About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Working at VU Amsterdam means contributing to a better world. Working beyond the confines of your own field, working with an open mind and working for the benefit of society.

Leading research
VU Amsterdam ranks among the country’s top universities when it comes to academic research. At VU
Amsterdam, education and research are closely intertwined. High-quality teaching and cutting-edge research have given the university a great deal of recognition, enabling VU Amsterdam to attract prominent scientists from both the Netherlands and abroad. Our researchers value the research groups they are part of, and the freedom they have in carrying out flexible, curiosity-driven research.

Priyanka Rao
Assistant Professor in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology

'My journey at VU Amsterdam began in 2006 with a Phd at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, embedded in the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research. My supervisors and mentors at VU Amsterdam have been very helpful throughout my career and have recently helped me apply successfully, for an Innovational Research Incentives Scheme grant (VENI) in order to return to VU Amsterdam and start my own line of research, after pursuing a Post-doc at a different Dutch university.'   

Our commitment to society
Societal engagement is embedded in VU Amsterdam’s DNA. This is reflected in the way researchers at VU Amsterdam work and approach their research. Our education and research are structured into four overarching societal themes: the Connected World, Governance for Society, Human Health and Life Science, and Science for Sustainability. This is how we encourage multidisciplinary cooperation which is needed to overcome the societal issues of today and the future.

Working & Living in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is an old European capital city that has a long and interesting history. Today it prides itself on a rich cultural life and a diverse population. VU Amsterdam campus and our leading university are located in the southern part of the city, known as the Amsterdam Zuidas area. This is a dynamic rapidly developing international business district in the city of Amsterdam. Zuidas Amsterdam is the beating heart of international business life in the Netherlands, where the university’s campus creates a bridge between business and society. VU Amsterdam is a five-minute walk away from Zuid metro- & railway station, and buses and trams are easily accessible. Schiphol Airport, which connects our university to the rest of the world, is only a 5 minutes train ride away. According to the latest OECD Better Life Index, the Netherlands ranks first when it comes to work - life balance, an element our researchers greatly appreciate.

Diversity & Inclusiveness
Society is made up of a wide variety of gender and sexual orientation, nationalities, cultures, ways of thinking and religions. The Campus of VU Amsterdam reflects this diversity of society. We train and educate our students and employees to embrace and benefit from these differences. Consequently, when they enter the labour market as graduates they will be able to view matters from a broader perspective and will make a difference in society as future leaders. We strive for 'inclusive excellence': an academic environment in which students, lecturers and employees use mutual differences to stimulate more creativity and talent development.

Being different is an advantage, but creating an inclusive learning and working environment requires trust and awareness.’ - Karen van Oudenhoven, VU Amsterdam Chief Diversity Officer

VU Amsterdam understands the importance of respecting the communities that surround us. Colleagues and students who choose to join us are choosing for respectful cooperation, support and openness to one another's ideas. Not only as colleagues but also as individuals who take a genuine interest in one another.

Internationalization at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is the result of increasing globalization, disappearing borders and the expansion of the international playing field to further develop our activities. VU Amsterdam’s community continues to grow and expand, creating a warm and welcoming environment with an international atmosphere where students and employees from different backgrounds and nationalities can come together and meet. By actively encouraging the societal engagement of students and employees, the university promotes multidisciplinary and cross-border academic cooperation, and international exchange. We maintain international education and research partnerships all around the world. VU Amsterdam collaborates with other research universities as part of the Aurora network. We all share the same aim of creating inclusive and diverse academic communities, grounded in excellent research. For international employees, we have an global meet where they can meet up or participate in one of the events of the international staff network.

Greg Stephens
Associate Professor in Physics of Living Systems Molecular Biophysics

'As a postdoctoral researcher looking for a faculty position I interviewed at the VU Amsterdam on a beautifully sunny spring day.  And while good weather may be fleeting, I was attracted to a strong and vibrant research community both across the university and particularly in my specialty of biophysics.  American by birth, I’ve fallen in love with Amsterdam, especially the eclectic and mesmerizing cultural experiences.'

With approximately 4,500 employees, VU Amsterdam is a complex and dynamic organization whose daily work involves education, research and all related areas. The Executive Board is responsible for the day-to-day management of the university, while the faculties are responsible for teaching and research. Supporting processes such as Communication & Marketing, IT and HRMAM are overseen by the university’s service departments.

Organization and management of VU Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit was founded as a private university in 1880 by five professors (including the initiator of the university, Abraham Kuijper), who taught five students. Vrije meant ‘free’, as in free from the prevailing church, state and commercial interests. In this line of thought, VU Amsterdam was funded through many small personal contributions by people from every part of Amsterdam’s society.

From its modest beginnings on the Keizersgracht with just three faculties – Theology, Art and Law – the Vrije Universiteit grew into a medium-sized university by the 1960s. Today we are a dynamic educational organization with 4,500 employees and over 23,000 students. Throughout the years, we have remained true to the ideals of our founders: diversity, solidarity (inclusion) and quality.

Would you like to work for VU Amsterdam? Do not hesitate to have a look at our vacancies.

The vacancy description will include all the information you need to know about how to apply. The application process is the responsibility of the faculty or service department that you wish to join. We aim to acknowledge all applications within 14 days.