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Appointment of Chair Water Science and Climate Adaptation (1.0 FTE)

Job description
The Faculty of Geosciences has a position for a professor in Water Science and Climate Adaptation. It will be a full-time professorship positioned at the newly developed Delta Climate Centre (DCC), which will start operations in September 2023. Simultaneously, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance will recruit for the position of a professor in Climate Change, Regulation and deltas. These two scholars will closely collaborate with PhD candidates on the implementation of the research agenda as a cooperation between natural and social scientists. This will be crucial for the transition to a climate resilient and prosperous delta.

The Faculty of Geosciences, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance have initiated a collaboration with the newly developed DCC. The mission of the DCC is to develop and connect knowledge about Zeeland’s delta in order to improve the social issues surrounding the transitions to a sustainable, climate proof and prosperous delta. The aim is to realise innovative and impactful solutions for a future-proof delta through broad cooperation in the fields of research, education, valorisation and business development. Because of this, the DCC, based in Vlissingen, will strengthen Zeeland.

Within the DCC, the UU joins forces with 5 other partners: HZ University of Applied Sciences, NIOZ Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee, Scalda, University College Roosevelt and Wageningen University and Research.

The new chair will be vital in bringing Water Science and Climate Adaptation in deltas to the forefront of research and education. In this role, you will develop and study strategies and scenarios for regional climate adaptation. The chair has two aims:
  • To gain a better understanding of the biophysical processes that underlie delta dynamics, as well as the approach to intervene in order to guarantee the liveability of deltas under global change, in Zeeland and elsewhere in the world.
  • To understand synergies and trade-offs on multi-functional use of water within the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem (WEFE) nexus relations at the delta landscape scale.
The knowledge of these two themes can contribute to sustainable regional transitions.

The chair will be the figurehead of the new MSc programme 'Water Science and Climate Adaptation', which will be built from the current MSc programme 'Water Science and Management'. You will contribute to the DCC’s aim to build a continuous learning line from intermediate vocational education (MBO), through applied higher education (HBO), to academic education (WO).

The chair holder will be appointed for 0.8-1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE). The appointee will be expected to spend a minimum of 40% of their time in Vlissingen at DCC headquarters, and the rest of their time at UU. All tasks are related to DCC and time will be equally divided between teaching, research and management/leadership.


For this vacancy, we are interested in a scholar who takes the responsibility and leadership for the bigger picture and is able to maintain, strengthen and further expand the diverse collaborations inside and outside the DCC.

We believe in a balance between individual and collective achievements and stimulate inclusive leadership at all levels.

As our ideal candidate, you:

  • have a PhD and proven excellent research expertise in Climate Adaptation and Water Science, or with a disciplinary background in Environmental Sciences, Sustainability Science, Physical Geography, Landscape ecology, or a closely related discipline;
  • have strong social, organisational and strategic leadership skills evidenced by an inspiring vision on teaching and research. Focused on creating synergies;
  • have wide experience in teaching at different levels (undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes) with significant contributions to the development and delivery of high-quality teaching at an internationally competitive level;
  • have problem- and theory-guided research achievements, demonstrated by a publication record of high quality and evidence of research and impact outputs which are consistently recognised as internationally outstanding;
  • have experience with co-creation and co-design of research or teaching with stakeholders from governments or civil society;
  • have experience in developing research impact strategies for stakeholder groups;
  • actively promote open science;
  • show sensitivity to an intercultural collegial environment, ensuring social safety.


The salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges from €6,099 to €8,881 gross per month for full-time employment (scale H2 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities). Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

We provide our selected candidates with a tailor-made development assessment based on the UU leadership profile. This assessment will properly visualise your full potential and present you with an advice and strategy which will help you further develop your academic career.

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

Additional information

Further enquiries and questions can be directed to professor Stefan Dekker (Professor of Global EcoHydrology and Sustainability) at

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We stimulate inclusive leadership at all levels and welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Applications should consist of a letter of motivation addressing suitability against the TRIPLE requirements and a full curriculum vitae including a publication list. Applications can be uploaded via the ‘apply now’ button. Due to the vacation season, we are using a longer recruitment period.

Applications will be considered by the Committee and shortlisted candidates will subsequently be invited for a first-round interview on the 16th of October. The second round will be on the 30th of October. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate will take place thereafter.

When invited for the second round, candidates will be asked to give three names of external contacts that can be asked for a reference letter.

The application deadline is
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