Assistant Professor Accessible and responsible Artificial Intelligence for Geographic Information Science and Earth Observation

Assistant Professor Accessible and responsible Artificial Intelligence for Geographic Information Science and Earth Observation

Published Deadline Location
8 Feb 30 Mar Enschede

Job description

The University of Twente, Faculty ITC wishes to increase the number of women in the faculty in order to have a more balanced staff profile. During all phases of the selection process, we will therefore prioritize selecting women who fit the profile.

Your tasks
Geospatial Artificial Intelligence – or GeoAI – is becoming increasingly applied in fields such as urban planning, sustainable land use, disaster risk management, ecosystem monitoring, and understanding and predicting climate change. GeoAI can be a powerful and accessible tool to address environmental and societal problems. Yet applications of GeoAI are often criticised for being complex “black boxes” and augmenting social inequalities. Responsible GeoAI addresses this challenge by integrating principles such as privacy, accountability, safety & security, explainability, inclusivity, human control, and professional responsibility. The latter includes open and reproducible research and methods as well as critical evaluations of technological systems.

Responsible AI is still underrepresented in GeoAI. This position addresses this gap by integrating Responsible AI practices into geoscience. Research themes may include: helping establish Responsible AI guidelines for GeoAI; developing Responsible AI methods for GeoAI; developing hybrid models that combine AI models and physical models; critically reflecting on when AI is needed, and how to effectively communicate modelled results to end-users. This position will also integrate Responsible AI thinking in and for geo-education. The above principles and themes should be used as a guiding framework, though the position is not encouraged to address all of them.

ITC is already working on GeoAI practices for a wide range of applications. All these applications can benefit from integrating Responsible AI practices in their data processing methods. The successful applicant will select the theme(s) of Responsible GeoAI which resonate most with their experience and collaborate closely with colleagues in various departments of the faculty to develop them further. The position will be hosted by the Earth Observation Science (EOS) department within ITC, but the position is expected to increase collaboration with other departments at ITC and the UT. Applicants are encouraged to look at the ITC and EOS webpages and indicate in their motivation letter how their research ideas meet the position profile and how they fit within EOS and can be linked with other departments.

You will develop a research direction and educational profile aligned with the ambitions of ITC, the University of Twente, and the Dutch Earth and Environmental Sciences sector. You will contribute to our MSc programmes on Geospatial Information Science and Earth Observation, co-supervise graduate students (MSc and PhD) and work with our E-Learning specialists to develop innovative online educational materials.

You will take ownership of coordination and management tasks as well as take an active approach towards strengthening our national and international network, in particular in the wider Earth and Environmental Sciences domain in the Netherlands.


University of Twente (UT)


  • A PhD degree in Geographic Information Science, Remote Sensing, Data Science, or a related field
  • Passion for education, supervising graduate students, and the ability to develop high-quality education materials related to Geospatial Information Science and Earth Observation; demonstrated experience in these components is an advantage, but not required
  • Drive to develop and ability to delineate a research line focused on responsible GeoAI
  • Embrace Open Science and FAIR data principles
  • Curiosity about translating your research into practical applications and collaborating with partners
  • Curiosity about contributing to the capacity development mission of ITC and willingness to undertake international travel to low- and middle-income countries
  • A team-work mentality; you enjoy collaborating to develop high-quality research outputs
  • 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

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


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 a wise and sustainable use of natural resources in developing countries and emerging economies.

The department of Earth Observation Science deals with earth observation technology for problem- solving. Problem solving means primarily identification of solutions for large-volume producers of geo-information and identification of solutions for application domains.

About the faculty
ITC is the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. The Faculty ITC is among the world's top ten institutes for academic education, scientific research and technology development in earth observation and geo-information. Our people are engaged worldwide in realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in food security and agriculture, energy transition, geo-health, climate change adaptation, urban development and smart cities, disaster risk reduction, and land administration. Our mission is capacity development, where we apply, share and facilitate the

effective use of geo-information and earth observation knowledge and tools for tackling global wicked problems. Our purpose is to enable our many partners around the world to track and trace the impact – and the shifting causes and frontiers – of today’s global challenges. We are here to identify and understand vulnerability, and to use geospatial solutions for converting it into resilience, thereby contributing to the establishment of sustainable living environments anchored in an inclusive society.

Additional information

For more information, you can contact Dr Caroline Gevaert (e-mail: or Prof Andy Nelson ( You are also invited to visit our homepage.

1st round (online) interviews will be held on 23 or 24 April 2024; 2nd round (onsite) interviews will be held on 7 May 2024.

Please submit your application before 31 March 2024. Your application has to include (i) a letter outlining your motivation and fit for the position, and (ii) a CV with two references.


  • Professor
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €4332—€4786 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1643


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).