Assistant Professor of Geography
University of Amsterdam

Assistant Professor of Geography

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Educational level:  PhD
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  27 May 2024
Vacancy number:  12941

The Department of Geography, Planning, and International Development Studies (GPIO) at the University of Amsterdam invites early career scholars in human geography or international development studies to apply for the position of Assistant Professor. As an assistant professor, you will teach, research, supervise PhD candidates and prepare research proposals.


The department and the university offer an academically exciting environment. GPIO is at the forefront of innovative education, offering a BSc in Human Geography and Planning, MSc degrees in Human Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, and International Development Studies, and Research MSc degrees in Urban Studies and International Development Studies. In our teaching and research, we foster close collaboration among faculty members, in particular on contemporary urban, economic, political and environmental issues.


The department combines research across human geography, planning and international development studies, with a shared emphasis on the spatiality of societal processes. Its research tradition is characterised by its critical and publicly engaged approach to urgent socio-spatial issues. Our collective mission is to develop empirically grounded, conceptually innovative contributions to intellectual and societal debates, always informed by a sensitivity to the spatial dimension of social phenomena and processes. We focus on the intersections of social, built and natural environments and emphasise the importance of deploying spatial concepts such as scale, place, territoriality, mobility and landscape to investigate the how and why of social issues. We are committed to mobilising our research expertise to address the collective action problems and other real-world challenges associated with pursuing equality, sustainability and economic development.


What are you going to do


We are interested in recruiting an early career academic in the field of human geography and/or international development studies, who is passionate about teaching and research. Candidates should have demonstrated experience and interest in teaching: we are looking for an inspiring teacher who can engage a diverse community of students with an inclusive approach to teaching. Candidates should be able to develop an innovative research agenda and have a track record of international peer-reviewed publications. We specifically encourage candidates whose training and/or experience covers one or more of the following areas to apply:

  • digital technologies
  • health geographies
  • economic geographies


We are looking for a new colleague whose work engages the socio-spatial dimensions of digitalization, public health and/or economic development. We are specifically interested in how governance, political mobilizations and everyday practices related to these domains reproduce, exacerbate or disrupt existing socio-spatial inequalities (such as those between neighborhoods, cities, nation-states or geopolitical regions). In addition, we are interested in how these domains shape and are shaped by social, built and natural environments. We particularly welcome applications from candidates who are enthusiastic about working in an interdisciplinary research environment, engaging with methodological innovations (e.g. related to GIS), and sharing and co-creating knowledge beyond academic circles.


You will have considerable freedom in determining your own research agenda; your research will be embedded in one of the following three research groups within the department: Political and Economic Geographies, Urban Geographies, or Governance and Inclusive Development.


Your activities will include:

- teaching in our Bachelor, Master and Research Master programmes;

- teaching in our research methods courses, ideally including GIS methods;

- teaching in our skills courses (such as professional and academic skills and fieldwork preparation);

- Bachelor and Master level thesis supervision;

- research and publishing;

- proposal writing and project acquisition;

- PhD supervision;

- administrative tasks.


What do you have to offer


Join our department, and mobilize your experience and expertise on socio-spatial issues to address real-world problems and imagine the world otherwise, through innovative teaching and research.


Our preferred candidate is team orientated, as expressed in their approach to collaborative work. They will be committed to the department’s research agenda with expertise that both connects to and extends that of researchers within the Political and Economic Geographies (PEG), Urban Geographies (UG), or Governance and Inclusive Development (GID). They will be willing to take on the challenge of teaching new material that may be outside their comfort zone and should be able to teach in English and Dutch (if you do not speak Dutch, the Department will provide funding and time to follow language courses so you will be able to master the required level of linguistic competence within two years).


Your experience and profile

  • A PhD in Human Geography or International Development Studies, or related disciplines, such as planning, anthropology, sociology or urban studies;
  • Experience with Bachelor or Master level teaching;
  • A promising scientific research record (including peer reviewed publications in international scientific journals);
  • Potential to acquire research funding from external sources (e.g. Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, European Research Council, or other national and international funding agencies);
  • Fluent in English and, ideally, Dutch (or able to acquire active and passive knowledge of the Dutch language within two years);
  • Basic Teaching Qualification Certificate (Dutch or foreign equivalent) or willing to acquire this certificate within two years;
  • Experience in conducting academic research and teaching.

What can we offer you


The position concerns permanent employment of 38 hours per week. The initial employment is for one and a half years (18 months). Following a positive review, the contract will become permanent. The evaluation will be based on the University Job Classification Profile Assistant Professor, on the competencies Conceptual ability, Surrounding orientation, Presenting and Result orientation. In addition, we expect an active contribution to the proper functioning of the department ('good citizenship').


If this vacancy speaks to you, but you are uncertain whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. Research shows that women and other scholars with backgrounds underrepresented in academia often do not apply for jobs unless they meet 100% of the required qualifications. GPIO is committed to a diverse teaching and research environment. If you have a PhD in a relevant field, but do not have all the required experience yet, we encourage you to apply anyway.


Your salary will be €4.332 and the maximum salary is €5.929 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, in keeping with salary scale 11, as per the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer

  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam.
  • All new assistant professors with permanent employment are, in principle, eligible for a starting grant of € 300.000, which can be used for research purposes.


About us


The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.


About the faculty 

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • For research matters and general info: Prof. Dr. Richard Ronald, Political and Economic Geographies Research Group Director,
  • For teaching matters: Dr. Mendel Giezen, GPIO Education Director,


Job application


Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by May 27, 2024. You may apply online by using the link below.


Applications in one bundled pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation (max 400 words);
  • a teaching statement (max 500 words)
  • a research statement (max. 500 words).


Please upload this single .pdf file in the obligatory field *CV on the UvA job application webpage.


The first round of interviews will take place on coming June 5. The second round of interviews is scheduled for June 21.



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


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