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23 Jan 29 Feb Amsterdam

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Do you want to combine management and scientific research and teaching? As department head in the Department of Movement Sciences you will have that opportunity. Apply at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

Job description

Working as department head of Movement Sciences at the VU means that you use your experience as a professor or associate professor to strengthen our research and teaching. You will also have a role as department head two days a week, where you will have integral responsibility for the department. Together with the heads of our six sections, you will form the management team. An HR advisor advises you and the operations coordinator provides support.

The department has six sections: five disciplinary (Biomechanics, Physiology, Learning and Performance, Neural Control, Prevention, and Rehabilitation), and a sixth that consists of employees with exclusively teaching duties. The various sections cooperate intensively.

The Department of Movement Sciences at VU conducts multidisciplinary research and education. We combine anatomy, physiology, psychology and (bio)mechanics to understand and improve human movement. We attach great importance to the social value of our research results. We strive to make our knowledge accessible and applicable. This allows us to have an impact on important social issues. Your research expertise therefore links to themes such as the promotion of mental and physical health through exercise. Our teaching is closely related to our research, so that students are introduced to the latest methods, knowledge and insights. The department values intensive contact between students and faculty.

Your duties
As department head, you have integral responsibility for:
  • the department's strategy around the implementation of research, teaching and impact. You will guard the long-term perspective, you will draw up a departmental annual plan in line with the strategy and you will manage strategic external collaborations
  • proper implementation of human resources policies with good leadership, talent development, team collaboration, social safety and inclusion
  • managing the department's allocated budget and financial results. You will set the departmental multi-year budget and manage for revenue realization.
  • the work processes in the department, including the quality and development of projects/programs and the safety of facilities (e.g. laboratories)
  • you lead the department's management team. You inspire them to contribute to departmental, faculty and VU goals. You ensure support and consensus within the management team and the department
  • You are a member of the Strategic Consultation of the Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences. In this way you contribute to the functioning of the entire faculty
  • You fill the role of department head initially for a four-year term, and may be renewed for a second four-year term.

As professor or associate professor, your responsibilities are:
  • you provide research of excellent quality, which fits within the mission of the department
  • you take care of the acquisition of funds for this research
  • you contribute to education within the Bachelor and Master programs
  • You supervise PhD students in their development into independent researchers and you supervise more experienced academics (university lecturers and associate professors).
  • you maintain a national and international network and you are active in realizing impact of your research outside the academic context
  • you make a broad transversal contribution to the department/faculty


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • you are a full professor or experienced associate professor (with the ambition and potential to become a full professor)
  • you have a track record of (national and international) publications and acquisition of funds for research
  • you have several years of experience in the hierarchical management of a group or (part of) a scientific department and the successful supervision, motivation and inspiration of PhD students and postdocs. You have an eye for long-term policy and stimulate cooperation and development of employees. You ensure an optimal working and learning environment and like to contribute to the joint results of the department
  • You have several years of administrative experience, for example as chair of a committee or as program director
  • You have a BKO or similar basic qualification for education, or you are willing to obtain one
  • you have good communication skills in English and Dutch. If you do not yet speak Dutch, you are willing to learn the language

As a university, we strive for equal opportunity for all, recognizing that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable to the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realize that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. We are therefore pleased to invite anyone who recognizes themselves in the profile to apply.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • A salary of minimum €6,002 and maximum €8,025 gross per month for full-time employment (associate professor 2/1) and a minimum of €6648 and maximum €9,680 gross per month for full-time employment (professor 2). The exact salary depends on your education and experience and is based on the university job classification system.
  • a position for at least 1 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 18 months. Afterwards, there is a prospect of a permanent contract.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • contribution to commuting expenses


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
Developing knowledge for an active, healthy and meaningful life: that is our mission at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences at VU Amsterdam. We maintain a broad focus on the fields of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society. From healthy aging to e-health, and from training top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education. A multidisciplinary approach allows us to arrive at a better understanding of human behaviour and movement. Our aims are to help people live healthier lives, learn better and function better.

Are you interested in joining Behavioural and Movement Sciences? You are the kind of person who feels at home working in an ambitious faculty, with an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. We offer you all the space you need for personal development. Together with your 630 colleagues, you will take care of about 4,200 students.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.


  • Professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • €6002—€9680 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3686


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT, Amsterdam

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