Assistant Professor of Microplastics
VU University of Amsterdam

Do you want to make a contribution to sustainability through excellence in research and teaching? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


FTE: 1

Job description

This Tenure track position will be at the VU Department of Environment & Health of the Faculty of Science. The successful candidate will have a responsibility to develop and implement innovative research related to microplastics. This will in particular include analytical method development for the determination of microplastics in various matrices, research on the fate of microplastics in the environment (including humans), and research on additives in microplastics, but may be extended to analytical development work on other environmental contaminants such as endocrine disruptors or persistent organic pollutants. The candidate shall contribute to existing projects and assist in acquisition activities. In addition to research, the successful candidate will contribute to teaching at Bachelor and Master level within the field of environmental chemistry as well as supervising Master and Bachelor theses. The research focus of the successful candidate should be complementary to existing expertise in the department. Teamwork is considered essential. The successful candidate should have excellent empirical and analytical skills. The candidate is expected to grow and develop into academic leadership, maintain a high publication output, and demonstrate the ability to acquire competitive research funding. 

Your duties

  • Perform analytical method development with a focus on microplastics
  • Acquisition of project funding
  • Research project management
  • Supervise BSc and MSc students
  • Teach BSc and MSc courses
  • Publish results in leading international journals


  • PhD in analytical environmental chemistry or a closely related field
  • An academic standing, showing internationally competitive research, a publication record, and/or have an internationally recognized high potential to make a future impact
  • International network of collaborating scientists from across Europe and globally
  • She/he should preferably have teaching experience, and know how to setup and supervise BSc and MSc student research projects.
  • The ideal candidate should preferably have a basic qualification in teaching for Dutch universities (BKO), or is willing to follow this course after appointment
  • Willingness to learn Dutch

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration at the start of the tenure track amounts from a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,637 (scale 11) and a maximum €5,656 (scale 12), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system.

We offer a tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor, for the duration of 6 years. Within an agreed period, tenure could be achieved if the faculty criteria are fulfilled. During the tenure, the performance will be evaluated in terms of research quality, teaching, publication record, and acquisition of project funding. After a successful evaluation, permanent employment will be granted in the position of Assistant Professor.

The initial employment contract will affect a period of 6 years, with the possibility of extension.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • great career perspectives
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)


About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department
The department of Environment & Health aims to achieve a better understanding of the impact of environmental contaminants on human health and the environment by multidisciplinary academic research and education. The department is a unique combination of chemists, toxicologists and epidemiologists. We develop methods to discover emerging chemicals and focus our research to characterize their toxicity for the environment, including humans.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 15 February 2020. The job interviews are planned in February / early March, please take this into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:



Relocation support       
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Wytske Siegersma       
Position: Relocation Advisor      
Telephone: +31 20 59 85037

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