Professor in Regional and Metropolitan Governance and Planning

Utrecht University Faculty of Geosciences Department of Human Geography and Planning


Professor in Regional and Metropolitan Governance and Planning

Job description

Utrecht University is pleased to invite applications for a Chair in Regional and Metropolitan Governance and Planning. The Chair will be appointed at the Faculty of Geosciences and its Department of Human Geography and Planning to help drive education and research.

A Chair is a full-time appointment including a management component. The appointee will be expected to spend 50% of time on research activities and 50% on teaching, however, this percentage is dependent on responsibilities and management tasks.

The Chair in Regional and Metropolitan Governance and Planning will focus on the governance of sustainability transformations at a regional or metropolitan scale and on the changing role of strategic planning. The Chair will develop problem-driven and theoretically inspired empirical research on regional and metropolitan challenges, by integrating theories and research methods from different disciplines with a focus on spatial planning, human geography, sociology, and political science. S/he will explore the existing governance and institutional arrangements concerning sustainable and inclusive urban and metropolitan development and will contribute to academic knowledge on effective planning solutions by collaborating with experts from planning practice. Further, the research of the Chair will be curiosity-driven and guided by institutional theories or theories of governance and planning. While having an international perspective, the appointee is also expected to strongly engage with Dutch spatial planning and regional and metropolitan governance in the Netherlands.


The appointee requires the following qualifications:

  • PhD in spatial, urban, or regional planning, or a related field;
  • Outstanding problem- and theory-driven research achievements demonstrated by an excellent publication record;
  • Strong expertise in spatial planning, especially in the field of regional and metropolitan planning and governance, and its interplay with other sectoral policies;
  • Proven ability to successfully recruit and supervise PhD students, and experience in successfully obtaining and leading (inter)national research grants;
  • Experience in applying different methods to spatial and institutional analysis, preferably also experience in the application of quantitative research methods;
  • An inspiring research vision, linking to the Urban Futures Research Programme and the expected developments in this field;
  • Strong expertise in spatial planning, especially in the field of regional and metropolitan planning and governance, and its interplay with other sectoral policies;
  • Knowledge of the Dutch planning system and its stakeholders, or affinity and commitment to engage with spatial planning in the Netherlands in research and teaching;
  • Excellent didactic qualities and experience in teaching at all levels in order to be able to provide, develop and organize high-quality education, and a clear vision on scientific education;
  • Experience with developing innovative teaching methods for the design and delivery of education; (a willingness to obtain) a senior teaching qualification (‘SKO’);
  • Proven leadership and ability to inspire others while supporting team spirit;
  • Proficiency in Dutch or willingness to quickly acquire Dutch language skills.


The position is offered on a fulltime basis. The gross monthly salary is dependent on previous qualifications and experience and ranges between €5,749 and €8,371 (scale H2 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities). Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % of annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % of annual salary per year. Additionally, Utrecht University offers an attractive package of secondary employment benefits.

Facilities for sports and childcare are available on the main campus, which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht.

The University’s International Service Desk will provide support to new international faculty members with an onboarding process, as well as provide career services for their spouse.

About the organization

The Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University is the largest in the Netherlands, offering a comprehensive range of geoscience courses in both the sciences and social sciences. The Department of Human Geography and Planning is one of four departments at the Faculty of Geosciences and has its focus on the enhancement of long-term economic developments of cities, how to cope with social inequalities, how to ensure a healthy urban living and how to govern urban sustainability transformations. The department has recently developed the Urban Futures research programme, which investigates urban issues in the context of an ongoing worldwide trend of increasing urbanisation.

Additional information

Additional information can be downloaded here, quoting reference number 4929. Perrett Laver may be contacted for informal enquiries and questions via or +31 (0)20 240 93 44.


An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to assist the recruitment committee. Applications, consisting of a covering letter explaining motivation and qualifications for the position and a full curriculum vitae. can be uploaded here, quoting reference number 4929. The closing date for applications is 9am CEST on January 29, 2021.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee in early February and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview end of February. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate and final campus visits will take place thereafter.

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The application deadline is

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