Science Director/Director General

Utrecht (Gemeenten) (NL)
Jul 26, 2018
Aug 17, 2018
Space Physics
Career Level
Education Level
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Relocation Cost
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SRON is the Dutch national expertise institute for scientific space research. SRON’s mission is to bring about breakthroughs in international space research. The institute develops enabling technology and advanced space instruments, and uses them to pursue fundamental astrophysical research, earth atmosphere science and exoplanetary research.

SRON's playing field is the international big science arena, which is a vibrant national and international interdisciplinary network of space agencies, universities, knowledge institutes, large companies and SMEs. Space agencies such as ESA, NASA, and JAXA provide launch opportunities for selected missions following calls to the science community. SRON helps to shape these missions, especially those of the European Space Agency (ESA), by defining science cases, by developing and proto-typing enabling technologies, and by implementing space-qualified instrumentation and data analysis tools.

SRON is the main institute for Dutch contributions to the scientific payload of missions in the mandatory ESA Science Programme. As national expertise institute SRON gives counsel to the Dutch government and coordinates - from a science standpoint - national contributions to international space missions.

SRON stimulates the implementation of space science in society.

The institute is based at the university complexes of Utrecht and Groningen. In 2021 SRON Utrecht will relocate to a purpose built building located at the Bio Science Park in Leiden. SRON has about 200 employees.

We are seeking a


Science Director/Director General of SRON

with an international reputation in the field of scientific space research. The director is well connected to the international and national space research community and has a clear vision on the future scientific direction of space research. The director has proven managerial skills at a research organization and has the natural ability and authority for leading scientific and support staff. The director is a teamplayer and has a proven track record of leading international scientific research collaborations. The director promotes diversity, is a strong communicator and has a keen eye for opportunities to connect science with industry and society.


The director reports to the NWO Executive Board and is responsible for the strategic, scientific and operational direction and leadership of the institute. The director advises the Dutch government and coordinates the national contributions to international space missions. The director leads the Dutch delegation in the ESA Science Programme Committee and is an advisor to the Dutch delegation in the ESA Council. The director represents the institute nationally and internationally and has a leading role in acquiring and securing external funding. The director is pivotal in successfully connecting science with industry and society.

Primary and secondary benefits

NWO offers a permanent appointment. The director will be assigned for a term of 5 years with the intention to extend the assignment with a second term.

NWO is working towards an increase in the number of women in science. Therefore female candidates are explicitly encouraged to apply.

The yearly fulltime salary (incl. holiday allowance of 8% and 'end of year payment' of 8.33%) will range from € 102,700,- to € 136,300,- depending on experience (scale 18 in the Collective Labour Agreement for research organizations). In addition NWO offers a flexible set of employee benefits including pension benefits through the pension fund ABP.

Additional information about SRON can be obtained at the SRON website Further information about the position can be obtained from the members of advisory appointment committee Jaap Schouten (chair/  or 06-28832713) or Liz van Dijk-Schilt (secretary/ or 030-6001248, also for the full job description).

Please address your application including a motivation letter and research statement, CV and list of publications to the attention of Liz van Dijk-Schilt LLM by e-mail to before  17 August 2018. Screening may be part of the selection.