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Executive Director LOFAR ERIC

  • 32 tot 40 uur


The LOFAR ERIC Council is actively seeking the next Executive Director of LOFAR.

The LOFAR ERIC[1] is a new European Research Infrastructure Consortium recently established by the European Commission. Our mission is to ensure coordinated exploitation of the LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) infrastructure, a key instrument for radio astronomy, to produce world-class scientific research and pursue further development. LOFAR is by its nature a pan-European project, with 52 antenna stations located across 8 European countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The construction of 2 further international stations in Italy and Bulgaria is planned.

The mission of LOFAR ERIC has several components.

  1. LOFAR ERIC will place the long-term governance of LOFAR on a secure footing, by providing a robust coordinating organisation which will ensure the efficient joint operation of the existing LOFAR facilities.
  2. LOFAR ERIC will draw together a cross-disciplinary international collaboration of experts and promote a united international approach to implement the ongoing upgrade LOFAR2.0, delivering a successful Phase 1 within its initial 5-year period.
  3. LOFAR ERIC will facilitate the broad scientific exploitation of the LOFAR research infrastructure by developing and enhancing its unique capabilities and facilitating access for use and re-use of its extensive data products.
  4. LOFAR ERIC will offer capabilities to the European research community that are not available anywhere else in the world, and thus offer huge advantages for researchers, both scientifically and technically. It will help to place European researchers at the forefront of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA; the multi-billion-Euro global radio telescope for which construction is just beginning), cementing long-term benefits for Europe and a long-standing uniqueness of LOFAR in the SKA era.


The Executive Director will play a pivotal role in representing LOFAR ERIC to all relevant stakeholders and ensure the efficient joint operation of the LOFAR facilities. The Executive Director reports and is accountable to the LOFAR ERIC Council. Key responsibilities include:

  • Acting as the legal representative of LOFAR ERIC.
  • Implementing decisions of the Council and managing the day-to-day operational activities including a Coordination and Support Office.
  • Preparing the Annual Budget, 5-year Financial Plan and the Work Program.
  • Pursuing and focusing the organization on the primary goals of LOFAR ERIC.
  • Focusing on coordinating and reinforcing the international collaboration.
  • Enabling the funding and resourcing for the LOFAR operations and science community needs and identifying and securing development opportunities and funding.
  • Cultivating an inclusive and equitable work environment and recruiting high-quality staff.
  • Communicating the directions of the LOFAR ERIC Council to all LOFAR ERIC employees and, where necessary, the ASTRON Management.
  • Upholding an excellent working relationship with the hosting institute.
  • Adhering to policies within the framework set by the LOFAR ERIC Council and by the employer NWO-I.

[1] Originally the International LOFAR Telescope, ILT, a legal entity in the Netherlands. The LOFAR ERIC was formally established by the European Commission on 20 December 2023.

What we require

We are seeking a candidate with: 

  • Strong motivation to enhance LOFAR ERIC’s core mission
  • An internationally recognized profile of academic achievement in astrophysics.
  • Experience in international scientific astronomical research projects.
  • Extensive managerial experience in scientific research environment.
  • Experience with personnel and project management and project preparation.
  • Experience with preparing for and developing policy planning.
  • An innovative and motivated approach to seeking and preparing funding opportunities, especially at European and international levels.
  • Excellent, clear and inspirational communication skills in English.
  • The ability to think strategically, to build strong relationships with colleagues and peers and to work effectively with national, European and international decision makers in science, government and industry.

Experience in promoting inclusion, diversity and equity and building successful teams.

What we offer

The Director will formally be employed by the institutes organization of the Dutch Research Council (NWO-I), which is the parent organization of the hosting institute, and will be seconded to LOFAR ERIC. The position is available for five years and may be renewed by the LOFAR ERIC Council.

