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  3. Postdoctoral researcher (Postdoc) Academy of Hope (0,8 - 1,0 FTE)

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Postdoctoral researcher (Postdoc) Academy of Hope (0,8 - 1,0 FTE)

You will be working in the Urban Futures Studio in active collaboration with the departments of Sustainable Development and Human Geography and Spatial Planning

2 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
28 - 40 uur
€ 2790 - € 3746 per maand


In this four-year Postdoc position you will be working in the Urban Futures Studio in active collaboration with the departments of Sustainable Development and Human Geography and Spatial Planning. We are in the process of setting up a new experimental form of education: the Academy of Hope. This will be novel program in which professionals and master students work with each other about the active engagement with the future. In 2021, the educational team of the Urban Futures Studio won the second prize of the Higher Educational Premium for education based on a ‘Mixed Classroom’ concept, in which teachers, students and policymakers learned together. With the awarded grant, the next step will be to develop an innovative curriculum in which students and agents of change, such as policymakers, activists, artists, and others, learn with and from each other by exploring and engaging with both imagined futures ‘in use’ and radically different imagined futures. A central notion in this initiative is hope, which we see as a generative concept beyond naive optimism and fatalism. We position ‘hope’ against a looming ecological crisis, which urges us to re-imagine the world we live in and how, where and with whom we organize learning.

For this Academy of Hope, we are looking for a Postdoc. Beyond simply implementing a programme, developing the Academy of Hope means engaging with action research, studying practices from around the world, working on an educational and pedagogical philosophy, and experimenting with new forms. You will do so in a small and vibrant team of Researchers and Teachers. As the Academy of Hope postdoc, you will intellectually and practically design the ‘Academy of Hope’.

In addition to scoping and building the Academy of Hope, you will work for approximately one day a week on other projects in the Urban Futures Studio. You will also actively contribute to the further development of the Urban Futures Studio into an academically innovative and societally relevant institute. You work to deliver innovative insights, intertwined with collaborating in new transformative policy practices. We are looking to strengthen our understanding of our four core topical interests: the relationship between democracy and the sustainability transition; the collective imagination and its change; reimagining the relationship between science and policy; and, recombining techniques of futuring for sustainability transition. You will be able to contribute to our teaching portfolio on futuring. At the UFS, you will work in collaboration with academics, policymakers, and other parts of society. These tasks will be discussed during the application process.


For this position, we are looking for a colleague with a strong interest in practice- and intervention-oriented education, as well as an interest in the active engagement with the future. Ideally, you intuitively combine knowing and acting. You can stage a workshop with participants from different backgrounds, but you can also analyse that same workshop conceptually. Given these broad demands, we are open to applications from candidates with a completed PhD in all fields related to the social sciences or humanities, including (but certainly not limited to): planning and geography, inquiry and action research, futures studies, and educational studies. In the Academy of Hope, the Urban Futures Studio collaborates with the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning and the Copernicus institute of Sustainable Development, both at the Faculty of Geosciences. The Faculty of Geosciences of Utrecht University offers a unique environment to study this challenge as it combines knowledge on energy efficiency, economics, energy policy, behavioural sciences, innovation systems, as well as knowledge on (sustainable) urban development.

The selected candidate will be the driving force of the Academy of Hope team, so we look for someone who likes organizing as well as reflecting. Moreover, what the Academy of Hope exactly will become as an ‘institute’ has deliberately been left open. We seek someone who feels comfortable with this uncertainty and who would like to join us on our journey of reinventing learning in the 21st century. The candidate is expected to mostly work in a small and informal team (4-6 team members). The ideal candidate can communicate fluently in both Dutch and English.


You will be offered a Postdoc position (0.8-1.0 FTE, depending on applicant preference), initially for a period of 12 months. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for another 30-36 months (three and a half to four years in total, depending on the size of employment). The maximum size is: 48 months for 0.9 FTE. The gross starting salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,790 and €3,746 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. 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, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.

Additional information

For further information about the vacancy, please contact Dr. Jesse Hoffman (j.g.hoffman@uu.nl) or Dr. Peter Pelzer (p.pelzer@uu.nl).