Assistant Professor of Governance of Urban Digitalization (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Assistant Professor of Governance of Urban Digitalization (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
17 May 5 Jun Utrecht

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Join us by taking a leading role in setting up new research projects, contributing to existing courses and setting up new forms of Education for Professionals.

Job description

The Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences and the Utrecht University School of Governance, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, invite applications for the position of Assistant Professor with a specialization in the Governance of Urban Digitalization. This is a joint position aimed at strengthening the links between Human Geography and Spatial Planning and the School of Governance. Both departments are keen to consolidate and develop new research and education projects focusing on the governance of urban digitalization with a specific focus on inclusivity, sustainability, public values and inequalities. The position connects to the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning’s research and teaching on digital governance and planning and to the Utrecht University School of Governance’s research and teaching on the digitalization of governance.

Both departments share a keen interest in the inclusiveness of smart city developments and developing ways to connect emerging academic insights to practitioners, for instance via Continuing Education. 

The Assistant Professor of Governance of Urban Digitalization will be a key member of both departments. Interdisciplinary teaching forms the core of the profile of these departments. The position involves substantial research time to explore the governance of urban digitalization, such as using new digital technologies (e.g., online participatory tools, digital platforms, serious games, digital twin, and artificial intelligence) governance processes in different domains, with an impact on sustainability, public values and/or vulnerable groups. It is also essential to examine the role of various stakeholders in governing digital transformations, and challenges in improving the broad societal value of digitalization. We encourage using innovative and transdisciplinary methods such as action research, design research and living labs.

The Assistant Professor will take a leading role or collaborate with colleagues in setting up new research projects, contributing to existing courses (for example inclusive cities track in the Bachelor’s programme on Human Geography and Spatial Planning, MSc courses in the Master in Spatial Planning, the minor course Policy and Administration), and setting up new forms of Education for Professionals (Continuing Education) co-hosted by both departments.) We invite candidates whose expertise centres around urban digitalization, and who can link to the strategic themes and focus areas set up by Utrecht University (such as ‘Governing the Digital Society’, ‘Transforming Cities’ and ‘Open Cities’). 

The position involves 50% teaching and 50% research for the first part of the appointment and then will move to a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment if the position becomes permanent. The Assistant Professor will be working at the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning for 70% of their time and for 30% at the Utrecht University School of Governance.


Utrecht University


We believe in a balance between individual and collective achievements. That’s why we assess both on individual and team performance, We stimulate inclusive academic leadership at all levels.

We are looking for a colleague who meets the following criteria:

  • You hold a PhD in Spatial Planning, Public Administration, Human Geography, Science and Technology Studies or a related discipline;
  • You have a  convincing vision of teaching at Bachelor, Master and professional level and have preferably prior experience in education;
  • You have a clearly defined research line and publication strategy;
  • You demonstrate ability and potential to acquire external funding;
  • You are fluent in both English and preferably Dutch or you are willing to acquire Dutch language skills. We believe that understanding and speaking Dutch makes it easier to connect with colleagues. Therefore we offer free language courses.
  • You have good social skills and you are able and motivated to collaborate with colleagues from different disciplines;
  • You have  Basic Teaching Qualification Certificate (Dutch or foreign equivalent) or willing to acquire this certificate within two years.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) for a period of 18 months in an international working environment with the prospect of permanent employment. Upon good performance, according to the faculty’s performance indicators, the position will become permanent after 18 months.

You will receive guidance for your teaching and research tasks and training and support regarding the acquisition of external funds. We will support you in developing your academic career.  The Faculty of Geosciences has a professional career and promotion policy. In addition, you will have access to all equipment in our state of the art laboratory infrastructure.

The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €3,974 and €5,439 (scale 11 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

We encourage you to grow and support work life balance. That’s why Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.


Sharing science, shaping tomorrow. 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 strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. You can watch the Utrecht University Campus Tour to get an impression of our university.

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 Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning has its focus on the enhancement of long-term economic developments of cities, how to cope with social inequalities, and how to accelerate sustainability transitions of cities and infrastructures. Research on these topics takes place within our research programme “Urban Futures: Transitions Towards Economic and Social Sustainability for Cities”.

Our research programme is the basis for our two year Research Master's programme Human Geography, the two-year Geographical Information Management and Applications Programme, and the one-year Master's programmes in Spatial Planning, Human Geography and International Development Studies. The department also runs a large and highly appreciated Bachelor's programme and is part of the Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research for PhD candidates. Unique characteristic of the department are the attention for innovations within teaching methods and its strong involvement in the transdisciplinary sustainability research theme.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • 28—40 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1209997



Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht

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