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Full Professor and Chair of the Soil Geography and Landscape Group

Wageningen University - The Soil Geography and Landscape Chair Group

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The Soil Geography and Landscape chair group of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has an outstanding reputation in scientific research and education in the area of Soil Geography, Landscape and Earth Surface Dynamics. A vacancy has become available for a full professor and chair of the Soil Geography and Landscape (SGL) chair group. 

The mission of the SGL group is to improve and share understanding of patterns and dynamics of soils, landscapes and earth surface dynamics and their drivers, like climate change and human-landscape interactions. The group uses integrative approaches that combine biophysical and anthropogenic elements to gain insight in past, present and future system dynamics. Through this, the SGL group aims to support system-based solutions in land management and spatial planning, sustainable management of soils, landscapes and ecosystems (e.g. sandy, riverine, deltaic and urban), and protection of cultural and geoheritage. 

Together with fellow staff members, you will be responsible for the academic and operational management, including finances and HR, of this chair group. In collaboration, you will define the research strategy, and lead the team of academic and support staff in an inclusive and motivating way. You will use your scientific expertise and network to support academic development, to increase the visibility of the group’s research and its societal impact, (co)create new research directions, and develop externally funded research programs. You will also contribute to education and innovations in BSc, MSc and PhD courses, with the objective of upholding and strengthening the excellent reputation and position of WUR in higher education. Fieldwork in education is a core component of the teaching philosophy of the SGL group and highly valued by its students. 

Your qualities

  • You are an experienced leader with the ability to unite the group across the SGL themes and guide its future development. You stimulate the creativity, ambition and cohesion of the group;
  • you have a PhD degree and an internationally proven scientific track record in soil geography and landscape dynamics, or a related field;
  • you have excellent didactic qualities, and experience with inspiring and supervising BSc, MSc and PhD students with diverse backgrounds; you value education and research equally;
  • you have a strong track record in securing funding and competitive grants;
  • you have an inspiring vision on strengthening the role and position of the group, and the group’s research and education within the themes of WUR and the graduate schools.

We offer you

You will be working for an inspiring international organisation actively engaged in a large number of interdisciplinary projects all over the world. The scientific quality of Wageningen University & Research is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indices.

We offer you a position as Full Professor and chair of the Soil Geography and Landscape group. Besides a competitive salary (maximum gross salary for starting chair holders is € 9,680 per month), we offer a number of additional benefits, such as an end-of-year extra month’s salary, a holiday allowance and a pension plan with the Dutch pension fund for government and education. International candidates moving to the Netherlands may benefit from a special tax relief, by which a part of their salary is exempt from tax for several years. 

Working hours can be discussed to optimize the work-life balance (32-38 hours per week). 

Coming from abroad

We are a globally leading university in the life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world. Wageningen University, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. 

The university’s highly qualified team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. A specialised staffing agency will help your partner to find a job. Furthermore, we can assist you in finding schools for your children and assist you with finding housing in the region or elsewhere in the Netherlands. 

Do you want more information?

Further information about the position can be acquired from Prof. dr. Martin van Ittersum, chair of the Appointment Advisory Committee (AAC). Email: 

For more information about the procedure you can contact Dr. Margreet Drijfhout, Secretary of the Appointment Advisory Committee. Email: 


You are encouraged to upload your complete application and address this to Dr. Margreet Drijfhout. The application should include: 

  • A motivation letter (max. 2 pages)
  • A curriculum vitae including the names of 4 references (in total max. 4 pages)
  • A separate list of publications
  • Your vision on research and education in the domain of the Chair (max. 2 pages). 

The closing date of the vacancy is April 22, 2024. 

The Committee will interview selected candidates for this position on May 16th, 2024. The Committee will thereafter invite short-listed candidates for a second interview and a public lecture.

An assessment can be part of the selection procedure. 

WUR’s policy is to increase the number of female professors. Therefore, all female candidates matching the profile are especially invited to apply, and we want at least one of the final candidates to be female. 

Equal opportunities

WUR employs many people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who encourage and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organization and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity webpage. A good example of how WUR embraces inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment. 

We are

The chair group Soil Geography and Landscape

This diverse and international group consists of about 45 colleagues, including a full professor, a special professor, 4 associate professors, 7 assistant professors, 2 lecturers, 2 laboratory staff, a postdoc, around 20 PhD candidates, and 6 secretarial and support staff members. The group is one of the 17 chair groups in the Department of Environmental Sciences (ESG). 

The SGL chair group research centres around three research lines:

  1. Analysing past soil and landscape systems to understand soil and landscape dynamics under global change, and to project future pathways. This is achieved through assessing the landscape’s geological, geomorphological, (bio)geographical and lithological records;
  2. Developing quantitative methods for modelling soils across space and time using a combination of expert knowledge with data science, geostatistics, remote and proximal sensing, and process-based modelling; and
  3. Studying interactions between humans and landscapes over various spatial and temporal scales, e.g., by linking archaeological findings with the evolution of the landscape. 

Value creation of the group’s work is realized by co-creation, citizen science and transdisciplinary approaches that take a system-wide perspective and seek to incorporate nature-based solutions. 

Education is a core activity of the group. The SGL chair group plays a leading role in a number of BSc and MSc programs of Wageningen University, including the BSc programme Soil, Water, Atmosphere, and the MSc programme Earth and Environment, in which it is responsible for the specialisation Soil Geography and Earth Surface Dynamics. 

The group’s research is embedded in the graduate school programmes of Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC) and the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK). Together with three other chair groups, the SGL group forms the Wageningen Soil Cluster which has a strong international reputation in soil science. 

Wageningen University & Research

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. 

With its roughly 30 branch­es, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020. 

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR 

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Location: Wageningen - Netherlands
Salary: €9,680 +
£8,419.63 + converted salary* maximum gross salary per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 27th March 2024
Closes: 22nd April 2024
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