University of Twente

Assistant Professor In Spatial modelling for climate-smart food systems

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Job description

Climate-smart food systems are an integral part of the solution for addressing climate change. Knowledge of where, when, and how to improve the performance, sustainability, and resilience of food systems in a changing climate is a growing area of interest for research, policy, and financial investment. This requires spatial and temporal modelling of the impact of a changing climate on food systems and vice versa.

Food system models represent the different activities within food systems (such as production, processing, distribution, and consumption) and incorporate multiple drivers and feedback loops with social/human systems and environmental systems. Many of these activities, drivers, and feedback loops are spatial processes; there is great potential for further integration of state-of-the-art Earth observation and other sources of spatial data into such models.

Modelling multiscale interactions with ecological processes and ecosystem services as well as modelling the outcomes at multiple levels provides insight about plausible transitions towards circular and climate-smart food systems. Developing this modelling toolkit is a scientific opportunity with high societal value. To address this, we are looking for an Assistant Professor on “Spatial modelling for climate-smart food systems”

You will contribute to ITC’s innovative geospatial research and education for societal impact by:

-          Conducting research on the use of Earth observation and other spatial data for modelling climate-smart food systems.

-          Developing, coordinating, and teaching courses on modelling in our education programmes.

-          Co-supervising PhD candidates and MSc students.

-          Publishing your research in scientific journals, conferences, and open data/code platforms.

-          Collaborating with ITC colleagues and your broader network to demonstrate the scientific and societal impact of (y)our work.

-          Joining or leading international projects, providing you with exciting opportunities to use and extend your network.

-          Communicating about your research and education to a broad audience.

-          Extending our network.

Your profile

  • Applicants should clearly address the main profile points in their motivation letter.
  • You are excited by using spatial and temporal data for modelling the impact of climate on food systems and the impact of food systems on climate. You are a system thinker with a PhD related to crop, water, ecosystem services and/or economic modelling applied to food systems. You enjoy applying these modelling skills to explain interactions within socio-ecological systems.
  • You can manage and integrate multi-temporal spatial (big) data from multiple sources including Earth Observation data. You are comfortable programming or scripting in Python, R, or similar languages, for data analysis and for bringing your models to the data.
  • You combine a drive for scientific quality and rigour with making a difference in natural resource management. You enjoy crossing disciplinary boundaries and collaborating with stakeholders, colleagues, and PhD students to develop high-quality and impactful research outputs in journals, conferences, or online repositories. You embrace Open Science and FAIR data principles. You have a passion for education in an international classroom. You can develop high-quality education material and teach topics related to spatial modelling and understanding interactions in food systems. You are a dedicated and considerate supervisor for MSc students.
  • You have an interest in translating your research and education into practical applications and collaborating with diverse stakeholders. You are excited to contribute to ITC’s international project portfolio on capacity development for impact, strengthen our global network of partners, and are comfortable working in English in a multi-cultural environment.

Our offer

  • An inspiring and challenging international environment.
  • A fulltime employed for one year, after which your position can become permanent, subject to a successful evaluation.
  • Gross monthly salary between € 3,974.- and € 6,181.- (depending on experience and qualifications, job profile Assistant Professor level 2 or 1).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.
  • A solid pension scheme
  • A total of 41 holiday days in case of fulltime employment
  • Professional and personal improvement programmes

Information and application

For more information you can contact Prof Andy Nelson (e-mail: You are also invited to visit our homepage.

Please submit your application before 15 December 2022 (choose “apply here” below). Your application has to include:

  • A motivation letter clearly addressing the main points in the position profile and how you fit the profile
  • A full Curriculum Vitae
  • The names and contact details of two references

Applications will be reviewed in January 2023 and a first round of online interviews will take place in February, 2023

The University of Twente wants to be an organisation that optimally deploys diversity, talents and capabilities in the labour market for now and the future. In the framework of our diversity and inclusiveness policy, we strongly stimulate people with a (work) disability to apply for this position.

About the department

As one of ITC’s six scientific departments, the Department of Natural Resources uses Earth observation data and spatial information in combination with systems analysis to map, monitor, model, and manage natural resources, for their sustainable use, development, and restoration under global change.

One of our themes is Food Security and the sustainable use of natural resources to provide sufficient, affordable, and nutritious food whilst reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. ITC contributes to local and global food security initiatives by combining the latest geospatial technologies, including Earth observation, with innovative field, lab, and computational methods to better understand the “where“, “when“, and “how“ of agricultural production and its impact on the environment.

About the organization

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation. Our mission is capacity development, where we apply, share and facilitate the effective use of geo-information and earth observation knowledge and tools for tackling global wicked problems. Our purpose is to enable our many partners around the world to track and trace the impact – and the shifting causes and frontiers – of today’s global challenges. Our vision is of a world in which researchers, educators, and students collaborate across disciplinary and geographic divides with governmental and non-governmental organisations, institutes, businesses, and local populations to surmount today’s complex global challenges and to contribute to sustainable, fair, and digital societies.

Informatie over de vacature

Assistant Professor In Spatial modelling for climate-smart food systems
Drienerlolaan 5 Enschede, Nederland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
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