Ass. prof. in Transformative Learning for Inter- and Transdisciplinary Education

Ass. prof. in Transformative Learning for Inter- and Transdisciplinary Education

Published Deadline Location
28 Mar 23 Apr Amsterdam

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As assistant professor in Transformative Learning for Inter- and Trandisciplinary Education you will play a key role in shaping the educational experience of our students while contributing to cutting-edge research that spans multiple disciplines.

Job description

In the contemporary landscape of higher education, the demand for graduates equipped with the skills to navigate complex, real-world challenges has spurred a growing interest in transformative learning within inter- and transdisciplinary contexts. Transformative learning is a pedagogical philosophy that goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge and skills, emphasizing profound shifts in perspective, identity, and ways of thinking. This approach is particularly relevant in the realms of inter- and transdisciplinary education, where the integration of diverse disciplines is crucial for addressing complex multifaceted issues that transcend traditional academic boundaries.

Despite the increasing popularity of transdisciplinary education, various challenges are still faced; e.g. navigating differing epistemologies and methodologies from various disciplines, overcoming institutional barriers and traditional academic structures , balancing the depth of disciplinary knowledge with the breadth of interdisciplinary understanding, developing competencies (through engaged learning) that can actual lead to broadening of minds and/or ‘transforming’ of students, teachers and community partners, and to supporting goals relating to reciprocity between academic and non-academic stakeholders.

The Athena Institute is seeking a dynamic and innovative individual to join our team as an assistant professor in Transformative Learning for Inter- and Transdisciplinary Education. The candidate will play a key role in shaping the educational experience of our students while contributing to cutting-edge research that spans multiple disciplines.

Job description
  • To conduct research on the challenges faced with transformative learning processes for inter- and transdisciplinary research.
  • Foster a dynamic and inclusive learning environment that encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
  • Design and deliver courses that integrate transformative learning principles with inter- and transdisciplinary approaches.
  • Engage in scholarly activities, including research, publication, and presentation at national and international conferences.
  • Collaborate with colleagues within the department and across disciplines to promote inter- and transdisciplinary research initiatives.
  • Participate in university service activities and contribute to the overall academic community.
  • Contribute to and collaborate in existing (funded) projects executed by Athena.
  • Involve in teaching task 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 inter- and transdisciplinary education programme of the Athena Institute.
  • Contribute to the development and quality control of curricula that aligns with the evolving landscape of inter- and transdisciplinary research.
  • Supervision of PhD students, junior researchers/lecturers, and postdoc researchers participate in coordination and strategic meetings of the Athena Institute (and beyond).


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • A PhD degree, preferably in the field of Interdisciplinary Studies, or a related discipline.
  • Proven experience in transformative learning theories and practices.
  • Proven experience in designing and delivering courses that integrate inter- and transdisciplinary approaches.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience with designing and facilitating multistakeholder group discussions and reflection sessions as part of change processes (e.g. reflexive monitoring in action).
  • Strong and relevant publication track-record, commensurate with the candidate’s career stage and complementing and extending the Athena Institute’s research portfolio.
  • Proven experience with applying for research grants and externally funded projects.
  • Excellent teaching skills and the ability to inspire students (demonstrated through a.o. positive student evaluations).
  • A teaching qualification (in Dutch BKO).
  • 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

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

A challenging career track position from Assistant Professor 2 to Assistant Professor 1 in a socially involved organization (research, education, management; 40:40:20%). At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • A salary of minimum € 4.332,00 (Scale 11) and maximum € 5.929,00 (Scale 11) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Lecturer / Asisstant Professor 2. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • A position for at least 0.8 FTE. The initial contract will have a duration of 18 months. After a successful evaluation in your 15th month, permanent employment will be granted.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • Child daycare facilities available on campus.
  • The possibility to work partly from home.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Athena Institute
The Athena Institute addresses complex societal issues, like climate change, health inequality and social injustice. We do this by designing, facilitating and studying multi-stakeholder processes. Together with all actors involved, we investigate how to instigate system transformation. For more information about the Athena Institute, visit our website.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.


  • Assistant professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • €4332—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3622


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1085, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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