Two tenure track Researchers

Afbeelding buitenzijde gebouw

Naturalis is looking to expand its scientific staff with Two tenure track Researchers.

Postgraduate degree
Fulltime (36 hours per week or part thereof)
Fixed-term with prospect of permanent
€ 4.170 - € 6.527

About us

Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden is the Dutch national research institute for biodiversity and systematics. With our collection of 43 million specimens, one of the world's largest natural history collections, and our state-of-the-art research facilities we develop the (inter)national research infrastructure for species, identification and monitoring. We closely collaborate with many Dutch universities, research institutes, industry, and government. We host over 150 researchers including 15 academia embedded professors and about 50 PhD students and 30 postdocs. We are an international hub for capacity building: training and educating students and experts, the new generation of modern taxonomists. 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 500,000 visitors per year. All in all, a unique combination of science and culture in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world!

The effects of climate change and biodiversity loss are being felt worldwide. Despite the available biodiversity knowledge and the many organisations aiming for nature conservation, the Netherlands suffers more biodiversity loss than most European countries. To translate the increasing political need to stop further biodiversity loss and work towards solutions, governments and industry in the Netherlands (and Europe) urgently need up-to-date knowledge on all facets of biodiversity and supporting data. This requires a radical new integrated approach to monitoring technologies, new monitoring and assessment tools, and more scientific research.

Naturalis is in the middle of this development. We host one of the world's largest and most important natural history collections, a physical reference collection with unlimited potential for biodiversity research. We enhance our digital collection with digital twins, broadening our specimen based digitization concept with species-based digitization activities. We build a national research infrastructure that will enable science to identify species faster, monitor them more easily and gain better insights into interaction networks and ecosystems. The scientific results will enable the government and companies to better protect biodiversity in the Netherlands. 

We are, therefore, expanding our scientific research on Dutch species in the coming years, focusing in particular on research integrating molecular techniques, imaging techniques and data science (AI) to enhance species recognition and detection. Naturalis wants to be able to identify and monitor all Dutch species. This means we face the exciting challenge to accelerate the discovery, identification, and description of species in our soil, rivers, sea and air that so far have escaped our attention. With ARISEeDentity and Noordzeker we will have the conditional infrastructural building blocks and facilities to build the research infrastructure. Still a lot of scientific research needs to be done to integrate the building blocks into a fully operational research infrastructure and to develop it towards a radical new approach of discovering, identifying and monitoring all Dutch species in a way that can be scaled to include European or even global biodiversity. 

Find out more about our research, labs and collection. 


We are seeking two ambitious, enthusiastic, innovative scientists to strengthen our research on Dutch species, actively supporting the development of our national research infrastructures. We will challenge you to develop your leadership skills and to set up your own line of research. You will be expected to acquire project funding for new research, participate in outreach activities and mentor PhD students and postdocs.

General requirements
and skills

We would like to hear from you if: 

  • You hold a PhD in biology, earth sciences or a related discipline; 
  • Your research complements and connects the current expertise of Dutch species at Naturalis and is able to accelerate and scale up the identification and monitoring of ‘dark taxa’; 
  • You have a proven track record of independent excellent research, in line with your career stage; 
  • You have a proven track record in modern taxonomy, combining knowledge of (Dutch) species with enabling technology such as molecular techniques, imaging techniques, and/or data science (AI);
  • You have vision and ambition on accelerating and upscaling the discovery and monitoring of Dutch species;
  • You have strong teaching, supervision, communication and presentation skills; 
  • You have excellent collaboration and networking skills; 
  • You are highly motivated, think creatively and are eager to give direction to your innovative ideas; 

We offer

We provide a vibrant academic environment organised in 9 research groups, and provide access to state-of-the-art laboratory and data facilities, and the 43 million natural history objects in our collection and to our (inter)national research infrastructures. At Naturalis you will get the opportunity to foster your academic career, to cooperate with inspiring colleagues and to actively participate in public engagement. You will have access to a vast network of universities, universities of applied sciences, governmental organisations, industry, museums and NGO’s. With our Research Coordination Office, we offer solid support for PhD students, postdocs and staff in teaching, supervision, (grant)writing, consortium building and personal career development. We facilitate embedding as assistant professor, associate professor or full professor at a Dutch university.

The successful candidates will be employed by Naturalis in Leiden. Naturalis Biodiversity Center offers an inspiring working atmosphere. We offer the opportunity to all our researchers to develop personal lines of research into vibrant, visible and viable research groups and full support for personal growth and career development. We offer the two researchers a contract for a period of four years and a monthly salary between € 4,170 and € 6,527 gross per month (depending on relevant experience) based on a full time (36-hour) working week (Excluding the recently established 5% salary increase according to the Dutch Museum CLA as per July 1st, 2024). After a maximum of 4 years, the contract will be converted into permanent employment after a successful evaluation. Other benefits include an allowance for travel expenses, holiday allowance (8%) and year-end bonus (3.4%) - as according to the Dutch Museum CLA. 


Applicants are invited to submit their application (in one PDF) no later than August 3 CEST, using this form for the researcher positions. This application should include:                                                                                   

 1. A narrative academic profile of no more than three pages. This is a description of the scientific and societal impact of the candidate’s research, including a list of no more than 10 key outputs with a description of why the applicant considers this important, and a concise table including publications, teaching activities, and major grants and awards. 

2. A 3-page research proposal that contains a) a description of a future research plan, b) a   short motivation on how this plan fits within Naturalis research and collection and c) suggestions for future collaboration with our current research groups (please indicate and motivate which ones). We also encourage candidates to motivate how they can contribute to the joint mission of Naturalis and what they consider unique and innovative assets of their research. 

3. A personal motivation letter.                                                                                                                

4. The names and contact details of two referees.

Depending on availability the first round of interviews will be scheduled from week 34 onwards and can take place through Google Meet. Part of the application procedure may include giving a presentation about your topic of research on site or online (25 minutes). 


Please feel free to contact us with questions about the position (Maaike van de Kamp-Romijn,, scientific director) or the procedure (HR, 

Our institute promotes gender equality and aims for enhancing the diversity and inclusiveness of staff members. In the case of equal suitability, preference is given to the candidate who reinforces diversity within the team. Naturalis endorses the Diversity & Inclusion code

  **If you are a recruiting agent, please do not contact us**