Assistant or Associate Professor of Theoretical and Computational Ecology

Radboud University (RU), the Netherlands
Aug 31, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
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  • Employment 0.8 – 1.0 FTE
  • Gross monthly salary € 3,974 – € 7,362
  • Required background PhD
  • Organizational unit Faculty of Science
  • Application deadline 31 August 2023

Theoretical and computational ecology is key to understanding the ecology of species and ecosystems in a changing world. Understanding how environmental stressors (biological invasions, land use change, pollution, climate change) influence the performance of individuals, populations and ecosystems is a central theme in RIBES. A mechanistic and quantitative understanding of the ecological process involved at all organisational levels is crucial. RIBES is seeking to strengthen its team with three ecologists, we invite you to look at our other two vacancies for Assistant or Associate Professors in the fields of Community Ecology and Species-Environment Interactions. The ideal candidate has a background and research vision that aligns with the overarching RIBES theme ‘Towards Healthy Ecosystems’. You have a strong research profile, are a conceptual thinker with strong mathematical skills, and know how to use a state-of-the-art modelling and statistical toolbox (such as structural equation modelling, integrated population modelling, ecological network modelling) directly relevant for quantitative ecological research.As an Assistant or Associate Professor, your goal will not only be to set-up a computational ecology research line, but also to develop collaborative projects with ecologists, ecophysiologists and environmental scientists within RIBES. By constructing mechanistic models of study systems based on first principles, you will derive testable predictions for a range of research topics. Furthermore, you will be expected to show leadership in exploring possibilities for establishing collaborations both within RIBES and the NGOs at the Radboud University campus (Natuurplaza). Ecologists at RIBES focus on population dynamics, biological invasions, species interactions, biogeochemistry and ecosystem recovery, while collaboration with the Environmental Science cluster leads to sophisticated evaluation of abiotic drivers and to global ecology. Natuurplaza partners harbour extensive ecological knowledge and data about the distribution and trends of animals and plants.You should have a proven track record of obtaining a diverse funding portfolio, most ideally through national and international funding instruments. You will embed your research in courses and develop courses in, for example, ecological data analysis, mechanistic modelling of biological systems, and advanced statistics for ecologists. Thus, educational activities create their own niche in biosciences, and reinforce the BSc and MSc Ecology learning trajectories. Depending on your career stage, you should be able to obtain your teaching qualification within the first period of appointment or have demonstrated excellent teaching abilities and a solid teaching strategy in computational ecology. In addition, you should have strong academic leadership skills in order to manage a sizeable group of researchers and students, foster diversity and equity, and participate in RIBES and faculty management.As an Assistant or Associate Professor, your duties will typically involve 40% research, 40% teaching and 20% management. This division may differ for assistant professors in the first 3 years of their appointment (60% research, 20% teaching and 20% management).


Depending on your career stage, the appointment will be at the assistant or associate professor level. Your application will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • You are enthusiastic about research and have a scientific reputation in the field of computational and theoretical ecology, have an extensive international research network, and are eager to conceptualise ecological problems and design quantitative analyses based on empirical data and a mechanistic understanding of organisms, populations and ecosystems.
  • You are able to attract research funding from diverse national (e.g. NWO, KNAW) and international funding (e.g. EU, ERC) instruments and stakeholders.
  • You are passionate about teaching and have considerable teaching experience in the subject area, as evidenced by teaching evaluations. You are an excellent mentor for BSc, MSC and PhD students.
  • You have social, organisational and management skills and are willing to take on managerial tasks within the research and educational institutes.
  • You are proficient in English and are willing to learn Dutch (if applicable).

We are

The Radboud Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences (RIBES) aims to perform world-leading research in order to understand the response of the natural environment to human impact. RIBES is working on the overarching research mission ‘Towards Healthy Ecosystems’, with four focus areas: I. Macronutrients and chemicals of emerging concern, II. Physical conditions: understanding responses and adaptation mechanism to stressors, III. Biodiversity decline and recovery of ecological communities, and IV. Mitigation of greenhouse gasses. With this knowledge, RIBES contributes to mitigating ecosystem degradation and finding solutions to restore the natural environment. Within RIBES, ecologists focus on important topics including the biodiversity crisis, nutrient cycling and climate change adaptation. The ecology cluster at RIBES is looking to strengthen its research and teaching activities on several focal areas, including theoretical and computational biology. Computational ecology is part of a challenging and broad Biology curriculum with learning trajectories in Ecology (BSc), Conservation and Restoration Ecology (MSc) and Adaptive Organisms (MSc).

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 – 1.0 FTE.
  • Depending on your scientific track record and experience you will be appointed as an Assistant Professor or Associate Professor, potentially with career track criteria for future promotion.
  • For an Assistant Professor the gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €3,974 and a maximum of €6,181 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 11 or 12).
  • For an Associate Professor the gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €5,506 and a maximum of €7,362 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 13 or 14).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months. Upon a positive performance evaluation at the end of this period, the contract may be converted into a permanent one.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University’s primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Eelke Jongejans, Associate Professor at +31 24 365 26 21 or Alternatively, you can contact Sarian Kosten, Full Professor (available until 21 July and after 21 August), at

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 31 August 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Eelke Jongejans. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • Research statement (max 2 pages).
  • Education statement (max 2 pages).

The first round of interviews will take place on Friday, 6 October. The second round of interviews will take place on Thursday, 9 November. You would preferably begin employment on 1 January 2024. We can imagine you’re curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.