Assistant Professor Socio-spatial Planning (0.8 fte)

University of Groningen

Faculty of Spatial Sciences

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) consists of 95 members of staff and focuses on high quality teaching and research in the fields of spatial planning, economic and cultural geography and demography. The research theme of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is 'Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation'. The mission is to produce research which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant. With two bachelor and eight master programmes, the faculty offers a wide range of courses within the field to about 900 students.
The faculty has the intention to appoint an Assistant Professor on the relationship between Urban Planning and the social environment, which is transforming fundamentally. Society as a whole is witnessing the ‘rise’ of individuals, groups and collectives, being associative in their desires and wishes, creative in arrangements and assemblies to getting things done, while also connecting sensitively to spaces and places as well as to related groups and different types of information. This fundamental transformation of society highlights the relevance of the ‘social’ aspect of spatial planning.
The Assistant Professor will be based in the Department of Spatial Planning and Environment, at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences.

The Department of Planning and Environment has a strong desire to build on the socio-spatial side to planning. The spatial and social transformation towards more sustainable and resourceful places concerns a multiplicity of actors with a variety of interests, ideas and values. This highlights the relevance of the ‘social’ aspect of spatial planning.
Socio-spatial planning is dealing with an ‘agreed reality’ among individuals and collectives, alongside a factual, empirical world. In this dynamic context, planners are expected to be knowledgeable about how to build coalitions and work with societal energy, to support the engagement of the critical society in processes of spatial transformation and social innovation.
This requires flexible and responsive capabilities of planners on varied scales as they have become boundary-workers, coalition planners and social entrepreneurs on the interface of changing institutions, new networks and societal aspirations. Scholarly attention is needed to understand the spatial and institutional consequences of these issues as well as the subjective and intersubjective value-based dimensions of planning.

Job description
With regard to research and lecturing, the Assistant Professor:
- takes on lectures and teaching activities on issues relating to socio-spatial development and institutional design, in particular within the MSc socio-spatial planning
- will take part in mentoring and evaluating thesis work by students
- will acquire funds for research and develop a research trajectory on socio-spatial planning, which contributes to the Departmental desire to elaborate on this particular side to planning
- has an interest in, and has in-depth knowledge about socio-spatial developments within the urban, post-policy developments, processes of decentralisation, self-governance, the rise of new collectives, civil initiatives and institutional design to enhance lecturing and research
- integrates research with teaching
- develops a research agenda which is in line with the Faculty and Department research focus
- helps establish cross linkages in the Faculty through collaborative publications on existing research on spatial and institutional design
- helps develop research proposals and collaborative projects on these themes.
- assists in the supervision of PhD students.

With regard to managerial, administrative and other tasks, the Assistant Professor:
- creates and maintains research within URSI on issues of socio-spatial and institutional design
- will take a responsibility in one or more Faculty committees related to the educational programmes
- represents the Faculty at various events.

Overall, the Assistant Professor:
- will invest 40% of the time in research, and another 60% in education.

- a PhD in the wider field of spatial planning, environmental psychology, sociology, urbanism, geography, policy development or comparable disciplines
- possession of a University Teaching Qualification or preparedness to acquire this qualification within a reasonable timeframe
- knowledge of the academic debate on spatial and institutional design in relation to socio-spatial issues, a strong drive to take part in this debate, and a proven interest in theoretical and / or methodological issues
- proven skills in publishing on socio-spatial research and / or related issues
- experience in scientific research and proven capabilities in publishing at an international academic level
- experience in practice-oriented projects is an advantage
- fluent in English and Dutch or the willingness to learn Dutch.

Competences of the Assistant Professor:
- conceptual capacity, environment orientation, strong and positive presentation, result orientation, supportive to the team.

Conditions of employment
Contract length: 24 months.
The University of Groningen offers a salary will be between € 3068 (scale 10.4 Dutch Universities) gross per month and € 4691 (scale 11) gross per month based on the experience of the candidate. The salary is based on the salary scale for Assistant Professor at Dutch universities and in accordance with the collective agreement regulating employment conditions at Dutch universities. The appointment will initially be for two years for 80%. Before the end of the temporary appointment, an assessment of performance will take place based on established criteria including research and teaching qualifications. A positive appraisal will lead to a permanent position. Starting date: as soon as possible. The interviews are planned on Thursday 15 December and Monday 19 December 2016. You may apply for this position until 1 December 12.00 pm / before 2 December 2016 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the universities website). Please submit your application in English. We strongly encourage you to elaborate in your motivation letter (max 2 pages) your understanding of socio-spatial planning, how you see it positioned within the wider field of planning and the social sciences, its relevance in contributing to developments within theory and practice, and your academic role as a socio-spatial planner. Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.
Maximum salary: 4691.

Additional information
For additional information, please contact:
Prof. Ina Horlings, +31 50 3633895 / +31 6 51126725

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 216305

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