Assistant Professor in Environmental Geochemistry (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Assistant Professor in Environmental Geochemistry (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
7 Jun 31 Jul Utrecht

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Are you an environmental geochemist interested in contaminant and/or nutrient behaviour & cycling in terrestrial and fresh-water systems? Then apply now.

Job description

Human impact on the natural environment is ever increasing, affecting soil and water quality, ecosystems and life. The Department of Earth Sciences (DES) at Utrecht University has an established expertise in research and education on environmental geochemistry and is seeking to expand/strengthen this. Therefore, we are hiring an Earth or environmental geochemist that focuses on inorganic contaminant and/or nutrient behaviour, and cycling in modern fresh surface water and terrestrial systems such as soils, lake sediments, the riparian zone and/or the land-sea nexus.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic colleague that will strengthen and complement our research and education in the area of environmental geochemistry. The candidate should be rooted in natural sciences with a quantitative understanding of the biogeochemical processes that affect inorganic contaminant and/or nutrient behaviour and cycling in terrestrial and freshwater systems and/or at the land-sea interface. You should be experienced in combining field-based research with laboratory experiments and analyses, potentially supported by modelling approaches. Specific topics may include, but are not limited to, nitrogen, phosphorous and micronutrient cycling, inorganic contaminant transformation and transport processes, redox and microbiological processes, stable isotope labelling and cycling, and environmental mineralogy. Novel research avenues may also include biomining, non-traditional stable isotopes, and assessing the impact of mitigation and remediation measures, for example.

You are encouraged to develop your research lines in synergy with other scientists at DES, thereby utilising existing expertise in all fields of Earth sciences. These research endeavours may be jump-started with faculty-wide support. As such, it is desired to contribute to the acquisition and execution of individual and team-based research projects.

As an assistant professor, you will not only contribute to the supervision of early career scientists such as PhD candidates and postdocs, but also play an essential role in education by inspiring students and developing innovative courses on a Bachelor and Master level.

The research area of the position embeds in the broader faculty-wide palette of expertise in Earth sciences and sustainability that encompasses water and critical metal scarcity, natural hazards, food security, sustainable cities, sustainable business, and innovation science. Research into these themes is organised under the university-wide theme "Pathways to Sustainability" and is part of the 'Strategic Alliance' with Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), and University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht), in which complementary expertise is being combined to find solutions to problems in health, food, energy, and sustainability. In addition, a strong connection between DES and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) exists.


Utrecht University


You will strengthen education and research in the Department of Earth Sciences and complement research in other departments at Utrecht University.

As our ideal candidate, you are:
  • an inspiring teacher to BSc, MSc and PhD students and have, or are willing to obtain in the near future, a basic teaching qualification (BKO);
  • a strong team player with good communication and networking skills, who is focused on achieving multidisciplinary research targets and participating in the acquisition of funding for research projects and advanced new equipment;
  • preferably a postdoctoral researcher with minimum experience of two to three years.
(International) experience outside Utrecht University is an asset.

You should:
  • have a PhD degree in a relevant field of the natural sciences;
  • have a clear vision for education and a strong affinity with teaching;
  • have an outstanding record of academic research, reflected in high-quality publications;
  • have the ability to obtain competitive research grants;
  • have strong communication, networking and organisational skills;
  • have an eye for public outreach and be willing to contribute to media appearances and popular scientific articles.
Publication track record, teaching record, acquired research funds and leadership experience will be weighed against the number of years of academic experience, also considering (parental) leave and part-time appointments. You are expected to have a very good level of English, both spoken and written. We require a qualification English at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or to be prepared to obtain this level by training. As a non-Dutch speaker, 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.

In the selection process, we will be guided by the quality of the applicants, as well as the diversity of our staff population. Your vision on teaching, research vision and funding potential, as well as your connection to existing activities in the department will specifically be considered by the evaluation committee.

Conditions of employment

We offer a position (0.8 – 1.0 FTE) as an Assistant Professor for a period of 18 months. After a positive evaluation the position will be made permanent. You will work in a collaborative, social and dedicated team and you will receive guidance. 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'. Instead, this will be based on performance. The minimum gross salary is €3,974,- and the maximum gross salary is €5,439,- (scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment.

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit 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 strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

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 Earth Sciences is the largest academic Earth sciences institute in the Netherlands and among the larger ones in Europe. The department conducts education and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences. Our profile is rooted in the core disciplines of geochemistry, geology, geophysics, (marine) biogeosciences and hydrogeology. Within UU, we particularly interact in research and teaching with physical geography, human geography, and environmental & sustainability sciences (sister departments in the Faculty of Geosciences), as well as with atmospheric & marine sciences, biology, mathematics, and chemistry/material sciences in the Faculty of Sciences. Among our key partners in marine geosciences is the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).

The Department hosts an international tenured staff of over 50 scholars and more than 110 PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers. We host or have access to advanced laboratory facilities. Utrecht's Geolab houses a wide variety of analytical and experimental facilities, including well-equipped stable isotope and (organic) geochemistry laboratories, and a porous media lab. The micro-analytical facilities include, among others, a nano-SIMS, a laser-ablation ICP-MS system, electron microprobe, micro-XRF, AFM, Raman and IR spectroscopy instruments. The adjacent Earth Simulation Lab houses our High Pressure & Temperature and Tectonics laboratories, as well as several microscope facilities. Moreover, the department also has a world-class Paleomagnetic laboratory, several flume facilities, as well as excellent High-Performance Computing facilities.

The department is located at Utrecht Science Park. Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of nearly 360,000 and forms a hub in the middle of the country. Its historical city centre and its modern central station can easily be reached from the Science Park by public transport or by a 15-minute bicycle ride. Utrecht boasts beautiful canals with extraordinary wharf cellars housing cafés and terraces by the water, as well as a broad variety of shops and boutiques.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Natural sciences
  • 28—40 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1211251



Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht

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