Group Lead (f, m, x) 0.8 – 1.0 fte

Vacancy by Astron

  • Astron
  • Dwingeloo
  • WWI
  • for the duration of in total 2 years which will become permanently based on good performance.

The NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group at ASTRON in Dwingeloo develops world-class optical and infrared astronomical instruments for telescopes at major international observatories. We do this in close collaboration with astronomers at the NOVA universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen, and with our extensive network of industrial partners. Our primary goal for the upcoming years is designing, building, and testing various instruments for the Extremely Large Telescope (Description on the website of the European Southern Observatory: We have recently opened a new manufacturing facility, NOVA MAX, to construct these large and complex instruments. The development of these new instruments builds on the long heritage of the group, which includes instrument development for ESO's Very Large Telescope, and the NASA-ESA James Webb Space Telescope.

The NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group is small and agile, consisting of twenty-five highly skilled professionals, and yet covers all phases of instrument development: From feasibility studies through design & construction, all the way to testing and commissioning at the telescope. It does this across all relevant disciplines, from optical and mechanical through thermal control to control electronics and software.

For this unique and innovative group, we are currently searching for a

Group Lead (f, m, x) 0.8 – 1.0 fte

who is a positive, emphatic and insightful people manager.

Your main responsibility will be the strategic and operational management of the group's resources. On a daily basis, you will strive for an optimal allocation of staff to projects and monitor the effectiveness of this allocation. Most importantly, you will help maintain a safe, inclusive, and positive work environment. You will guide and coach the development of our people and evaluate their performance, with the aim of maintaining and improving the world-class competence and professionalism of the group. You will ensure that the suite of tools and facilities available to the group (eg machines, cleanrooms but also software) are kept in top condition and are updated when needed. You will also be responsible for budgeting and the annual financial results of the group, in close collaboration with NOVA's finance department. You will be part of the NOVA management team that together keeps abreast of the (international) developments in astronomical instrumentation and makes strategic plans for the group to maintain its leading position.

We expect from you:

  • A master's degree, preferably in engineering, physics, astronomy or equivalent
  • experience rewards and insight in astronomical instrumentation and the connected technologies.
  • At least 5 years relevant experience in leading project teams consisting of highly skilled professionals within a high-tech environment.
  • Experience in strategic and operational resource management
  • Experience in (project) budgeting and monitoring.
  • Experience in handling opposite internal and external interests
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English and Dutch.

Competencies and Skills:

  • Positive and communicative
  • Result driven.
  • Decisive and convincing

What you can expect from us

  • An inspiring, innovative, pleasant, and challenging working environment with an international and inclusive work culture.
  • The combination of astronomy, operations and engineering in the same building.
  • The opportunity and the facilities to grow and develop yourself in this position.
  • A 32- 38 hours week temporary appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of in total 2 years which will become permanent based on good performance.
  • A gross monthly salary on a full-time basis, in the range of €5,657 to €6,890 (scale 13, based on the salary scales of January 2023) depending on relevant experience.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary.
  • A good package of benefits like pension plan, group discounts on individual insurances and travel expenses

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labor Agreement Research Institutions.

NWO-I and ASTRON strive for a diverse workforce: we want to develop talent and creativity by bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures. We recruit and select based on competencies and talents. Therefore, we encourage anyone who identifies with the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, orientation or disability, to respond. More information about our diversity & inclusivity click this link.

For more information about this vacancy please contact Michiel Rodenhuis via:

Looking forward to your application
To apply for this opportunity, via

The vacancy closes August 27, 2023.

How to apply?

Send an email to Michiel Rodenhuis

Apply now!

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