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Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in The Spatial Transformation of Food Systems


Job description

We are looking for an Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) with experience in utilising spatial information science to assess the transformational and adaptive capacity of people and systems for sustainable and resilient food provision.

You will develop high-quality research and educational methods to addresses the challenge of modelling, measuring and monitoring the resilience of food systems in a spatially explicit manner. You will use remote sensing data and geographic information science approaches to address this challenge within the context of a sustainable environment and food security. You will develop and use methods that assess food system resilience and sustainability under shocks (climate, economic, epidemics etc). The geographic focus will cover both developing countries and the European Union, especially in the context of the Green Deal and policies related to food systems and biodiversity.

You are excited to work in an international team with project activities around the world. You combine a drive for scientific quality and rigour with making a difference in global environmental issues. You enjoy collaborating to develop high-quality research outputs that demonstrate the societal impact of spatial science. You embrace Open Science. You have a passion for education and can teach topics such as the theory and practice of agent-based modelling for natural resource management and building resilience in food systems. You are a dedicated supervisor for MSc students and PhD candidates.

This position is embedded in the ‘Designing Systems for Informed Resilience Engineering’ (DeSIRE) program, an extensive capacity building program, set-up by the 4TU Centre Resilience Engineering []. Within this program 16 new tenure track positions have been created at 13 faculties across the four technical universities of the Netherlands. This visionary 4TU umbrella program on resilience aims to conduct excellent research of societal value and set-up and supply to educational programs in the emerging field of Resilience Engineering. You will be working in a team of top scientists within 4TU, benefiting from the opportunity to work on concrete resilience challenges within our broad network of partners in policy and practice. We foster interdisciplinary collaboration between the 16 tenure trackers, associated scientific staff and public and private partners. All will be actively involved in the scientific, educational and valorisation activities of the DeSIRE program and the 4TU-Centre Resilience Engineering. It offers prospective applicants excellent opportunities to extend their networks with academic and societal partners.

For more information about DeSIRE, including all 16 Tenure Track positions, see:

Your profile

  • You possess a PhD in fields like: Geography, Agriculture, Ecology, Resilience Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Geo-informatics, Computer Science or Data Science
  • Expertise in spatial analysis, geo-information, remote sensing, simulation modelling and agent-based modelling.
  • You have proven scientific creativity combined with a publishing record of acknowledged quality and a strong interest in developing innovative solutions for the measurement, monitoring and modelling of resilience in food systems in developing countries.
  • An aptitude for teaching at Master or Bachelor levels and supervising PhD candidates in English
  • Experience in undertaking international project work and enthusiasm to work in all regions that ITC is active
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Enthusiasm to work in a range of international and interdisciplinary contexts
  • An excellent command of English. Knowledge of, or willingness to learn Dutch is an advantage

With the Head of Department, you will agree upon expected performance and personal development targets. You will receive formal feedback on performance and skills during annual assessment meetings and evaluations. If evaluated positively at the end of the tenure track, you will be appointed in a permanent position. You will be based in the Natural Resources Department (NRS) of ITC. You will form collaborations with other members of the DeSIRE programme and other research units where building resilience is a long-term objective.

Our offer

We offer an inspiring and challenging international environment. You will be initially employed for a period of seven years (Tenure Track position, starting as Assistant Professor 2 or 1), according to proven expertise and skills.

  • Gross monthly salary between € 3,746,- and € 5,826,- depending on experience and qualifications (job profile Assistant Professor level 2 or 1)
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development
  • A solid pension scheme
  • Possibilities to save up holidays for sabbatical leave
    Minimum of 41 holiday days in case of full-time employment
    Professional and personal improvement programmes, including mentoring
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff is strongly supported

During your career, you will have the opportunity to develop into an internationally acknowledged and recognized academic. We offer a structured career and personal development program designed to offer individual academics as much support as possible. Specific information about ITC’s Tenure Track policy you can find on

Information and application

Additional information regarding the position can be obtained from Prof. Dr. A.D. Nelson (e-mail: You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before the 1st of November 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application has to include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria and also outlining your research and teaching interests, (ii) a detailed CV with references and (iii) a  statement on your personal vision on research, education and capacity development in relation to ITC, DeSIRE and the position. 

A public guest lecture to ITC staff will be part of the selection. A development assessment could be part of the selection also.

About the department

The Department of Natural Resources aims to enable society to effectively develop and use geo-information and Earth observation knowledge and technologies for agricultural and environmental sustainability. These information sources and methods are used in novel ways to understand and characterise the processes that affect the availability, stability, quality and sustainability of natural resources. The outputs contribute to better monitoring and managing of natural resources which in turn enables their sustainable use, development and restoration under global change.

We are seeking an enthusiastic colleague to complement our existing strengths in natural resources management.

About the organization

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) 

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science (GIS) and earth observation. We use remote sensing and GIS for collecting spatial data. Our aim is to contribute to the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies. As part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, we ensure that everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people and society through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We also seek to sustain and expand our role as a leader in academic social entrepreneurship.

As an employer, the ITC Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) in The Spatial Transformation of Food Systems
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