Researcher on safe and just pathways to development

Researcher on safe and just pathways to development

Published Deadline Location
10 Sep 16 Sep Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you familiar with the debate on planetary boundaries, tipping points and social floors? Are you familiar with the related debates on access to resources and allocation of the responsibilities, risks and resources? We’re looking for a social science/ economics/ law researcher to play a part in the research work of a team looking at how we can identify qualitative and quantitative targets for a safe and just pathway to development – which is within planetary boundaries and addresses social justice issues. This team will support Working Group 4 of the Earth Commission to find governance solutions in the context of planetary boundaries. The researcher must have good skills in undertaking extensive literature reviews and meta analysis of the material in the literature.

What will you be doing?

The researcher will support the work of the UVA team that supports Working Group 4 of the Earth Commission. The Earth Commission is a global commission that is conducting a global scale assessment to define and identify a safe and just corridor for people and the planet. The purpose of Working Group 4 is to find science based evidence of what a just corridor for the Earth’s development looks like, what are just targets and levers to ensure global transformation. Understanding how scholarship assesses what is just and how a just transformation can take place is thus a critical element of this project. Working group 4 is financed by the Global Challenges Foundation which aims to assess the governance options for a safe and just corridor. The researcher has to (a) prepare the underlying research notes needed for the work of Working Group 4. (b) The researcher can also use these notes for joint publications with other UVA team members. The deadlines for the researcher have to be synchronized with the deadlines of the Earth Commission and the contract with the Global Challenges Foundation.

The work of the junior researcher will include:

  1. support to co-chair in terms of research:
    1. identification of all the topics on which work needs to be done (see below);
    2. preparing reading lists for the different topics;
    3. making extensive notes on each of the readings;
    4. maintaining background documents with all the research materials;
    5. possibly helping with graphics, maps, tables, figures.
  2. support to co-chair in terms of linking the work of others in the Working Group:
    1. identifying the comments of the members;
    2. clustering the comments;
    3. suggesting how the comments can be addressed.
  3. help with organizing the review process:
    1. identifying potential reviewers;
    2. sending out documents for the review process;
    3. collecting and collating the reviews;
    4. checking that all review comments are done.
  4. double checking all publications for accuracy.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


What do we require of you?


  • hold a master’s degree and have a clear affinity with an interdisciplinary approach to education;
  • have experience as a teacher in higher education;
  • have a strong commitment towards developing excellence in education;
  • have an international profile and/or experience;
  • have affinity with, and preferably experience with Liberal Arts and Sciences education;
  • master English at C1 level;
  • have the ability and be prepared to coach students intensively and to be part of a multi-disciplinary and international team;
  • have the ability and be prepared to involve external stakeholders in their lectures in order to reinforce the students’ learning experience.

Conditions of employment

The position concerns a temporary employment of 30,4 hours per week for a term of 1 year. If the candidate proves suitable, barring unforeseen organisational developments and assuming sufficient FTE availability, an extension is possible.

Salary depends on past education and relevant work experience, with a minimum salary of €2,790 and a maximum salary of €3,217 gross per month based on a full-time contract for a 38-hour working week (in keeping with scale 10, as per the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary employee benefits, including a generous holiday scheme and year-end bonus. Because we value your continued personal development and professionalisation, we also offer excellent opportunities for study and development.

What else can we offer you?

Work in the project – exposes you to the 19 members of the Earth Commission who are the top global authorities in the field, including Johan Rockström. It enables you to understand the nature of science-policy work and to ensure that work can be relevant to policymakers, cities and businesses, but also to social movements.

The UVA is a challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 30.4 hours per week
  • €2790—€3217 per month
  • University graduate
  • 20-525


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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