The position is based in an inspiring, innovative, and pleasant working environment on ASTRONs premises near Dwingeloo, nestled in the heart of the beautiful National Park 'Dwingelder Veld'. Here, LOFAR ERIC and ASTRON foster an international and inclusive work culture, combining astronomy, operations, and engineering under one roof. NWO-I offers competitive primary and secondary conditions, including:

  • A gross monthly salary ranging from € 6.918 to € 9.812 (in accordance with salary scale 15/16 Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Institutions), labour agreement based on relevant experience.
  • Additionally, a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.33% year-end bonus are provided.
  • 42 vacation days per year on a full-time basis.
  • Flexible working arrangements tailored to your needs, including part-time appointments and parental leave. We promote a healthy work-life balance, emphasizing sustainability, both on the premises and remotely.
  • A comprehensive and robust pension scheme (ABP).
  • Generous relocation expenses and assistance with finding accommodation
  • Support to assist your partner in finding suitable employment if needed?=
  • Ample opportunities and encouragement for career growth

The terms of employment adhere to the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Institutions (for more information about NWO-I, please visit

More information?

Further information can be obtained from the Chairperson of the LOFAR ERIC Council (Jacqueline Mout, For inquiries about the procedure, you can contact NWO-I (Dr. Peter Spijker,

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit the following documents to or through the online submission system. Applications should be received by the deadline of 23:59 UT on May 7th, 2024.  

  • A letter of application outlining relevant experience for the role and the motivation for the position
  • A brief statement (approximately 1 page) outlining future goals and directions for LOFAR ERIC
  • A CV including significant accomplishments (not longer than 6 pages)
  • Names of at least three professional referees, at least one of whom must be your current employer (the committee can request references from them if the committee deems it necessary, i.e., inform your referees of your application)

The LOFAR ERIC Council is committed to increasing staff diversity, and is especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups. We welcome applications from individuals of all backgrounds and are committed to increasing staff diversity.

Interview process

The first round of interviews will be conducted online on May 14 or 16. Applying candidates should reserve these dates in their calendars. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a visit to LOFAR and ASTRON in The Netherlands for an interview mid-June.


LOFAR ERIC is the coordinating organisation to optimise the joint exploitation and to maximise the science output of the LOFAR facilities. The LOFAR ERIC founding membership includes 6 member countries (The Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Germany, Ireland and Bulgaria) and bilateral arrangements with research bodies in the UK, Sweden, France and Latvia. The vision of LOFAR ERIC is to ensure that LOFAR remains the world's most powerful very-low-frequency and long-baseline radio interferometer, to serve the needs of the European research community, and to bring the community together to maximise the scientific output from the powerful and versatile LOFAR infrastructure. Through this, LOFAR ERIC aims to provide hands-on scientific and technical skills and knowledge that will enable European researchers to establish and maintain global leadership positions in radio astronomy.

Currently, the International LOFAR Telescope is being upgraded to LOFAR2.0, enabling even greater scientific capability and opportunity for a growing international radio astronomy user community. LOFAR also provides a platform for conducting research in other science disciplines, such as the study of lightning, the ionosphere, and Space Weather. As such, LOFAR attracts a very broad user community from a wide range of countries.

LOFAR ERIC has its statutory seat in Dwingeloo, the Netherlands, and is hosted by ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, part of the institutes organization of the Dutch Research Council (NWO-I).

LOFAR ERIC strives to be an attractive workplace for all individuals irrespective of their background. Offering a safe and vibrant workplace is an important topic for our group management. We work alongside experts from various fields in a culture of mutual support. This creates an inspirational environment for LOFAR ERIC, where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and grow. We are committed to decreasing our organisational footprint – in particular we are exploring circular and green computing solutions.

Information on LOFAR ERIC and ASTRON can be found at: and

Diversity Code

NWO-I strives for a diverse workforce: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select on the basis of competences and talents. Therefore, we encourage anyone who identifies with the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, orientation or disability, to respond.

About us

NWO-I’s full name is Foundation for Dutch Scientific Research Institutes. It is an independent foundation incorporated under private law (not a governmental organization). Because of its national interest, it is supervised by NWO, the Dutch Research Council (a governmental body). NWO-I is an umbrella organization for nine national research institutes in fields including physics, space research, mathematics & computer science, criminology, and marine research. The NWO-I office, based in Utrecht, consists of central departments that provide support to the institutes and the foundation's board. Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

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