Universiteit Leiden

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Full professor in Spatial aspects of natural resource management

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
14 June 2019
Closing date
15 July 2019

Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science, Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) is looking for a

Full professor in Spatial aspects of natural resource management (1.0 FTE)

Project description
Leiden University is one of the leading research universities in Europe. the University, with its seven faculties and the Leiden University Medical Center, is among the top research institutions in the world. Its research is clustered in five themes: Fundamentals of Science; Health and Wellbeing; Life Sciences; Law, Politics and Administration; and Languages, Cultures and Societies.

In the coming years we will be implementing an ambitious investment programme that will further expand our research profile and associated teaching. To further strengthen the five clusters, we will be carrying out a targeted incentive programme. Central to this is a series of topics that have been developed by the faculties and that have a significant scientific, societal and/or cultural impact. These are all topics in which the faculties would like to intensify their mutual collaboration.

The aim of this investment programme is to attract and promote academic talent. The academics that we are seeking for these programmes have a broad profile: they are excellent in their own discipline, and are willing and able to work with others to develop new research lines and expand existing ones. They will do so by working beyond faculty boundaries and by securing external funding. Connection is the keyword of this investment programme.

One of the investment programmes of the University is ‘The Liveable Planet’. Between 2019 and 2023, Leiden University will invest over 1.7 Million Euro in this research program on sustainable futures. The overall aim of the Liveable Planet interdisciplinary Research Cluster is to combine natural science research and historical/archaeological, policy and socio-cultural science research at Leiden university into a coherent research program allowing us to tackle the grand challenge of a transition to environmental sustainability. In the context of this program, three new professors will be hired to form the core of the research team, placed within the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML; this advertisement), the Institute of Public Administration (a Chair in Governance of Sustainability), and the department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CAOS; a chair in Anthropology of Sustainability and Livelihoods), respectively.

Key responsibilities
CML, one of the biggest environmental institutes in the Netherlands, coordinates the Liveable Planet program. CML focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources (including biodiversity) via its two Departments. Industrial Ecology (CML-IE) focuses on the efficient use of resources in the economy using tools such as Life cycle assessment (LCA), Material flow analysis (MFA) and Environmental Input Output Analysis (EIOA), while Environmental Biology (CML-EB) focuses on the preservation of the quality of ecosystems and natural capital using quantitative approaches on remote sensing, big biodiversity and traits databases, molecular tools and (data assimilation) models. In both fields, the use of ‘big data’, artificial intelligence and spatially explicit analyses are at the frontier of research.

In this context, CML seeks a Professor in Spatial aspects of natural resource management. The new professor will develop a field of research that holds the middle ground between the subjects covered by the existing department heads and professors of IE and EB. Developments in remote sensing, big data and similar fields give exciting possibilities to spatially and temporally explicitlv assess how biotic and abiotic materials flow through society, where they are sourced, and what impacts this causes. We think this field can be further developed by either a young promising scientist making the step to professorship, or a more senior person. The successful candidate will further develop the research and teaching programs of CML in this field. With the CML scientific director, the successful candidate will also play a leadership role in the aforementioned Leiden-broad Liveable Planet program, linking CML research to that of the other participating faculties, and further link it to the Leiden Data Science program. Further, due to the fast growth of CML, it is expected in due time CML will be organized in three departments. Candidates with suitable experience may be asked to lead one of these departments. Finally, the chair will have the opportunity to play an active role in de Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability, that focuses on a transition to a circular society, see below and also: https://www.centre-for-sustainability.nl/home.

Selection criteria

  • Excellent research qualities with regards to quantitative analysis of the efficient, circular use of natural resources in the economy and/or their impacts on and demands for the natural environment as proven by scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals;
  • Strong skills in quantitative approaches, data science, data visualization, spatially explicit data analysis, modelling .or related fields.


  • Experience in supervising students, including PhD candidates;
  • Proven didactic qualities and if not yet obtained, willingness to obtain the Base Qualifications for Education within 2 years after the appointment;
  • Ability to contribute to educational programs in which CML is involved, such as the MSc Industrial Ecology, MSc Governance of Sustainability, and the MSc Biology.

Academic leadership:

  • International recognition or the potential to realise international recognition in a relatively short time frame;
  • Experience in directing a research group of at least some PhDs and post docs is an advantage;
  • Experience in directing (parts of) a teaching program;
  • Willingness and ability to contribute to a positive atmosphere and cohesion in the institute through motivating and inspiring leadership;
  • T-profile: strong in his/her own research domain, but interest and ideally a proven track record in linking quantitative environmental and research to data science with an eye on societal relevant sustainability issues’’.

Grant acquisition:

  • Proven ability to raise external research funds.


  • A track record of carrying out management tasks in the university organization or similar organizations is an advantage.


  • A PhD in Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Biology, Earth Sciences, Data science, Technical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry or Economics or a similarly suited discipline combined with a proven track record of interest in natural resource problems;
  • If the successful candidate is not a (native) Dutch speaker, he or she is expected to have acquired a good command of Dutch within two years after taking up the post;
  • Willingness to take on a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities within the institute, the Faculty and the University.

About our organization
The Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) is positioned in the Faculty of Sciences of Leiden University. The core business of CML is to perform research and education in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Sciences, particularly the sustainable use of natural resources (including biodiversity). Presently, around 120 fte (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at CML. CML collaborates with the TU Delft and Erasmus University in the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability (LDE-CfS), focusing on the transition to a circular economy. The capabilities in environmental system analysis at CML, technology and circular design at TU Delft, business modelling at Erasmus University and transition governance at various groups across the universities, makes CfS globally one of the strongest centers in circularity research. CML participates in the European Institute of Technology Raw Materials (EIT-RM) program, the flagship EU research program on resources.

CML hosts various major educational programs, including the MSc Governance of Sustainability together with the Institute of Public Administration of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, the Leiden/Delft joint degree Master program Industrial Ecology (via its department of Industrial Ecology), with 70 news students every year of which 50% from abroad. Next to this CML contributes to various other teaching programs, including a Minor in Sustainable Development and (via its department of Environmental Biology) BSc and MSC programs in Biology.  

Terms and conditions
We offer a stimulating and exciting environment for developing a successful professional academic career. Your contract will follow the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten). According to the policy for professorial positions in Leiden the initial appointment will be for 5 years, after which on condition of a regular performance at professorial level the contract will be made permanent.

The salary range is from € 5,582 to a maximum of € 8,127 gross per month for a full-time appointment, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

We aim to employ more women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore especially invited to apply.

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Arnold Tukker, Scientific director of CML and Chair of the Search committee, at +31 (0)71 527 5632/ 5615, e-mail tukker@cml.leidenuniv.nl or
Prof. Peter van Bodegom, Head of the Department of Environmental Biology at +31 (0) 71 527 1498, e-mail p.m.van.bodegom@cml.leidenuniv.nl. Information about CML can be found at http://www.cml.leiden.edu and about Leiden University at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/.

To apply for this vacancy please send an e-mail to sollicitaties@cml.leidenuniv.nl, quoting the vacancy number, no later than July 15, 2019. Please ensure that you upload the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of publications
  • Contact details of two references

The first round of selection will take place on August 1. You are kindly requested to be available on this date.

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