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As a Postdoctoral Researcher, you will contribute to further develop the Urban Futures Studio into an academically innovative and societally relevant institute. Your academic work will deliver cutting-edge and innovative academic insights intertwined with collaborating in new transformative policy practices. You are responsible for studying existing ‘performances’ and techniques of ‘futuring’ that constitute the engagement of cities with their future, and conceive of ways in which to improve the transformative capacity of cities, partly via the design of experiments in the Urban Futures Studio.
Candidates bring relevant disciplinary knowledge and look forward to operating in a creative and interdisciplinary climate. We have a particular interest in candidates who combine an understanding of urban issues with knowledge from fields like design science, Science and technology Studies (STS), public policy, discourse analysis, urban planning, social psychology or governance. You are expected to report your findings in ways both appealing to a wider audience (e.g. short videos, blog posts, presentations, one-pagers) and academic contributions (e.g. peer-reviewed articles). Next to your academic work, you will also be involved in the (horizontal) management of the Urban Futures Studio and organizational tasks. Candidates are expected to contribute to teaching topics related to the Urban Futures Studio (up to a maximum of 0.2 FTE). For the communication with policymakers, proficiency in Dutch is strongly preferred.
The candidate is expected to have:
You will be offered a full-time Postdoc position (1.0 FTE), initially for a period of one year. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for another three years (four years in total).
The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,640 and €4,166 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: 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 societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
Utrecht University has a strong commitment to community outreach and contributes to answering the social questions of today and tomorrow. The Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University offers a unique environment to study this challenge as it combines knowledge on energy efficiency, economics, energy policy, behavioral sciences, innovation systems, as well as knowledge on (sustainable) urban development.
The Urban Futures Studio
The Urban Futures Studio (UFS) is devoted to the study of positive urban futures and of ways to get there. We investigate what we call ‘Techniques of Futuring’. We are a transdisciplinary institute; we conduct empirical research on existing practices, but also help to initiate experiments. We are convinced that new thinking starts in ‘crossovers’ between distinct disciplines, and in coalitions of new and old agents of change.
We live in an urban age. Worldwide, 1.5 million people move to the city each week. Whereas cities are places of innovation and relative wealth, sustaining them according to 20th century principles will result in planetary disaster. Current cities are addicted to fossil fuels and increasingly socially segregated. Facing the challenges of our time, such as global warming and social injustice, requires radical change. Our question: can we make cities better places?
What we do in the present is profoundly influenced by our expectations of the future. The Urban Futures Studio investigates how this works, illuminating concrete ‘techniques of futuring’ in use. We have an open eye for the politics that influence societal perceptions of the future. We study daring imaginations of alternative futures and connect these imaginations to the urban networks and coalitions that could mobilize them. Our focus: to understand current techniques of futuring, and to enhance the transformative capacities of cities by exploring new techniques of futuring.
The UFS works at the intersection of science, art and policy. Convinced that new thinking starts in crossovers and ‘soft spaces’, we actively initiate experiments to encourage promising meet-ups. Fascinated by the question what makes actors into agents of change, we do not aspire to find a single ‘best’ transformation. We probe, test and tinker in unusual coalitions to help enhance urban resilience. Our aim: to understand the dynamics of change and expand our repertoire of techniques of futuring.
Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht