Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) "Governance of Sustainability Transformations in Food Systems"

  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Wageningen University & Research


Are you ready for the start of your academic career? Do you want to become part of an enthusiastic group of colleagues, who seek to push the boundaries of knowledge on sustainability governance and teach in the highest graded educational programs in the Netherlands? Do you have the right skills to do cutting-edge research in an interdisciplinary setting and convey your findings in an inspiring way to our students?

Then apply for an Assistant Professor position “Governance of Sustainability Transformations in Food Systems" at the Public Administration and Policy Group at Wageningen University. We seek a talented academic with proven expertise in studying public governance concerning sustainability challenges.

Background: sustainability transformation in food systems
The functioning of our current food system is associated with some of the most pressing societal challenges of our times: climate change, biodiversity loss, food insecurity and the spread of diet-related disease. An increasing number of scientists and politicians have therefore called for a transformation of the food system towards more sustainable and just outcomes. Governing such a transformation ought to take place across levels of government, from local to global, and policy domains, from farm to fork. But agreement of who should act, when and how, is elusive, and the types of interventions required remain hotly contested. Problem perceptions are highly divergent, politically charged and increasingly hard to reconcile. In this context, a deeper understanding of whether, when and how governance systems can steer the necessary sustainability transformations is paramount. Furthering such understandings requires transformative social science methods, such a serious gaming, experiments, living labs or dialogues.

Your responsibilities:

As our new Assistant Professor, your duties and responsibilities include:
  • doing research in the field of the “Governance of Sustainability Transformations in Food Systems” and building your own research line within this field;
  • successfully publishing the results in academic outlets;
  • instruction in various existing courses (BSc. and MSc. levels), the development of new courses, co-supervision of PhD.-students and postdoctoral researchers;
  • the acquisition of new research funding from prestigious sources, with the aim of expanding the number of PhD.-students and postdoctoral researchers in the group;
  • contributing to the various management tasks that need to be performed to advance the group’s agenda;
  • active contributions to societal debates about the governance of sustainability transformations in food systems.

You will roughly spend 40% of your time doing research, contributing to the group’s research program "Changing governance, Governing change". You will also spend about 40% of your time teaching, for instance by contributing to the new MSc. Program “Governance of Sustainability Transformations” which is drawing increasing numbers of students. And finally, you will spend 20% of your time on management and acquisition.The new position is created thanks to an extra investment of the Dutch government in higher education and research (“Sectorplan Techniek II”) and the successful candidate will collaborate with multiple other colleagues in the country and at Wageningen University hired under this plan.


  • a PhD-degree in the field of political sciences (e.g. public administration, public policy, environmental policy), or in an adjacent field with a demonstrable affinity with public governance concepts and theories;
  • an excellent understanding of relevant conceptual frameworks and theories around the governance of sustainability transformations (ideally in food systems);
  • an ability to initiate and analyze societal dialogue about transformations, for instance through serious gaming, and analyze the effects of such dialogues;
  • a strong publication record in international refereed scientific journals;
  • strong didactic and presentation skills and enthusiasm for teaching and working with (international) students in a broad range of educational programs;
  • a demonstrated ability to acquire externally financed projects;
  • good organization and management skills and a team player;
  • excellent skills in writing and lecturing in English (ability to speak Dutch is appreciated but not required).

This position requires excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.


Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will be offered a fixed-term, 7 year contract which, upon positive evaluation based on criteria elaborated in the University's Tenure Track policy, can lead to a permanent employment contract as professor. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 4.332,- and € 5.929,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 11).

Tenure Track is a career path for scientists who pursue to excel in education and research. We seek to attract scientific talent and to stimulate and support their development.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities and for managerial positions actively work towards a specific WUR leadership profile. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues. And we have a Dual Career Center to support the growing number of international employees and their families joining WUR.

Meer informatie

You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval. Please upload your CV and cover / motivation letter.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including Monday, 30 October 2023 (midnight). We will schedule the first round of interviews soon after the closing date.

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Dave Huitema by email:dave.huitema@wur.nl, or dr. Jeroen Candel, by e-mail jeroen.candel@wur.nl
For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Corporate recruiter, by email: recruitment.ssg@wur.nl.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.