Assistant Professor (career track) in Innovation and Business Management in Health and Life Sciences

Assistant Professor (career track) in Innovation and Business Management in Health and Life Sciences

Published Deadline Location
2 Mar 23 Mar Amsterdam

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At the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we invite applications for an appointment as assistant professor (tenure-track) in Innovation and Business Management in Health and Life Sciences, specializing in empirical research focused o...

Job description

This position will contribute to inclusive, fair and sustainable innovation in the health and life sciences, by addressing sector and industry challenges related to innovation and business models. In the biopharmaceutical industry, there is increasing attention for innovation deficits in the market that may be related to significant system and market failures associated with established dominant business models. Such innovation deficits not only relate to financial metrics, but more importantly also result in failures to deliver on society's most pressing unmet needs. While current business models have become dominant as they reflect the most efficient way to use the resources available to capture and deliver value, they have not been optimized for delivering societal value. Novel, sustainable business models can more adequately deliver on unmet societal needs, and enable transformation of the current innovation system into a sustainable new configuration that adequately addresses and balances people, planet and profit dimensions.

Your duties
Your research approach should be collaborative, with the aim of studying such innovation system challenges and contributing to the sustainability of innovation and business management in life sciences. You build upon proven insight into emerging science and technology that could be the starting point for such system transitions, and an understanding of the valuation and appropriation of tangible and intangible value. In addition to qualitative analysis of sustainable business model dimensions, you will build on the capacity for empirical research and quantitative analyses to fundamentally support this line of research as well as complement and extend the Athena Institute's research portfolio.

Research at the Athena Institute includes transdisciplinary approaches that involve issue-identification and the exploration of solutions developed in collaboration with actors and stakeholders. The Athena centers its research around four research themes: Emerging science and technology; (Global) health and well-being; Nature, agriculture and environment; Competency development in inter- and transdisciplinary research; and History of knowledge. The successful candidate should be able to build upon proven insight into emerging science and technology and is expected to collaborate with different colleagues in projects across these research themes.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A PhD in Management studies, innovation studies, or a related (inter)discipline; an additional background in the health and life sciences is a strong plus;
  • Fluent in English (and knowledge of Dutch);
  • Strong and relevant publication track-record, complementing and extending the Athena Institute's research portfolio, specifically in terms of quantitative analyses;
  • Teaching experience (e.g., as course instructor, thesis supervisor, etc.);
  • A university teaching qualification (BKO) or commitment to obtaining it during the tenure track;
  • Strong collaborator within interdisciplinary teams (listening, flexible, adaptive, pro-active);
  • Experience with applying for research grants and externally funded projects and ability to meet deadlines and produce deliverables;
  • Entrepreneurial and relevant business experience;
  • An (inter)national network relevant to the research lines.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

A challenging career track position from Assistant Professor 2 to Assistant Professor 1 in a socially involved organization.
We offer 2 types of contract. For candidates already living in the Netherlands, we offer a permanent position after 18 months, after a successful evaluation in your 15th month. After a successful evaluation, a path will be outlined for future academic development.
To candidates that will relocate from abroad we offer a second option next to the previous one. This will be a first (temporary) contract for the duration of 6 years. After 2 and 4 years the performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of project funding (in addition to the annual assessment with your supervisor). After a successful evaluation permanent employment will be granted after 6 years and a path will be outlined for future academic development
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment,
  • 8% holiday allowance and
  • 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave,
  • child daycare facilities available on campus


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute's mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena's research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. The section presently has a position vacant for a Postdoc/Lecturer.
For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website.


  • Assistant professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 14909


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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