Tenure Track

Become a high-skilled geospatial professional

Tenure track, shaping the future!

The scientific domain of the Faculty ITC is changing almost continuously, sometimes slowly and at times more rapidly. Questions and challenges from society are changing, and the scientific domain has to position itself. To deal with this, the composition of the chairs representing the Faculty's knowledge nodes is also evolving.

Our aims

Continuous growth

To accommodate this, and hence to keep the faculty modern, ITC aims to continuously grow new staff at leading positions. This should help to focus both on actual problems and long-term developments.

ITC has established a professional tenure track system, which has been in place since 2009. It became fully in line with academic requirements after the merger with the University of Twente in 2010. The system adjusts itself regularly to remain in line with the latest developments in HR. Critical and determinantal in its operations are the academic requirements from the changing domain plans.


A successful candidate in a tenure track is able to perform at the highest academic level. To comply, tenure track at ITC has criteria formulated for candidates at different academic levels. A knowledge node should fit into the departmental structure.

Finally, a candidate should be prospective both for the near future, as well as in a foreseen role in the future. The tenure track system is under constant vigilance of the human resources department at the University of Twente and so far has supported, monitored and evaluated some twenty candidates, of which several have now reached the adjunct professor status.

How the programme works

The Tenure Track position is open to highly talented academics with the potential to become a professor. As an indication, the tenure track for a candidate starting at the level of lecturer runs for around ten years, upon successful completion of which the candidate will be promoted to the position of full professor. Talented academics participating in the tenure track can count on a warm welcome and thorough assistance.


The University of Twente encourages and supports the professional development of employees, teams and managers through a customized offer of training, coaching and organizational advice.

Naturally, completing a didactic study programme and compliance with the education and research criteria for UT positions at various levels is standard. Achievement of a University Teaching Qualification (and later, a Senior University Teaching Qualification) is a mandatory element of professional development for teaching staff.

The level of knowledge of the English language must meet level C1 of the criteria as described in the Common European Framework of Reference. Level B2 is a minimum requirement for the Dutch language. Each tenure track participant must meet the criteria for each level as established in the current ITC tenure track policy.

Special attention is given to the applicable competencies (soft skills) for each level. Every new tenure track employee must complete a developmental assessment at the start of his or her appointment. This assessment will be repeated for promotion from lecturer to senior lecturer and from senior lecturer to Professor.

The developmental assessment forms the basis for a targeted personal development & support plan and is a structural element for assessment for the next step of the track. An independent external assessment agency conducts the assessments. Members of the tenure track committee are trained to interpret the results of the assessment. We offer a specific training programme. In addition, we support the tenure track in the form of a start-up package, amongst others. 

Career path

The Tenure Track position is open to exceptionally talented academics, who are expected (in the opinion of the appointment advisory committee) to develop to the level of professor. A Tenure Track has an (indicative) duration of 10-13 years from the intake at assistant professor level 2 to eventual promotion to level 2 professor. A Tenure Track is characterised by individually formulated performance objectives for each career stage, geared towards the individual’s field of practice.

If a Tenure Tracker meets the performance objectives as formulated in the Tenure Track, then he/she can be promoted to assistant professor level 1. The position of assistant professor is the career stage that follows to the position of associate professor level 2. The next level, associate professor level 1 may be reached. Within the Tenure Track, this level will give the right for promotion (to award a doctoral degree), and is being referred to as 'adjunct professor'. The adjunct professor is a professor as described in art. 9.19 of the Higher Education and Research Act and has the ius promovendi (the right to supervise a doctoral candidate).

However, the adjunct professor only supervises the doctoral candidates allocated directly to the adjunct professor. The adjunct professor may use the title of professor and may wear a toga to participate in formal events for professors (e.g. the opening of the academic year). However, the inaugural lecture takes place on promotion to level 2 professor.

Adjunct professorship is only open to associate professors level 2 from the Tenure Track. The adjunct professor (associate professor level 1 salary scale) is permanently employed by the UT and appointed for a maximum term of 5 years. He/she has 5 years within which to develop his/her own field of research further. The objective is for the Tenure Tracker to transfer to the position of level 2 professor.


Full detailed information on ITC's policy on the Tenure Track programme.


Strive for excellence

The UT has set itself the objective of providing research and education of the highest level and for the knowledge and solutions we create to make a difference. In addition, diversity is an important value of the University of Twente. We strive for a culture where all students and staff are offered opportunities, regardless of origin or gender. This value supports our aspiration for excellence.

Therefore, we must apply an active talent policy so that we remain an attractive employer for our existing talents as well as for new talent. We invest continually in developing all UT staff and focus on several specific groups. We actively support the development of talented academics to professorships via the tenure track system.

In addition, we promote the transfer of women to the senior level of our organization based on the belief that a diverse organization achieves better business results. Besides, as a university, we are responsible for contributing to more female role models in academia and other key positions.

Societal challenges

In its strategic vision, the University of Twente has generated societal impact through excellent education, research and valorisation the key focus. Both excellence in the disciplines and the unique combinations of strengths may contribute to that: High Tech Human Touch. This may be summarized in four core values:

ITC is the UT’s Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. Our mission is to develop capacity, particularly in less developed countries, and to utilize geospatial solutions to deal with national and global problems. Our vision is that spatial solutions will be increasingly important in meeting many of humanity’s complex challenges (often wicked problems), such as climate change, population growth, and related claims for sufficient and secure food, water, energy, health, land and housing provision. Our activities are linked to the policy agenda (A World to gain) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Scientific relevance

The ambition of ITC is to expand its reputation as a centre of excellence (knowledge exchange hub) in its knowledge domain. This requires the faculty to play an internationally recognized leading and coordinating role both globally and regionally. We intend to organize this together with other supra-national regional partners.

In 2020, ITC will continue to be an internationally recognized leading research entity in geospatial sciences, emphasising geo-information science and earth observation. We will maintain our focus on fundamental and problem-solving research, with an eye to those complex global challenges where spatial information can make a real difference.

These complex interacting challenges often relate to claims for sufficient and secure food, water, energy, health, land and housing provision that are intensified through climate change and population dynamics. These different claims often lead to conflicts, disasters and non-sustainable development. To realize these but also future ambitions excellent talent is needed.