. Research and education are carried out by dedicated institutes. The Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) is responsible for research in the social sciences. The College of Social Sciences (CSS) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for undergraduate and graduate teaching programmes in the social sciences.


Research and teaching in the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies is organized in four thematic programme groups: Governance and Inclusive Development (GID), Geographies of Globalizations (GOG), Urban Geographies (UG) and Urban Planning (UP).


Job description

Cities and urban milieus are seen as core locations for economic, cultural, environmental and social development and innovation. At the same time they function as prime scenes for competition, inequality, and struggle. Although often presented as global phenomena, urban social challenges - relating to quality of life, social mobility, social inequality, life-chances, conflict, culture, polarization, segregation, and integration -  play out in different ways in different urban contexts. Urban Geography, like geography in general, is intrigued by this interaction between society and urban space. More in particular by the way in which local institutional, economic and spatial structures are shaped in the course of time, and in turn enable or constrain societal processes, or more concretely, affect the lives of urban citizens. This dual focus - on urban space as outcome and as driver of change - is core to the Amsterdam Urban Geography discipline. At the University of Amsterdam, the field of Urban Geography is further characterized by its thematic interests, methodological expertise, and focus on contexts. Researchers bring together macro as well as micro level approaches to study the development of urban spaces and places, and their effects on groups and individual lives. Within this broad and dynamic framework and through its profile, Urban Geography has become one of the key fields of study in the area of Human Geography and Urban Studies.


Our current research related to this chair deals with ‘Urbanization’ and ‘Urban Social Challenges’ in conjunction, but frequently also as two separate concepts. Attention is given to (1) new processes of urbanization: the geography of (hyper) urbanization, de-urbanization, re-urbanization, and suburbanization; and (2) the study of urban social challenges, which considers urban segregation and integration, polarization, class-space relations, marginalization, and gentrification, for example. Current research specifically addresses the dynamics of the development of different types of urban social spaces at various spatial scales, and questions the functioning and effects of such spaces for various categories of the population, and for other users of space. A more extensive description of the substantive focus of this chair as well as its embedding can be found using this link.


Any prospective candidate should have – in the first place – a strong affinity with Urban Geography, and more specifically with one of the two subfields described above.  Candidates should also have well-founded ideas about future directions of change regarding the group’s research agenda. Candidates will be expected to play a leading role in social science debates on urban spaces and places, be interested in theory driven, socially relevant and empirically grounded research in Urban Geography, mostly in international settings, and be able to highlight interaction between humans and the environment.



The ideal candidate:

  • has a strong international embedding, as, for example, shown by an extensive publication record in international refereed academic journals and with high standing international publishers, as well as by research grant records, roles in research, teaching and professional networks.


With respect to research the ideal candidate:

  • is a social scientist with a broad interest and internationally recognized expertise in the field of Urban Geography/Urban Studies/Human Geography, but with a firmly motivated interest in one of the two subfield described above (but is not necessarily a human or urban geographer by training);

  • has a demonstrated expertise in applying different methodological approaches, quantitative and qualitative;

  • has a strong position in international academic networks;

  • has experience in supervising PhD projects.


With respect to teaching, the ideal candidate:

  • is willing and able to teach both at introductory and advanced levels in Urban Geography, but also in more general courses. Is comfortable lecturing sizeable groups as well as in more intimate seminar-like settings. Candidates should also have extensive experience in supervising thesis projects;

  • is an interested and engaged teacher (i.e. does not see teaching as a side-activity);

  • is able to develop and innovate teaching programmes both in content and in didactics;

  • if not already in possession of a University Teaching Certificate (such as the Dutch BKO) is willing to acquire it within two years.


With respect to leadership style, the ideal candidate:

  • is willing and able to engage on a long term basis with the Urban Geography group;

  • is willing and able to take a leading role in the further development of the group, but also to share leadership with others and operate in a largely self-managed, horizontally structured group;

  • enables junior colleagues to mature and excel (both in research and teaching), through personal involvement and feedback;

  • stimulates Urban Geography staff to jointly acquire funding for research projects which is relevant from an academic and societal perspective;

  • positively contributes to the development and consolidation of a team spirit;

  • is open to exchange and collaboration with others, both inside and outside the university, and both with academics and practitioners.


With respect to personal aspects, the ideal candidate:

  • is willing and able to become an active, stable, and accountable presence in the Urban Geography group, the department and the policy domain;

  • has a critical, but also a constructive and enthusiastic personality;

  • if not already living in the Netherlands, is willing and able to move to and to engage with the Netherlands;

  • if not already speaking Dutch, is willing to learn it within two years.

Simultaneously, we have a vacancy for a full professor Urban Geography with a focus on The Geography of Everyday Life. For both positions, we are searching for candidates who are able to consolidate and build on the established reputation of the Urban Geography group, but at the same time can complement each other in comparative strengths. One of the positions will become available from the beginning of 2019, the other will be offered in the second half of 2019.


Further information

For more information about this position, please contact:

  • dr Johan Post, head of the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies

    T: +3 (0)20 525 2405/+31 (0)6 30106211


  • prof. Sako Musterd

    T: 031 (0)20 525 4175



This is a full-time, tenured position for 38 hours per week. Depending on qualifications and experience, the gross monthly full-time salary will range from €5,334 to €7,766  based on 38 hours per week. This is in conformity with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include an 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end of year bonus.


Job application

Applications by email only. These should include:

  • a concise statement of motivation (2 pages max.);

  • a CV and list of publications;

  • a statement concerning research plans (2 pages max.);

  • a teaching statement (2 pages max.);

  • a list of three references.


At this stage of the procedure, please do not send letters of reference or proofs of your academic writing.


All documents should be sent as a single pdf email attachment to Ms. B. Lawa. Please mention ‘Application Full Professor Urban Geography with a focus on Urbanization and Urban Social Challenges’ and vacancy number 18-181. The deadline for applications is 1 June 2018. #LI-DNP

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