Assistant Professor in Tectonics

Utrecht University - Department of Earth Sciences

Utrecht, Netherlands

Job description

The Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University is seeking a highly motivated and high-potential colleague with research and teaching interests and expertise in the field of tectonics.

The ideal candidate is a scientist who applies and develops novel modelling techniques for a quantitative analysis of tectonic concepts applied to lithospheric and crustal scale deformation and inspired or validated by field studies, regional-scale observations and reconstructions of sedimentary basins and/or orogens. Research linked to issues of societal relevance, such as geo-resources, energy transition or geo-hazards, is encouraged. Fields of interest include, but are not limited to: novel concepts of numerical and/or analogue modelling, deformation processes and tectonics at the outcrop to regional scale, linking temporal and spatial scales in deformation and geo-hazards, applications in geo-resources and energy transition, and sedimentary basins and/or orogenic evolution.

You will strengthen research and teaching in the Department of Earth Sciences and develop your own internationally recognised research programme that should be complementary to and support the current teams and departmental efforts. You will supervise and train PhD students and ideally conduct research in collaboration with a wide range of groups within and outside the department. A multi-disciplinary approach is encouraged.

You are expected to contribute to BSc and MSc courses in the Utrecht Earth Sciences programmes, including fieldwork teaching. On average, the department aims for an equal contribution in educational activities and in research for all its tenured academic staff.

Our current research in this area includes field to regional scale studies of plate tectonics, orogenesis and sedimentary basins evolution, lithosphere- and crustal- scale mechanics, analogue and numerical modelling of regional tectonic processes, energy transition (such as geothermal) and applications to other geo-resources and natural hazards. The Tectonics group hosts the TecLab, a world-class analogue modelling facility embedded in the European Plate Observing System (EPOS). Although specific analogue modelling expertise is not a pre-requisite, you are expected to contribute to the further development of this facility. The group is also active in the development and application of new tectonic modelling concepts for addressing regional scale problems.

The department hosts advanced laboratory facilities, including the new Earth Simulation Laboratory cluster incorporating the TecLab. The department also offers extensive computing infrastructure, a high pressure & temperature lab, a paleomagnetic lab, expertise in paleogeography and paleoclimate reconstruction, several flume facilities, as well as excellent analytical facilities, including well-equipped stable isotope and organic geochemical laboratories.


We are looking for a strong team player with good communication and networking skills, who is focused on achieving multidisciplinary research targets and participating in the acquisition of research funding and advanced new equipment. A minimum experience of two years as a Postdoctoral Researcher is highly recommended.

As a successful candidate you should:

  • have a PhD degree in solid Earth Sciences or a relevant natural science;
  • be skilled in (analogue) modelling of lithospheric and/or crustal-scale tectonic processes;
  • be skilled in the application of modelling tools to quantify processes observed in sedimentary basins and/or orogens, preferably with a link towards societal-relevant issues;
  • be committed to multi- and interdisciplinary research;
  • have strong communication, networking and organisational skills;
  • have an outstanding record of academic research, as reflected in high-quality publications;
  • be willing to actively obtain research grants and actively develop new research lines;
  • have obtained a basic teaching qualification (at Utrecht University or equivalent), or be willing to obtain this qualification in the near future;
  • be an inspiring mentor to BSc, MSc and PhD students;
  • have a keen eye for public outreach.

You are expected to have an excellent level of English. Within two years of the appointment, Dutch language skills should be at the level of practical communication.

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