International Opportunities: Build Bridges to New Horizons

5 Postdoc positions – ‘Transforming Cities through Infrastructures’ (The Netherlands) Deadline: June 14, 2018

An Interdisciplinary Program on Cities and Urban Regions

Utrecht University, Netherlands

Application Deadline

June 14, 2018

Program Commencement

September 2018

Duration of the Program

2-4 Years

 Program Details

Utrecht University, one of the oldest universities in Netherlands, has been ranked first nationally in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 47th globally. The Postdoc program ‘Transforming Cities through Infrastructures’ comes within the University’s strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability. The program is developed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers as a platform for new transdisciplinary collaborations on urban sustainability transitions.

The key objectives of the research hub are: (i) to explore and test transformative techniques and practices of urban ‘futuring’, urban experimentation, co-provision in cities around the world and their capacity to enable and sustain ‘deep’ transitions of multiple infrastructures, (ii) to understand the urban governance arrangements that shape the restructuring of urban and infrastructural transitions, and (iii) to develop sustainability indicators and assessment tools to understand, evaluate and promote pathways to urban sustainability.

The hub will bring together the knowledge of leading researchers at Utrecht University and will work closely together with stakeholders to share, validate, and co-create knowledge in ‘city learning labs’ and transdisciplinary approaches.

Requirements & Conditions

Read Cities and Partnerships for Sustainable Urban Development for valuable insights on urbanization, sustainability, and collaborative problem-solving.

5 Postdoctoral positions (0.75-1.0 full-time equivalent) with the following profiles are being offered:

1.Urban Futuring: The ideal candidate would be an intrinsically transdisciplinary researcher, who will combine imaginative and cognitive approaches in order to analyse the ways in which a desirable future of cities and infrastructures are depicted (contact: Peter Pelzer, Urban Futures Studio, Faculty of Geosciences).

2.Urban Experimentation: The postdoctoral researcher will systematically engage with urban innovators, learn from their experimental practices across a range of different global urban contexts and critically assess the transferability of ‘best practices’ across urban contexts (contactPeter Driessen, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable DevelopmentFaculty of Geosciences).

3.Urban Co-design: The postdoctoral researcher will explore the role of user communities, civil society initiatives and intermediaries as ‘co-providers’ and ‘co-designers’ of urban infrastructures, bringing in a variety of perspectives, values and forms of knowledge (contactAlbert Meijer, Utrecht School of GovernanceFaculty of Law, Economics and Governance).

4.Governance of Urban Transitions: The postdoctoral researcher will critically explore the capacity of urban governance regimes to introduce and sustain urban transitions (contactJochen Monstadt, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences).

5.Urban Sustainability Assessment: To assess progress in urban transitions, the postdoctoral researcher will review and apply sustainability assessment methods and indicator systems (e.g. physical, environmental, health, social). (contactBert Brunekreef, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine).

For all positions, expertise in empirical-analytical research, in transdisciplinary methods as well as in working across urban contexts, is required.


  • PhD in a relevant discipline (human geography, urban planning, public administration, political science, innovation studies or environmental sciences).
  • Experience in conducting transdisciplinary sustainability research leading to high-quality publications and societal outcomes.
  • Good (international) research network.
  • Ability to acquire external research funding in competition.
  • Proven record of research in one of the fields above.
  • Willingness and confidence to teach subjects beyond your niche of expertise and to supervise bachelor and master students (in case of an application for a full-time position).
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English.

Applications are invited from candidates whose previous research activities and publication record reflect a strong interest and/or proven expertise in exploring urban sustainability transitions through the lens of technical infrastructures.

The appointments, initially for a period of 2 years, will be extended up to 4 years, subject to the acquisition of external funding and to good performance. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

The gross monthly salary based on experience and qualifications ranges from a minimum of €2,984 to a maximum of €4,757 on a full-time basis (Salary scale 10 – 11). A holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3%, pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model) are offered. Facilities for sports and childcare are available  For more information, click here.

 Application Process

Indicate to which Postdoc position you apply, and provide:

  • An Application Letter describing your motivation and qualifications, and specifying your interest in one of the positions.
  • A one-page document stating how your academic expertise, ideas and your previous experience in inter-/transdisciplinary research could contribute to the research hub.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • List of publications.
  • A one-page document listing your teaching expertise (in case you apply for a full-time employment).
  • Names and addresses of two referees.

To apply, can click one of the buttons below. If you are interested in more than one of these positions you will need to apply for each position individually.

  1. Urban Futuring – apply here
  2. Urban Experimentation – apply here
  3. Urban Co-design – apply here
  4. Governance of Urban Transitions – apply here
  5. Urban Sustainability Assessment – apply here

Application deadline: June 14, 2018.

Mention that you found this call on The Insightist, Berlin.

If you like to hear about more such calls follow us in any of these channels:

The Insightist participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This means that whenever you buy a book or anything else on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price (at no extra cost for you). That helps the Insightist to offset a fraction of its maintenance cost, and is very much appreciated.

Click Below to Share this Article: Sharing is Caring!