Assistant Professor in Bio-ethics (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
38 to 40
Faculty of Humanities
departement Filosofie en Religiewetenschap
Application deadline: 

Job description

Utrecht University offers an Assistant Professor position in Practical Philosophy, with a specialization in bio-ethics, e.g. in the following fields: health care ethics, reproductive ethics, disability ethics, biomedical ethics, neuroethics, pharmaceutical ethics or public health ethics. The position is situated within the Ethics Institute, which is part of the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies. The Assistant Professor‘s teaching time will be spent primarily in the the BA programme in Philosophy, MA programme in Applied Ethics and in-service teaching in other faculties (such as Biology and Pharmacy and the new minor in Medical Humanities). A substantial part of this teaching is in Dutch. The BA programme in Philosophy offers a broad introduction to philosophy, of which practical philosophy composes a substantial part. The Master Applied Ethics is a one-year programme that attracts students from a wide variety of disciplines who are interested in ethical issues in fields of e.g. biomedical ethics, sustainability, and economic ethics. In addition to teaching courses in these programmes, the Assistant Professor will also be involved in the coaching of internships and theses, in the tutoring of students, and take management responsibilities (such as membership in an Exam committee or Education Committee). In-service teaching is offered at the request of other faculties, and often involves short lectures or seminars embedded in courses in e.g. pharmacy, biomedical sciences, and biology. A new initiative resulted in a minor Medical Humanities, bringing together the Humanities and Medicine, that has started in 2020-2021.

An interdisciplinary approach, connecting philosophical theory to theories/findings of other disciplines, is highly valued. The successful candidate’s research specialization should facilitate collaborations within one or more of the Utrecht University’s research strategic themes (Institutions for Open Societies, Dynamics of Youth, or Pathways to Sustainability),  or focus areas (One Health, Professional Performance).  An interest in participating in the new inter-university Gravitation programme Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies would be particularly welcome.


The successful candidate will have: 

  • a doctorate in Philosophy or a closely related discipline by the time of appointment;
  • a demonstrable general knowledge of the field of bioethics;
  • a research specialization within this field (see above), as evidenced by a realistic medium-term research plan, aiming for publications in leading journals, with potential for attracting/securing external research funding;
  • a record (appropriate to career stage) of publications that demonstrates the ability to conduct research which is internationally recognized as meeting the standards of the field;
  • an interdisciplinary attitude: the willingness and abilities to contribute to the development of interdisciplinary teaching and research, particularly in the research strategic themes and focus areas listed above;
  • an open and enthusiastic attitude: the willingness and abilities to contribute actively to the formation of learning communities of staff and students;
  • experience with teaching in undergraduate and/or graduate (BA and/or MA) programmes, preferably in the field of bioethics. A university teaching qualification (BKO) is desired but not required. In case the candidate does not have one, he/she will be expected to follow the procedure for obtaining the qualification within one year of appointment;
  • a willingness and ability to connect to social/professional practices and public debates; and a proven ability to engage with international developments and societal challenges reaching beyond borders;
  • excellent communication and coordination/organization skills;
  • excellent proficiency in spoken and written English;
  • proficiency in spoken and written Dutch is a strong asset. Candidates must be able to teach in Dutch after two year (language courses are available);

The Ethics Institute encourages applications from women, scholars with disabilities, scholars from minority backgrounds, and other persons from groups that are currently underrepresented in philosophy.


This is a position of 1.0 FTE for the duration of two years starting the latest on 1 August 2021. Upon satisfactory performance in the two-year probationary period, this position will become a permanent appointment. The minimum gross salary is €3,491 and the maximum gross salary is €5,127 (scale 10/11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities) per month, at a full-time employment.

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of terms of employment, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme. More information on working at Utrecht University can be found here.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 6,000 students and 900 staff members. It comprises four knowledge domains: Philosophy and Religious Studies, History and Art History, Media and Culture Studies, and Languages, Literature and Communication. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city center of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Professor I. Robeyns,


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the ‘apply’ button below. 

The application should include: 

  • a cover letter (max one page);
  • a curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications. Please include at the end the names and contact details of two referees whom we may contact;
  • a research plan for the next 5 years (max two pages);
  • a key publication (max. 20 pages);
  • two course evaluations (if you have any). 

Interviews will be scheduled on 11 and 12 February 2021 and are likely to be conducted via Teams.

The application deadline is 4 January 2021.