Assistant Professor in Governance of Global Biodiversity
VU University of Amsterdam Department of Environmental Policy Analysis

Would you like to contribute to the sustainability transition and work in a team of outstanding environmental policy and governance experts? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Assistant Professor hired for this position will join the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis (EPA) at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).

You will have the responsibility to develop and implement innovative research. This should be related to the complexity of global environmental governance across different levels of policymaking related to biodiversity conservation. While working closely with colleagues within the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis, you are also expected to engage in interdisciplinary research. You need to establish collaborations with researchers from other scientific disciplines, such as economics, geography, ecology, hydrology and climatology.

In addition to research, you will be teaching at Bachelor and Master levels within the field of environmental policy and governance. Besides, you will be supervising PhD dissertations, Master and Bachelor theses. Teaching and research at IVM are strongly linked, allowing for mutual cross-fertilization.

Teaching, research and management are respectively distributed following a 40%-40%-20% time and effort allocation

Your duties

  • conduct innovative research on global biodiversity governance building on existing research lines at IVM
  • write research proposals for external funding
  • teach and coordinate courses in BSc and MSc programmes, including the MSc Environment and Resource Management and the Global Environmental Change and Policy (GEC&P) track of our Earth Sciences Master
  • co-supervise PhD researchers
  • fulfil limited managerial duties at the department and institute level, including managing European consultancy contracts for the department; outreach and valorization activities


  • a related PhD degree and related experience in environmental governance research
  • a background in political science, international relations, public administration, natural resources governance, political ecology
  • record of publishing research on environmental governance in high quality academic journals
  • expertise in research and analytical methodologies, preferably both qualitative and quantitative methods
  • good knowledge of global biodiversity governance; knowledge of related fields such as climate change, energy, water, agriculture, and food is a plus
  • experience with international and/or transnational policy processes; focus on EU level is a plus
  • experience in academic teaching at bachelor and master levels and willingness to engage in innovative teaching techniques including online and hybrid teaching

What are we offering?

A challenging and rewarding position in one of the world’s leading socio-environmental research institutes with the responsibility to play a strong role in research, teaching and have extra-academic social impact. We offer a tenure track position at the level of Assistant Professor 2 (salary scale 11), initially for the duration of 6 years. Within an agreed period, tenure will be achieved if the criteria for Assistant Professor are fulfilled. During the tenure, the performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of prestigious personal grants or equivalent project funding. After a successful evaluation, permanent employment will be granted as Assistant Professor level 1, salary scale 12.

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,746 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,127 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), contribution to commuting expenses

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the institute

Established in 1971, IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognised for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to examine sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM’s research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. Since 2001 IVM has been part of the Faculty of Sciences at VU Amsterdam (legal name Stichting VU-VUmc).

About the Department of Environmental Policy Analysis

The Department of Environmental Policy Analysis is a vibrant international and world-renowned team of about 25 faculty members, postdocs and PhD candidates within the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM). The group explores the theory and practice of environmental governance at various levels, with a special interest in institutional change, governance evaluation and complexity research. We cover  a range of  themes, including climate change, sustainable energy, water, food and biodiversity. The Department aims to assist societies to better secure a transition to a sustainable future.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter describing your abilities and motivation and two letters of recommendation by 15 April 2021. The job interviews are tentatively scheduled in week 10 -14 May 2021, when possible please take them into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Prof. Philipp Pattberg
Position: Head of the Environmental Policy Analysis department

Relocation support      
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Sara Veldhorst
Position: Relocation Officer
Telephone: +31 20 59 86212

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