Assistant Professor Geospatial analysis of sensor and citizen science data for nature-inclusive societies

Assistant Professor Geospatial analysis of sensor and citizen science data for nature-inclusive societies

Published Deadline Location
5 Sep 7 Oct Enschede

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Job description

New technologies allow for widespread measurements to monitor the role of nature in society. Examples are on-the-ground sensors to measure the cooling effect of vegetation, apps to collect environmental or crop growth data, wearables to track physical activities, and social media analyses of geo-tagged posts to understand societal preferences and behaviour. These sensor technologies and the citizen science in which they are often used, deliver a wealth of information to help describe human-nature relations. The selection of measurement sites, observation times, data analysis and integration for system understanding, however, is still a bottleneck. The development of geostatistical methods is needed to deal with the different quality levels of multiple data sources and to analyse and explore point observations in space and time. This position aims to improve the way we analyse sensor data and integrate data in other spatially and temporally explicit information sources, to establish the processes that affect nature and society.

You will develop a clear research direction, and educational profile, and bring nature-inclusive societal changes through science-for-impact work. You will address urgent social-ecological challenges based on your knowledge of modern geostatistical methods and good knowledge of spatial-temporal data, data quality, and data collection, applicable to diverse sensor and citizen science data.

You will also enhance the understanding of spatial-temporal dynamics of ecosystem services, nature’s contributions to people, and their driving factors, will lead and contribute to research proposals for different funding agencies, and will contribute to our MSc programmes, co-supervise PhD candidates, and work with our e-learning specialists to develop online educational materials.

You will be actively involved in ongoing geo-citizen science initiatives and actively contribute to the network and ambitions of the Netherlands sector of Earth and Environmental Sciences.


University of Twente (UT)


  • A PhD degree in spatial ecology, geography, geostatistics, data science or a related (interdisciplinarity) field
  • A drive for impact research and experience with translating your research into societal use
  • A good network or overview of key actors on this topic, and a willingness to actively get in touch with potential collaborators.
  • A passion for education and the ability to develop high-quality education materials and a dedicated supervisor for graduate students and early-career researchers
  • Embrace Open Science and FAIR data principles
  • A teamwork and inclusiveness mentality: you enjoy collaborating to develop high-quality research outputs in a multicultural academic environment and you like working in interdisciplinary contexts
  • An excellent command of English. Knowledge of, and/or willingness to learn Dutch is an advantage

Conditions of employment

  • An inspiring multidisciplinary, international and academic environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda
  • Position for initially one year (full-time), after which your position can become permanent, subject to a successful evaluation
  • An introduction programme, with personalized support and ample opportunities to learn and grow into your new role as part of your professional development.
  • Gross monthly salary between € 4,332.- and € 4,786.- (depending on experience and qualifications, job profile Assistant Professor, level 2). This is the maximum start salary with growth opportunities
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for professional and personal development
  • A solid pension scheme
  • A total of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment
  • Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed


Your position will be an appointment at the department of Natural Resources Science (NRS) in close collaboration with the Department of Earth Observation Science (EOS). There will be connections with all other departments in the faculty.

The department of Natural Resources (NRS) is one of ITC’s six scientific departments. Natural resources are essential to maintain the well-being of societies. Sustainable management of natural resources balances the needs of people and the environment. It avoids the depletion, degradation, and destruction of ecosystems, prevents biodiversity loss and soil erosion, and mitigates the impacts of climate change. We aim to have a positive impact on natural resources management. We do this by empowering society to effectively use insights from geo-information and Earth observation technologies for sustainable management of the environment. The outcome is an increased understanding of the processes that affect the availability, stability, quality, and sustainability of natural resources, which in turn enables their preservation, sustainable use, development, or restoration. Our academic outputs and activities focus on developing both the means and the measurements that are essential to monitor trends, track changes, and enable action to sustain biologically diverse environments and productive agricultural systems. The department is composed of 28 academic and support staff, 32 PhD candidates and 13 guest researchers.

The mission of the department of Earth Observation Science (EOS) is to gain and disseminate scientific knowledge in earth observation. This knowledge is applied in the development of tools to help good governance and wise and sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries and emerging economies. The department deals with earth observation technology for problem-solving. Problem-solving means primarily the identification of solutions for large-volume producers of geo-information and the identification of solutions for application domains.


  • Professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €4332—€4786 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1407


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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