Project Leader: Pan-European E-data infrastructure project in Solid Earth Sciences (0.6 fte)

Job description:

Utrecht University's Department of Earth Sciences seeks a Project Leader with a background in Earth Sciences to play a central role in further developing a key component of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), namely Thematic Core Services (TCS) Multi-scale Laboratories (MSL), which is establishing an electronic data infrastructure for Europe's Solid Earth Science laboratories. In addition, the Project Leader will work as a partner in Workpackages (WP) 3 and 4 of the EPOS Sustainability Phase (SP), which aims at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the EPOS Research Infrastructure (RI).

EPOS is creating a pan-European data and facilities infrastructure for Solid Earth Science. It brings together 46 Institutions from 24 European nations in an initiative employing the latest e-science opportunities to monitor and understand the structure and dynamics of the solid Earth. EPOS addresses the research and data infrastructure needed to understand tectonic processes, surface dynamics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, ground instability and tsunamis. It is transforming the European research landscape in Solid Earth Science by ensuring that research data becomes Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).

Utrecht University coordinates the EPOS Thematic Core Services on Multi-scale Laboratories. This integrates infrastructures ranging from experimental facilities to electron microscopy, micro-beam analysis, analogue modelling and paleomagnetic laboratories. TCS MSL provides virtual and transnational access to a range of data products and services for supporting research on geo-resources, geo-storage, geo-hazards and Earth System Evolution. Utrecht University is involved as a partner in EPOS SP WP 3 and 4, aiming at consolidating EPOS engagement with relevant global initiatives and integrating new communities in the EPOS Delivery Framework.

We are looking for a Project Leader for the TCS MSL who can play a pivotal role in steering the European network of scientists generating data, the facilities from which they operate, and the IT infrastructures exposing this data. In addition, you will work closely together with EPOS management and be responsible for communication and outreach, as well as the work Utrecht University is committed to in EPOS SP WPs 3 and 4. You will work in a team that also includes legal, financial, data management and IT specialists. Everyone who can identify with these topics in a geoscience setting is invited to apply.

Tasks include:

  • the coordination of the TCS MSL at Utrecht University;
  • communication and outreach related to TCS MSL;
  • monitoring financial and legal aspects of TCS MSL;
  • the organisation of TCS MSL meetings and events;
  • ensuring the sustainability of EPOS TCS MSL;
  • work on Utrecht University involvement in EPOS SP WPs 3 and 4.

Day to day activities include:

  • the communication with (data) scientists, (geo) data specialists and software implementation specialists;
  • meeting and discussing with geo-researchers from the affiliated laboratories on FAIR data, facilities, and requirements;
  • developing procedures, workflows, and protocols for governance, and financial and legal aspects of the EPOS TCS MSL;
  • the communication with EPOS management;
  • testing of web/data services.


We are looking for a colleague who:

  • has a PhD, as well as demonstrable experience in Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, or a comparable field, and affinity with computational or data science;
  • is well-informed on the different disciplines within Earth Sciences;
  • has affinity with data science projects or data management;
  • has experience or affinity with project coordination;
  • possesses excellent communication and negotiating skills;
  • is fluent in English, both written and verbal;
  • is persuasive (able to urge partners to fulfill their duties);
  • is willing to travel abroad (mainly in Europe);
  • has the capacity for strategic thinking;
  • is independent and pro-active.

Terms of employment:

We offer a temporary position (0.6 FTE) for three years in an international working environment. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,123 and €3,637 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment.

Besides that, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. Utrecht University also has an appealing package of terms of employment, including the choice for a good balance between work and private (a good arrangement for leave, among other things), possibilities for development and an excellent pension scheme.

Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus (where the Department of Earth Sciences is situated), which is located only 15 minutes away from the historical city centre of Utrecht.

About the organisation:

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With a population of about 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Sustainable Development, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international group of more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories including the new solid Earth cluster Earth Simulation Laboratory. In addition, the department offers an extensive high-end computing infrastructure

Additional information:

Informal enquiries may be sent to Dr Richard Wessels via

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link and the guidelines mentioned there. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2019. Evaluations and interviews are planned soon thereafter. We aim to We aim to fill the position as early as possible in 2020.

Online screening may be part of the selection. Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

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posted: 15 November 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.