Senior Academic Researcher/Associate Professor in “Governing Transforming Cities”

About Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Erasmus, is a research university with a strong international orientation and a pronounced social focus, both in its education and research activities. On the lively, modern campus, more than 28.000 students and scholars of more than 100 nationalities are constantly encouraged to develop their talents and meet their ambition. Our more than 2700 scientists and employees work together with all our students to solve challenges faced by global society, drawing their inspiration from the consistently dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. The academic education offered at our faculties is intensive, engaging and strongly focused on practical application. We increasingly perform our research in multidisciplinary teams, which are closely interwoven with international networks. In terms of research impact and the quality of its degree programmes, EUR can compete with the foremost universities in Europe, which is reflected in its consistent top-100 position in most major universities rankings. Erasmus University Rotterdam’s key values are daring, curiosity, social involvement, breaking new ground and striving for success.

About IHS

The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) is a centre of urban development and management of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. IHS advises national and local governments worldwide, engages in cutting-edge applied urban research and educates urban professionals with diverse backgrounds. The IHS approach is based on the cross-fertilization of three activities: education, advisory services and applied research. Together with its partners, IHS works at the forefront of urban development and management to improve the life quality of people living in cities across the globe.

The position is primarily at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), but is highly linked to the Department of Public Administration and Sociology, both at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

About the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

DPAS covers the disciplines of Public Administration and Sociology. Two related scientific fields with different profiles. Public Administration studies governance capacity and policy interventions. It focuses on the institutional power to organize and intervene in the relations between different social, political and economic actors. Public Administration in Rotterdam goes well beyond the public realm itself and pays attention to public-private cooperation and networks of organizations. Sociology investigates the social structure of societies and the way it evolves. Sociologists in Rotterdam focus among other things on processes of globalization and individualization and on the effects of these processes on international social relations, the labour market or family relations. Related social problems that are studied are migration, flexibilization and solidarity. The perspectives of Public Administration and Sociology complement each other. Together they guarantee a highly relevant and scientific approach to topical administrative and social issues. The bachelor- and master programs of DPAS are built on this profile and educate students to become scientifically schooled professionals.

Job description

Cities around the globe experience transformative challenges. Climate change, pollution, urbanization, industrialization, urban sprawl put pressure on cities around the world. Especially cities in developing countries are growing rapidly, often with high levels of rural-urban migration. Policy responses have focused on activities like energy saving, waste management and closing the urban water cycle, but the process requires new governance structures and approaches as well. These move beyond traditional top-down urban planning and management approaches. In recent years we, therefore, have seen an interesting shift in focus from urban management towards urban governance. The emphasis on urban governance can be explained by the fact that urban development takes place in a complex environment in which different stakeholders from different organizations and domains, such as government actors, private actors, NGOs and citizens, are engaged. This shift in approach is found across sectors such as housing, land, infrastructure, urban planning, environmental management and urban economics.

Urban governance and transformations towards more sustainable and equitable urban societies benefit from a multilevel perspective. Developments influencing urban governance at the national level include:

  1. A shift towards economic globalization;
  2. Competition and cooperation between global cities.

Developments influencing urban governance at the local level:

  1. The growing complexity of problems, projects and programs in cities;
  2. More powerful and vocal actors functioning in self-organized networks.

The implications of these developments for governing cities:

  1. A focus on wicked problems, such as climate change, pollution, poverty, inequality, housing shortage, gentrification, unemployment and social exclusion;
  2. Attention for the role of participation and in particular self-organizing networks;
  3. The emergence of new forms of urban governance through collective action, such as community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, public-private partnerships, etc.;
  4. More attention for sustainable urban governance and for the importance of different levels of governance and their coordination: the national, regional, municipal, neighbourhood and ward levels.

Qualifications and competencies we are looking for

The associate professor is expected to contribute to international research on governing transforming cities by developing and applying the theory. Moreover, the associate professor will take part in the IHS PhD program Urban Development and Governance by supervising PhD researchers. He/she will also be expected to contribute to the academic quality of research, education and projects of IHS. The associate professor will actively acquire new research projects. Finally, the associate professor will also take part in the Urban Management & Development master of IHS and the new master specialization Urban Governance (Department of Public Administration & Sociology, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences).

Specific requirements are:

  • An enthusiastic academic with a well-rounded training, education and PhD in International Studies, Urban Studies, Public Administration/Management, or Sociology;
  • A strong background in research on governing transforming cities and a demonstrable interest in complex urban governance processes;
  • Affinity and experience in conducting interdisciplinary research of high scientific excellence and societal impact;
  • Familiar with various qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • A Basic University Teaching Qualification (BUTQ) or a preparedness to gain one in the short term;
  • Experience in supervising PhD researchers;
  • Track record in acquiring research projects and programs;
  • Experience in research and teaching in Governing Cities on an academic level;
  • Academic qualities evident from publications in international scientific journals;
  • Relevant international experience, demonstrated by strong networks, participation in international conferences and relevant international activities;
  • Preferably experience in developing countries and in international comparative research
  • Communication and didactic skills. Initiative, involvement and dedication are additional qualities;
  • Team player.

Terms & conditions of employment

  • The position is available in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for a period of 1 year, with the intention to be permanent after a positive evaluation after the first year, and is based on 40 working hours per week.
  • Remuneration will be in line with the responsibilities of the role and related to the work experience of the candidate. For fulltime employment, the minimum gross monthly salary is EUR 5.039 and the maximum EUR 6.133 based on 40 working hours per week and on salary scale 13 of the CAO NU.
  • We would like to have the candidate starting per 1 November 2019, but this date can be negotiated if required.

Application procedure

For further information on the position, you may contact prof.dr. Jurian Edelenbos at J. /

We would like to receive your application ultimately 1st of September 2019 by email to

Please add ‘Associate Professor in Governing Transforming Cities’ in the subject line and send a cover letter and detailed CV including the names and contact details of two referees.