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21 maart 2018

SRON's mission is to bring about breakthroughs in international space research. To fulfill its mission, the institute develops pioneering technology and advanced space instruments, and uses them to pursue fundamental astrophysical research, Earth science and exoplanetary research. The instrument science group consists of 45 persons, from instrumentation engineers to calibration specialists, and its main charge is to develop new technologies, starting from breadboard level, through to applications fully qualified for use in space missions. Within the Instrument Science Group we have a vacancy for a Project manager (f/m). Are you an experienced project manager, ready for the next level of complexity in technological development, space requirements, consortium size and worldwide span?

Job description
Together with your team, you will be responsible for the implementation and verification of the SAFARI instrument onboard the SPICA satellite. SAFARI is a highly innovative far-infrared spectrometer utilizing arrays of ultrasensitive Transition Edge Sensors, with a combination of a grating and a Martin-Puplett interferometer for spectral dispersion. SRON is the PI institute of SAFARI leading the international consortium, unifying the technological capabilities of 19 partners in 14 countries worldwide. SPICA is expected to be selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) in April 2018 for the first mission development phase (0/A). In this phase the technical and programmatic feasibility of the mission and its instruments is to be shown to ESA before the next and final phases (B/C/D) can be entered.  As consortium project manager of SAFARI you will:

  • ensure timely delivery of results and outputs from all project partners for all project activities;
  • ensure timely drafting, updating and monitoring of work plans, budgets, expenditures configuration management, quality control and specific tasks related to budget and fund management;
  • coordinate the necessary procurement processes and related contractual arrangements;
  • ensure the dissemination of lessons learned and results achieved, through maintaining a project knowledge management system according to the reporting requirements.

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, is the national centre of expertise for space research. SRON's aim is to increase and communicate knowledge about astrophysics, the Earth, planets and exoplanets by carrying out groundbreaking research. SRON Utrecht has the intention to move to Leiden in 2021.


  • Relevant technical understanding of (astronomical) space instrumentation.
  • Strong skills in project management. Ability to plan independently and work effectively under pressure with a positive and solutions-oriented approach.
  • Experience in leading teams of multidisciplinary engineers and scientists in an international consortium context.
  • Proven ability to supervise and motivate staff.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain effective partnerships and working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, at all levels.
  • A PhD or master's degree in business management, engineering, physics or astronomy.
  • At least five years of relevant experience in (international) multi-partner technology development projects.
  • Proficient oral and written communications skills, both in Dutch and in English.  

Conditions of employment
Employment of this full-time position at SRON is by NWO-I (the Netherlands Scientific Research Institutes) and will be for the duration of the projects phase 0 and A, with the possibility of an indefinite contract once the SPICA/SAFARI project has passed final selection. The salary will be in accordance with the salary scales of NWO with a maximum of € 90.000,- gross per year on a full-time basis (of course highly depending on your background). Besides a pleasant and challenging work environment we have a good package of benefits like a pension plan, group discounts on individual insurances and travel expenses. We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation, as well as generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation. You will be employed by NWO-I for a fixed period of three years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of € 6.565,- gross per month on a fulltime basis (highly depending on education and relevant experience). The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. The conditions of employment of NWO-I are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English). General information about working at NWO-I can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The 'Job interview code' applies to this position.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. P. Roelfsema, +31 50 363 40 43 / +31 6 23 46 17 42. More information about SRON can be found at www.sron.nl

If you wish to apply, you can send a motivation letter with CV via email
Please state the vacancy number 'SRON nr. 1331' in the subject of your mail. The final date for submission is 31 March 2018, however, candidates will be considered until the position has been filled. In the event of equal suitability, preference will be given to female applicants. No commercial propositions please.