Utrecht University has great ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its clear research profiles which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. Utrecht University plays a prominent role in our society and contributes to finding the answers to topical and future societal issues. Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Research Officer in Numerical Support (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

In recent years, the Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University, has seen a substantial increase in computational research related to topics from the energy transition to blue-sky science. We expect this demand to grow in the near future. As a Research Officer, you support scientists at the department in computational research and education on topics ranging from sustainable use of the subsurface in the energy transition to understanding Earth's processes across a broad range of space and time scales. Ideally, you will help transfer in-house codes into High Performance Computing (HPC) and implement new computational frameworks, such as GPU- and cloud-based computing. Finally, you will be working in an engaging environment collaborating with scientists and students at various educational stages (i.e., PhD, MSc, and BSc). Your tasks involve, but are not limited to:

  • development, optimisation, parallelisation, maintenance, compilation, and documentation of new and existing codes, including porting of existing codes to the latest computational frameworks, such as CPU- and GPU-based High-Performance Computing (HPC) as well as cloud computing options;
  • train students and support scientists in developing, running, and analysing numerical simulations.
The Department of Earth Sciences has its own computational cluster named 'eejit'. Staff also uses and anticipates to extend its usage of the Dutch National Super Computer. The department hosts advanced laboratory and imaging facilities, including the Earth Simulation Laboratory cluster, producing increasingly larger data sets that require machine learning techniques to aid in analysis.

We would like you to bring:

  • experience in the development and maintenance of software/systems engineering with High-Performance Computing (HPC) elements, preferably in the context of scientific- and/or research-related products;
  • experience with state-of-the-art HPC hardware, such as multi-GPU clusters or cloud environments;
  • experience with deploying and supporting open-source software, running on remote platforms;
  • a strong interest in and affinity with open-source scientific research and teaching (a PhD is optional) and for knowledge sharing of best practices in scientific software development;
  • a critical, open, and interdisciplinary mindset when setting up and analysing numerical simulations;
  • strong teamwork affinity to work in a diverse environment of scientists and students;
  • excellent written and spoken English skills, as well as good general communicational skills

Terms of employment:

You will be offered a temporary position (0.8-1.0 FTE) for one year in an international working environment. Permanent employment will be offered based upon good performance in that period, according to the Faculty's performance indicators. The gross monthly starting salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €3,098 and €4,257 (scale 9.0 - 10.9 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) for full-time employment.

Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3% per year. In addition, you will have access to all equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure, coaching for teaching and supervision of researchers, and training and support regarding the acquisition of external funds. Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions external link, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University. Facilities for childcare and sports are available on campus.

About the organisation:

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With a population of 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 tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 110 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Our research programme spans four intertwined themes: Climate & Life, Earth interior, Earth materials, and Environmental Earth Sciences. We house or have access to a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

About Utrecht

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of nearly 360,000 and forms a hub in the middle of the country. Its historic city centre and its modern central station can easily be reached from the Utrecht Science Park by public transport or by a 15-minute bicycle ride. Utrecht boasts beautiful canals with extraordinary wharf cellars housing cafés and terraces by the water, as well as a broad variety of shops and boutiques.

Additional information

For informal questions, please contact Prof. Dr Jack Middelburg (head of department) via j.b.m.middelburg@uu.nl.

You are also invited to join our online information session via Microsoft Teams on: Wednesday 26 October between 15.00 - 16.00 CEST. The link will be made available on the official application page. You can ask us about our profiles and tasks of the offered position, the possibilities of professional development, and moving to and living in Utrecht (housing, visa, schools, partner opportunities). We look forward to meeting you!

How to apply:

To apply, please follow this link and the guidelines mentioned there. The application deadline is November 20th, 2022. After the selection procedures, the position can start as soon as possible and preferably in the 1st half of 2023.

However, note that international candidates that need a visa/work permit for the Netherlands require at least four months processing time after selection and acceptance. This will be arranged with help of the International Service Desk (ISD) of our university. Finding appropriate housing in or near Utrecht is your own responsibility, but the ISD may be able to advise you therewith. In case of general questions about working and living in The Netherlands, please consult the Dutch Mobility Portal.

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

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posted: 20 October 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.