Are you an enthusiastic and creative researcher, working from a transdisciplinary and action-research perspective, with an interest in institutional renewal and sustainability
transformations? Then the Athena Institute of the VU University would like to invite you to apply for the following position:
0,8 Job description Contemporary problems are often the unintended result of past choices in the way society is organised, socially and administratively.
Solutions therefore suppose a breach in path-dependency: sustainable developments require a transformation of relevant institutions in addition to reflexive practice and governance.
In order to make this work, and move towards practical problem resolution, professionals will have to let go of existing routines and re-define their actions in the light of
complexity, uncertainty, distributed control and shared responsibility. The question is how institutional transformation on the level of society ‘writ large’ relates to the (joint and
accumulated) actions of professionals on an individual and practice level, e.g. to their experimentation with multi-stakeholder processes, integrated knowledge production, and
responsive and adaptive planning.
To contribute to expanding this area of research, we offer this post doctoral position. The successful candidate has a demonstrable interest in transdisciplinary research into
adaptive organization and reflective practice, and feels at home in an institute devoted to research and teaching that seeks to actively contribute to dynamics that facilitate
As postdoctoral researcher, your research will involve the simultaneous investigation and facilitation of processes of change within (public) organisations (including knowledge
institutions, governmental organisations, agricultural collectives and health & welfare organisations). Your research focus will be on what is needed for enhancing the reflexive
capacity of organisations, teams and professionals. As researcher at the Athena Institute, you will study this by using interactive and interventionist methodologies for monitoring,
evaluation and co-design. Theoretically informed reflection on the ways in which such methodologies simultaneously facilitate the development of new knowledge and help revise
practices is much welcomed, especially if the candidate is capable of translating these reflections into theoretical and methodological innovation.
By studying and designing inclusive, multi-stakeholder, social innovation processes, this research contributes to the expanding body of knowledge on societal transformation and
The position involves contributing to this research area for 50% of the time, and teaching in various courses offered by the Athena Institute for the other 50%.
Research tasks include, but are not limited to, further conceptualising this area of research from the perspective of public policy and governance, Science and Technology Studies and/
or innovation studies, operationalising the research for and in collaboration with specific organisations, designing and facilitating multi-actor processes, and contributing to
research acquisition in this area.
Teaching tasks include lecturing, course coordination, workgroup coaching as well as supervising Master students during their internships and literature reviews on various topics in
the Institute’s educational programmes. Requirements You are expected to
- have a PhD degree, preferably in the field of science & technology studies, public policy and governance, organizational change (incl. knowledge on communities of practice,
reflective practitioners), knowledge cocreation, system innovation, public sector transformation or other discipline(s) that show(s) an integrated social sciences and natural
- work as a team player, willing to integrate the characteristics and requirements of your object of research (enhancing the reflexive capacity of teams and professionals) into
your own professional way of operating as a researcher, and as a member of a transdisciplinary research team
- have experience with designing and facilitating focus group discussions and reflection sessions as part of change processes. You also have experience or affinity with
participatory research methodologies such as reflexive monitoring in action, learning histories, most significant change techniques
- have potential for, or experience with, obtaining research grants
- hold a network of relevant (inter)national contacts
- have excellent teaching skills as an engaged and inspiring lecturer, as proven by student-evaluations; have published in refereed international journals or books
- write and speak Dutch and English fluently
What are we offering?
A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8 FTE.
The appointment will initially be for a period of one year with a possible extension conditional upon assessment of adequate functioning. The maximum duration of the appointment is 4
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
- a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
- 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
- solid pension scheme (ABP)
- possibility to save holiday hours, for sabbatical leave
- child daycare facilities available on campus
About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking
research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds
collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social
sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas
district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.
We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a
wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and
The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from
molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and
industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.
Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than
1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.
Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute’s mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to
contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena’s research program amongst
other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. The section presently has a
position vacant for a Postdoc/Lecturer.
For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website.
Application Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until november 29,
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Dr. A. Loeber
Position: Associate professor of governance and sustainability
Wat wij bieden
Fulltime - Parttime