Assistant Professor in Spatial Planning

Assistant Professor in Spatial Planning

Published Deadline Location
27 Mar 20 Apr Utrecht

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Do you want to further develop the ‘Urban Futures’ programme through innovative contributions from urban and regional planning? Apply now!

Job description

The department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning is looking for an Assistant Professor in Spatial Planning.

Your job
The Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning has developed the challenging ‘Urban Futures’ research programme. In this programme, faculty members from different human geography and spatial planning disciplines work closely together on topics such as urban inequalities, geographies of digital transitions, and urban environmental change. The department is responsible for the Bachelor's programme in Human Geography and Spatial Planning, for a number of Master's programmes like Spatial Planning, Human Geography (urban and economic geography), International Development Studies, and Geographical Information Management and Applications, as well as for the Research Master’s programme Global Urban Transformations.

Our ambition with this Assistant Professorship (tenure track) is to further develop the ‘Urban Futures’ programme through innovative contributions from urban and regional planning. We are searching for an ambitious new colleague whose previous research activities and publication record reflect a strong interest and proven expertise in the field of urban and/or metropolitan governance and planning. We are especially interested in applicants with a research profile focusing on spatial planning in the Netherlands (e.g., the Omgevingswet) and/or Europe, urban and regional governance, land policy and regulations, and urban planning and governance for dealing with global environmental change, including climate change. For the position, knowledge of the Dutch spatial planning system, as well as international experience, are expected.

You will co-teach, among others, a course on planning theory and a planning studio in the Master's programme Spatial Planning. In the Bachelor's programme, you will contribute to first-year courses (e.g. Strijd om de Ruimte, Duurzame Delta, tutoraat) and track specialisations (e.g., Duurzaamheidsvraagstukken, Planningatelier). Apart from being able to teach in Dutch, corresponding knowledge of planning theory and the role of spatial planning in sustainability transformations is therefore essential. Furthermore, a professional network with Dutch planners and policymakers and the ability to contribute to the department’s societal impact strategy, for example through Continuing Education, would be of additional advantage.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a colleague who shows leadership and who initiates new research projects within the ‘Urban Futures’ research programme as well as in the university’s ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ or ‘Institutions for Open Societies’ strategic research programmes, both independently and in collaboration with other researchers of the department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning.

We seek a highly motivated candidate who holds a PhD in urban and regional planning or in a related field from a renowned research university. Furthermore, you:
  • have proven expertise in the fields of spatial planning and urban governance and their role in addressing key sustainability challenges of cities and urban regions;
  • have extensive knowledge of the Dutch system of spatial planning and have collaborations with stakeholders in the Netherlands;
  • have experience in conducting academic research leading to high-quality publications;
  • see added value in collaborating in inter- and transdisciplinary research projects and engage in societal impact activities;
  • are a team player, have strong communication and didactic skills and are looking forward to contributing to, and collaborating with different disciplinary groups within and outside our department;
  • are able to acquire research funding;
  • have proven expertise in teaching Bachelor's and Master's students, are willing and confident to teach subjects beyond your niche of expertise, and to supervise planning/geography students from undergraduate to PhD levels;
  • have a University Teaching Qualification (BKO) or similar teaching qualification, or are willing to acquire such qualification within the first 18 months of your appointment;
  • are able to demonstrate English language proficiency. We require a qualification English at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or prepared to obtain this level by training;
  • are proficient in the Dutch language and are comfortable in teaching in Dutch at the undergraduate level.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • an exciting opportunity to work in a collaborative and dedicated team. You will receive guidance for both your teaching and research tasks which will help you in developing your academic career;
  • a position with an equal share of research and teaching for the first 18 months of appointment, which will shift to 60% teaching and 40% research thereafter;
  • a position for 18 months with the prospect of a permanent contract, following positive evaluation;
  • a working week of 36 hours and a gross monthly salary between €4,332 and €5,929 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale 11 under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU);
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.


Universiteit Utrecht

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 Human Geography and Spatial Planning investigates sustainability challenges investigates sustainability challenges in the context of an ongoing worldwide trend of increasing urbanization. The Department’s ‘Urban Futures’ research program focuses on urban inequalities, geographies of digital transitions, and urban environmental change. It develops novel theoretical and empirical approaches that are not solely at the forefront of academic debates but also create new perspectives on successful policies and interventions to address urban challenges. Our research program is the basis for our Research Master's Human Geography and Geographical Information Management and Applications and Professional Master's in Spatial Planning, Human Geography and International Development Studies. The Department also runs a large and highly appreciated Bachelor's program and is part of the Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research for PhD candidates. Unique characteristics of the Department are a special team focusing on innovations within teaching methods, its strong involvement in the transdisciplinary sustainability research theme and professional consultancy for public partners.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3772



Princetonlaan 8a, 3584CB, Utrecht

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