Postdoc positions in Earth System Governance (1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
36 to 40
Faculty of Geosciences
GEO / Dept SD
Application deadline: 

Job description

Utrecht University has opened two postdoctoral positions in the field of Earth System Governance.

The postdocs will be part of the interdisciplinary research project PROBLEMSHIFTING hosted by the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. The project explains why environmental problems shift between international institutions and examines the systemic effects of these shifts in earth system governance. The project seeks to offer innovative governance solutions to ensure that global governance efforts have a net positive impact. 

The postdocs will identify promising research questions within the scope of the project and lead high-impact scientific publications. They will work both independently and collaboratively under the supervision of the project leader Associate Professor Rakhyun E. Kim. The project is funded by the European Research Council (grant agreement no. 949252).


We are looking for two postdocs with a wide range of backgrounds. These include global governance, world politics, international relations, international law, environmental studies, sustainability science, earth system science, environmental science, interdisciplinary social science, computational social science, data science, statistics, systems analysis, and complexity science. 

The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and the capacity to generate theoretical innovation through methodologically sound empirical research. The candidate should be a systems thinker interested in the complexities of earth system governance, with a focus on international regimes, agreements, or organizations as key institutional building blocks.

As the working language is English, we expect you to have a strong command of the English language, both spoken and written. Teaching is not required in this position, but limited participation in teaching programmes is possible, if desired.


We offer:

  • a position (1.0 FTE) for 2 years;
  • a full-time gross salary between €3,226 and €5,090 in scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, sports and cultural schemes and you get discounts on software and other IT products. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

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 strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development wants to have a positive impact on the transition to a sustainable society, which includes a focus on both the climate and nature challenges and how they interrelate. We do this by developing excellent and relevant knowledge in interdisciplinary teams and by educating the change agents of the future. The Copernicus Institute has had an excellent research evaluation in 2021 and the institute takes pride in maintaining its leading position in national and international sustainability research, and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes.

The Environmental Governance section, in which you will be embedded, hosts a large group of tenured staff as well as many PhD students, postdocs and junior lecturers. The group culture is open, supportive and collaborative.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Rak Kim (Associate Professor) at

The starting date is negotiable but envisaged to be 1 March 2024.


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 now' button.

The application deadline is 8 December 2023.