Lecturer for the development of courses in the history and philosophy of the climate sciences (0.7 – 0.8 FTE)

We are looking for someone to develop two courses on the history and philosophy of the climate and the environmental sciences. Please apply!

Job Description

The History and Philosophy of Science group of the Freudenthal Institute is going to develop multidisciplinary Bachelor’s and Master’s courses in the history and philosophy of the climate and environmental sciences. We want to stimulate students to reflect on the institutional, social and political contexts in which atmospheric chemists, paleoclimatologists, oceanographers, glaciologists, ecologists, and meteorologists work, both in the past and today. This will help students engage with these issues in a meaningful way, whether within academia or outside.

The new courses will draw students from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The Bachelor’s course is intended for all students of the Science and Geoscience faculties, as an elective or part of a broader minor. The Master’s course will be part of the Master’s History and Philosophy of Science, but it will also be open for students of other programmes.

The courses themselves will also be multidisciplinary, drawing on natural science and data science as well as the social sciences, ethnoscience, history, philosophy, and digital humanities. They will include historical and philosophical analysis of climate change, field science, expeditions, weather stations, inter-and transdisciplinarity, scientific instruments, big datasets, the earth system sciences, the nature of the atmosphere, oceans, and ice shields, and the Anthropocene.


We are looking for a collaborative colleague who can:

  • take the lead in developing these courses, together with a team of Historians and Philosophers of Science from the Freudenthal Institute and the Descartes Centre;
  • teach these courses the first time;
  • reach out to Lecturers and students in other departments (especially Geosciences);
  • possibly assist with other HPS teaching (in consultation);
  • conduct your own research in relation to the themes of the courses.


As our ideal candidate you:

  • have a PhD (or are about to finish one) in history and philosophy of science or a related field;
  • have demonstrable academic teaching experience;
  • have a strong commitment towards high quality teaching;
  • have a multidisciplinary outlook and are able to connect natural science with the humanities;
  • are willing to play an active role in local and (inter)national scientific and/or societal communities;
  • have ideas about organising conferences, workshops, and network meetings;
  • have excellent communication skills in English.

Due to the changing nature of the academic landscape in the (post-)COVID-19 pandemic, we expect you to develop resilient forms of teaching, including remote-only education and hybrid forms of offline and online education. The institute’s Teaching and Learning Lab can provide all the support needed for developing innovative forms of hybrid education.

Conditions of Employment

  • a position (0.7 – 0.8 FTE) for two years;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,790 to €4,402 in scale 10 (Lecturer 4);
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao).

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.


The Utrecht History and Philosophy of Science group is part of the Freudenthal Institute, Department of Mathematics. We study the foundations, practices, and cultures of the sciences, combining historical and philosophical perspectives to study past and present science. We are especially interested in the interplay of science with cultural, social, political, and institutional factors. We also analyze the fundamental structure of theories such as general relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and genetics.

The HPS group is part of the Utrecht Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities. The Centre unites historians and philosophers of all seven Utrecht University faculties. Together, the members aim to offer a long-term historical and philosophical perspective on scientific developments that have a major impact on society, for example in the fields of scientific integrity, the position of science in society, academic publishing, and research funding. The Descartes Centre members contribute to social and political debates by critically reflecting on the foundations and the dissemination of knowledge.

At the Faculty of Science there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that together focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional Information

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Robert-Jan Wille, via r.b.wille@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.

We would like to fill the position by November 15.

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