Assistant Professor of Transdisciplinary Global Health

Assistant Professor of Transdisciplinary Global Health

Published Deadline Location
23 Nov 8 Jan Amsterdam

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The recent pandemic, mental health crises, climate change, malnutrition, maternal mortality, NCDs, and increasing inequities make it evident that our health systems are unsustainable. Conventional ways of innovating prioritize expert knowledge and are ...

Job description

Research that aims to contribute to such challenges should not only be interdisciplinary but also be conducted in close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholder groups; i.e. research should be transdisciplinary. The Athena Institute's research in the field of global health aims to contribute to good health and wellbeing for all (STD3) and focuses on a diversity of themes, ranging from universal health coverage to patient/client-oriented healthcare and from gender-sensitive care in violent settings to health resilience in times of climate change. Our research aims to describe, understand, evaluate, and shape the responsibilities, strategies, actions and collaborations with relevant stakeholder groups, such as patients, health professionals, civil society organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and policy makers, to achieve equal access to health and social care, both in high-income countries and in low- and middle-income countries. Areas of application include mental health, maternal and child health, health and digital inclusion, pandemic preparedness, health for the unhoused and undocumented, one health, and many more. Where the starting point of our research tends to be a concern about certain forms of marginalisation of underserved communities, the aim often is to contribute to transformations at a system level, hence connecting the concerns of specific communities to opportunities for institutionalisation and policy action.

The career track position at the level of assistant professor (research, education, management; 40:40:20%) is located at the Athena Institute.

Your duties
Your research work will focus on one or more of the themes presented above. Research tasks include contributing to research acquisition, further conceptualising this area of research from multiple theoretical perspectives, co-designing and implementing innovations in collaboration with stakeholders from the quadruple/quintuple helix, and facilitating mutual learning and reflection sessions. You are expected to collaborate with different colleagues in projects across a range of research themes.
Teaching tasks are embedded in the wide variety of courses offered by the Athena Institute and include course coordination, workgroup coaching and lecturing as well as supervising Master students during their internships and literature reviews on diverse topics pertaining to the wider educational programme of the Athena Institute. In addition, you are expected to fulfil more overarching tasks with respect to curriculum development and quality control, particularly in relation to the bachelor and master specialization tracks on International Public Health, and the research master programme on Global Health.
With respect to management you will supervise several PhD students, junior researchers/lecturers, postdoc researchers and participate in coordination and management meetings of the Athena Institute (and beyond).


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A PhD degree, preferably in the field of global health, public health, medical anthropology, development studies, science, technology & medicine, or other related discipline(s);
  • Experience in cross-cutting and multi-level approaches of global health;
  • Proven experience with experimental methods for the transdisciplinary study of challenges in the field of global health;
  • Experience with designing and facilitating multistakeholder group discussions and reflection sessions as part of change processes (e.g. reflexive monitoring in action, reflexive evaluations);
  • Proven ability to be a strong collaborator within interdisciplinary teams (capable of listening, flexible, adaptive, pro-active);
  • Good and relevant publication track-record, commensurate with the candidate’s career stage and complementing and extending the Athena Institute’s research portfolio;
  • Experience with applying for research grants and externally funded projects in the field of global health;
  • Excellent teaching skills and the ability to inspire students (demonstrated through a.o. positive student evaluations),
  • A teaching qualification (in Dutch BKO), or the willingness to obtain one on short term;
  • A broad (inter)national network relevant to the position;
  • Excellent command of English is imperative, basic knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Conditions of employment

A challenging career track position from Assistant Professor 2 to Assistant Professor 1 in a socially involved organization.
The initial contract will have a duration of 18 months. After a successful evaluation in your 15th month, permanent employment will be granted.
On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €4,332 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,929 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

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 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 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
Working at the Faculty of Science means working together with students, PhD candidates and scientists who are focused on their discipline, yet also have a broad view of the world. We are proud of the collegial working environment within the faculty, which is characterised by an ambitious and pragmatic attitude with commitment to the bigger picture. At the Faculty of Science, scientists and students work on fundamental and complex social issues for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, from genetics to pharmaceuticals and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research cover the full breadth of the natural sciences. Scientific teaching and research is highly experimental, technical, computational and interdisciplinary in nature. This is why we collaborate extensively with leading research institutes and industry. The faculty has over 11,000 students studying across 40 educational programmes and employs over 1,600 staff spread over 10 scientific departments, making us the largest science faculty in the Netherlands.
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
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 16570


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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