Assistant Professor in Nutrient enrichment and biodiversity loss (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Assistant Professor in Nutrient enrichment and biodiversity loss (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
3 Oct 12 Feb Utrecht

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Utrecht University is looking for an Assistant Professor in Nutrient enrichment and biodiversity loss. Interested? Read the full profile and apply.

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 a specific focus on nutrient enrichment and biodiversity loss.

Nutrient enrichment (eutrophication) of natural areas is one of the most important drivers of biodiversity loss. High levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition lead to loss of nitrogen-limited ecosystems and biodiversity, especially in North-western Europe. In the Netherlands, this has resulted in a ‘nitrogen crisis’ that requires urgent actions. At the same time, agricultural fertilization has also led to phosphate-enriched soils and the legacy of this enrichment will continue for decades. It is therefore essential to analyze how nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment affect ecosystem processes, biodiversity and management outcomes and to use this knowledge to develop effective policies and measures to sustain and restore ecosystems.

We are looking for a candidate who wants to contribute to bending the curve of biodiversity loss to biodiversity recovery, by strengthening our research on nutrient enrichment and biodiversity. You have a solid fundamental understanding of ecosystem processes and nutrient enrichment as driver of biodiversity loss, and are able to translate this into effective interventions in nature conservation, restoration and policies. You will contribute to the acquisition and execution of externally funded projects, including acquisition and supervision of PhD students. We will enable and coach you to apply for personal research grants.

We achieve major impact through educating the change agents of the future. You will teach in the BSc programme Global Sustainability Science; in the MSc programmes Sustainable Development, and Water, Science and Management; and supervise bachelor's and master's theses. Teaching topics include landscape ecology and nature conservation, ecohydrology, soil and water chemistry, system analysis and/or land use change. Teaching is in English. In the first two years, the teaching load will be 50%; after two years teaching load will increase to 60%.


Utrecht University


We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

  • have a PhD in a relevant field in environmental sciences or ecology;
  • have experience in ecological field work and experiments;
  • have good mechanistic understanding of the interaction between nutrients and biodiversity, and good knowledge of plant and soil chemistry;
  • have good plant identification skills and knowledge of the European flora, or are willing to invest in this;
  • are deeply motivated to contribute with scientific knowledge to effective nature conservation and restoration measures and policies;
  • 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.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) 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). More information about working at Utrecht University


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 of Sustainable Development 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.

The city of Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with a historic centre and an internationally oriented culture that is strongly influenced by its centuries-old university. Utrecht has been consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the Netherlands, and is well-connected to local and international transport hubs.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Natural sciences
  • 28—40 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1197882



Heidelberglaan 8, 3584CS, Utrecht

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