University of Groningen Assistant Professor Innovation Position in Teaching and Learning 2017, Netherlands

Publish Date: Aug 22, 2017

Deadline: Sep 08, 2017

Assistant Professor Innovation in teaching and learning

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 30,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

The Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS) is a centre of knowledge focusing on individuals and society. The faculty studies issues relating to human behaviour, the relationships between people, and society as a whole. This includes the study of how people function under normal circumstances, but also of the problems encountered by individuals or groups, and how these can be resolved or prevented. The RUG’s priority areas are Sustainable Society, Healthy Ageing and Energy. The faculty BSS employs around 600 people.

To raise the quality of teaching and learning, the faculty BSS focuses on educational innovations, particularly on strategies for activating and intensifying students’ learning experiences (Strategic policy plan, Faculty BSS). The assistant professor is situated within the department of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS).

Pedagogy and Education

Recently, the department of Pedagogy and Education has committed itself to a second round of educational innovations (‘Activating teaching strategies and academic skills’) for 2017-2021. This project aims to raise the quality of the current bachelor programme, and to develop five lines of action related to the didactical concept, internal coherence and structure of the programme; to improve the embeddedness of Academic Learning Communities (ALC’s) in the curriculum; to develop a clear pathway for academic writing skills; to strenghten the quality of assessment; diversifying practices of teaching and assessment. In 2014, ALC’s were started for the first year of the bachelor programme.
Students develop a critical academic (research) attitude, by working in year groups (12-15 students) on research related assignments. In the ALC’s, students also develop other academic skills, e.g. academic writing. ALC’s are also organised for the second year of the bachelor programme, until now only in the first semester.

Job description

The vacancy refers to a temporary position as assistant professor, focusing on activating and intensifying teaching and learning in the bachelor programme. The newly assigned assistant professor will primarily be concerned with the ongoing development of the ALC’s, in particular in the second semester of the second year, and in the third year. Thus the assistant professor will play an important role in fulfilling the aim of the Faculty and the Department to implement ALC’s throughout the bachelor programme. Another important task will be the development of pathways (‘strands’) for the learning of academic skills throughout the bachelor programme. The tasks of the assistant professor will thus be closely related to the project ‘Activating teaching strategies and academic skills’.

The tasks can be defined as follows:

  • development of a curriculum for the ALC’s in the second semester of Bachelor 2 and Bachelor 3, attuned to the already developed ALC’s in Bachelor 1 and the first semester of Bachelor 2
  • pilots for testing the newly developed ALC’s in the second semester of Bachelor 2 and Bachelor 3.

More specifically, this entails the development of:

  • ALC assignments that are both research-driven and that overarch and connect the regular courses, while realising learning outcomes that aim for the development of a critical academic (research) attitude among the students
  • a syllabus for each assignment
  • educational tools / teaching aids for each assignment
  • suggestions for diversification of ways of assessment of the ALC assignments.

The new temporary assistant professor will perform these tasks in close cooperation with the ALC tutors and the coordinators of the bachelor programme. Regular meetings with teachers and coordinators of the Bachelor 2 and Bachelor 3 programmes will be necessary in order to formulate the content and design of ALC’s, linked to the learning aims of the regular courses and to the ALC’s as a course transcending part of the programme.

Research activities of the assistant professor should be in line with research topics that already take place in the department, related to the field of educational innovations. For instance: ‘how can we stimulate the development of a critical (research) attitude in students in academic education’, ‘how can we make use of digital tools (such as Perusall) for peer learning in the ALC’s’, and ‘what ways of assessment are most suitable for assessing the learning outcomes the ALC’s’?
Research activities should lead to relevant and valorised output, such as (peer-reviewed) international and national publications, and presentations on national and international conferences.


  • a PhD in behavioural and/or social science, preferably in the field of educational innovations in higher education
  • knowledge on issues such as activating teaching and learning strategies, intensifying teaching and learning, and academic skills
  • knowledge and experience in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods
  • scientific publications in international peer reviewed journals in the field of education
  • experience in higher education, and in coaching students (lectures, discussion groups, working on assignments, thesis writing)
  • in possession of the University Teaching Qualification (or similar) and being prepared to undertake further training
  • strong social and communicational skills
  • able to work both independently and in a team
  • able to express yourself clearly and convincingly, in Dutch and English, both oral and in writing.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary depending on qualifications and work experience. For candidates at the assistant professor level, salary ranging from a minimum of € 3,475 (salary scale 11 Dutch Universities) gross per month to a maximum of € 5,405 (salary scale 12) gross per month for a full-time position, excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

This vacancy of Assistant Professor is a temporary position of 4 years. We expect candidates to start as soon as possible.


You may apply for this position until 8 September 12:00 pm / before 9 September 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form.

Applications are requested to submit:
1. a cover letter including your view on how your research and/or teaching may fit into the department
2. an up-to-date curriculum vitae
3. a short statement of your research accomplishments and future research goals
4. the names and contact details of two references.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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