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Assistant professor - model-based analysis of system transitions for climate mitigation & adaptation

Utrecht University
Netherlands (NL)
depending on qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,974 and €5,439
Closing date
Aug 15, 2022

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Global Environmental Change, GeoHealth
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
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Job Details

Assistant professor on model-based analysis of system transitions for climate mitigation and adaptation (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Job description

At the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, we are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious colleague to further strengthen our group with model-based analysis of technology options as part of system transitions for climate mitigation and adaptation. Meeting the Paris Climate Agreement requires limiting global warming to well below 2oC. To reach this goal, greenhouse gas emissions need to reach net zero-emission around the middle of the century. At the same time, human societies will also have to adapt to climate change. This will require substantial changes in all sectors of society, including mobility, energy systems, land use and agriculture and urban systems. A major component of these transitions will be substantial changes in energy production and use, especially by using renewables and energy efficiency measures. In our research team, we use model-based scenarios to explore these transitions. To improve the relevance of these scenarios, it is important to improve region- and technology-specific modelling of individual renewable and energy-use technologies (e.g. renewables, electric vehicles or hydrogen technologies), including aspects such as potentials, energy storage options, shifts between the provision of electricity, heat and transport, technological learning and cost reductions. With this new position, we aim to contribute to an improved understanding of the various transitions by combining insights from model-based scenarios and detailed technology assessments in the context of determining the feasibility of the transition such as institutional and environmental factors.


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a background in global modelling, with a broad knowledge of renewable energy technologies, able to reconcile top-down modelling approach from the Integrated Assessment Modelling perspective with region-specific trends. The candidate is expected to be able to develop an internationally renowned research line at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, including the acquisition and supervision of PhD students. We will enable and coach you to apply for personal research grants.

The candidate will teach in the BSc programme Global Sustainability Science; in the MSc programmes Sustainable Development and Energy Sciences; and supervise bachelor's and master's theses. Teaching topics include energy and resources related courses. The teaching is in English. In the first two years, the teaching task will be 48%; after two years the teaching task will increase to 56%. We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

  • have a PhD and profound knowledge of energy, environmental sciences or related fields;
  • have experience with and an interest in academic teaching;
  • have a network for the acquisition of externally funded projects;
  • have a record of international peer-reviewed publications;
  • can demonstrate English language proficiency at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or are prepared to obtain this level by training;
  • are proficient in Dutch or prepared to acquire Dutch language skills.


We offer a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) as an Assistant Professor for a probationary period of 18 months. Permanent employment will be offered based upon good performance, according to the Faculty’s performance indicators, after 18 months. The Faculty of Geosciences has an excellent merit-based career and promotion policy. As part thereof, career development up to Associate Professor (level 2) is possible without a so called ‘formation principle’, yet based on performance. The gross monthly starting salary – depending on qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,974 and €5,439 (scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) for a full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3% per year. In addition, you will have access to all equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure, coaching for teaching and supervision of researchers, and training and support regarding the acquisition of external funds. Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University. Facilities for childcare and sports are available on campus.

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 on major societal themes. We focus on the 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 - with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organization. The Faculty of Geosciences is organized in four departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

Additional information

For more information about this position please contact Detlef van Vuuren via

You are also invited to join our online information session via Microsoft Teams on:

Thursday 14 July between 13.00 - 16.00 CEST

Click here to join the meeting

You can ask us about our profiles and tasks for the offered position, the possibilities of professional development, and moving to and living in Utrecht (housing, visa, schools, partner opportunities). We look forward to meeting you! 

The faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University is creating six assistant professor positions to strengthen its research and educational programmes in the field of climate science, climate impact and climate adaptation. Interested in our other positions? Click here to see our brochure.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below.

In addition, please add the following information with your application in a Word file:

  • name and last name;
  • title, year and institute of PhD thesis;
  • current position and name of the institute;
  • the keyword of Expertise 1, Expertise 2 and Expertise 3;
  • (e-mail) addresses of two referees;
  • the titles and URLs of three most relevant publications.

Interviews for this position will take place on 14 September.

The application deadline is 15/08/2022.


Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Sustainability, Life Sciences, Dynamics of Youth, and Institutions. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues. The Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University offers a wide spectrum of education and research applied to the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and antroposphere. The Faculty is committed to interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration, and plays a key role in the Dutch national research structure. It embodies four departments: Earth Sciences; Physical Geography; Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences; and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning. The Department of Earth Sciences is the largest academic Earth Sciences institute in the Netherlands, and among the larger ones in Europe. We conduct teaching and research across the full range of the Solid Earth and Environmental Earth Sciences, with activities covering most areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department is an international organization hosting over 45 tenured scientists and more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. The research programs in Earth Sciences are structured in two main spheres of gravity: Dynamics of the Solid Earth and Climate and Environment.

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