FAIR Data Specialist

FAIR Data Specialist

Are you looking for opportunities to be part of an international multidisciplinary team that is working to push the boundaries of predictive understanding of biodiversity dynamics? In this position you will help create solutions to use technologies and data from relevant research infrastructures (such as GBIF, LifeWatch ERIC) in new ways by establishing a common FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data layer and data quality indicators to support developing a Biodiversity Digital Twin. This is a unique opportunity to work with a European consortium that brings together experts in biodiversity, high performance computing, artificial intelligence, digital twinning and FAIR data to develop the first BioDT prototype. The project will use the EuroHPC LUMI supercomputer (from CSC Finland) that will allow faster modelling, simulation to generate new scientific insights and improve prediction capabilities related to biodiversity dynamics. 

For a period of 2 years  we are looking for a FAIR Data Specialist (32-36 hours a week).


Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden is the Dutch national institute for biodiversity and systematics. With our collection of 42 million specimens, one of the world's largest natural history collections, and our state-of-the-art research facilities we offer the (inter)national research infrastructure for species identification and monitoring. We present the history of our planet, and the diversity of life on Earth, through permanent and temporary museum exhibitions, educational programmes and online presence, with more than 400,000 visitors per year. 

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is looking for a FAIR Data Specialist  (2 years, 32-36 hours a week) for the HORIZON-INFRA-2021-TECH-01 project "Biodiversity Digital Twin for Advanced Modelling, Simulation and Prediction Capabilities" (BioDT) and other biodiversity data related European projects. 


The position is in the ISBI (International Collaboration on Biodiversity Infrastructures)  department of Naturalis with close collaboration with the ICT and software development team and several other data-driven European projects in relation to the DiSSCo (Distributed System of Scientific Collections) research infrastructure.

  • Help design data products, semantic mapping, modelling and simulation workflows involving different data streams and research infrastructures (DiSSCo, GBIF, LifeWatch) 
  • Create FAIR data, modelling, software quality framework 
  • Coordinate with different work packages and other European projects to ensure interoperability of data, software, and modelling
  • Help guide biodiversity modelling and simulation use cases for the digital twin platform 
  • Analyse and summarise information on the latest trends in the area of biodiversity modelling and digital twin
  • Explore and document existing data sources to better understand the data landscape
  • Create training material with best practices and guidelines for researchers to develop and interact with the BioDT and FAIR Digital Object
  • Communicate complex concepts simply but non-reductively to others



  • Bachelor's degree in Computer / Computational / Data Science, or other scientific domains with computational / data specialisation experience 
  • Experience documenting projects, research efforts and codes
  • Strong background in scientific programming, data processing and analysis
  • Experience with programming in any combination of C++, Python, Java, R or Matlab 
  • Experience with UNIX/Linux tools to automate tasks and analyse results
  • Ability to work in a project team and take responsibility for different tasks
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary team across institutes
  • Familiarity with FAIR principles and FAIRness assessment
  • Fluent in written and spoken English, excellent communication skills


  • Experience in using High Performance Computing (HPC) architecture and parallel programming (multi-threaded applications) 
  • Experience with workflow engines, Virtual Research Environment (VRE
  • Experience in working with models of biodiversity, atmosphere and other earth system components
  • Experience with biodiversity, biological, or ecological data
  • Knowledge and experience with creating solutions for data integration, interoperability challenges 
  • Experience with Semantic Data (e. g., RDF(s), OWL)


A contract (36 hours per week) for a period of one year, to be extended with one year after a successful first year evaluation, and a monthly gross salary between € 3,208.- and € 4,738.-, (scale 10-11) depending on relevant experience. You also get an allowance for travel expenses, holiday allowance (8%) and year-end bonus (3.4%). Naturalis Biodiversity Center offers an inspiring working atmosphere and advanced ICT infrastructure. The Naturalis offices in Leiden are easily accessible by public transport from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague.

Working for Naturalis also means, free entrance to Naturalis and RotterdamZOO for you and your family/friends. A discount so you can buy something to eat and drink in Naturalis Restaurant. An informal drink with all your colleagues once every month. You are surrounded by a lot of experience and various expertises and specialists, and working with the newest technologies. Flexibility between working from home and at the office.


and Information

You are invited to submit your application, including a brief motivation and CV, as soon as possible, by using this application form. Feel free to contact Wouter Addink (coördinator Research-data & E-infrastructure) with questions about the position: wouter.addink@naturalis.nl.

For information concerning the procedure or HR issues please contact the HR department sollicitaties@naturalis.nl, or 071-7519191. 

Naturalis endorses the Cultural Diversity Code. In the case of equal suitability, preference is given to the candidate who reinforces diversity within the team.

**If you are an intermediary, please do not contact us**