Two senior researchers and two post-doctoral fellows

Female diver doing field work

Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden is the Dutch national research institute for biodiversity and systematics. With our collection of 42 million specimens (one of the world's largest), and our state-of-the-art research facilities we offer the (inter)national research infrastructure for species, identification and monitoring (for example in the ARISE and DiSSCo projects). We closely collaborate with many Dutch universities, research institutes, industry and government. We host over 120 researchers including 13 academia embedded professors and 40 PhD students. We present the history of our planet, and the diversity of life on Earth, through permanent and temporary museum exhibitions, educational programs and online presence, with more than 400,000 visitors per year. All in all, a unique combination of science and culture in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world!

Naturalis is looking to expand its scientific staff with two (senior) researchers and two post-doctoral fellows for 36 hours per week (or part thereof).

About
us

Biodiversity drives the fundamental ecosystem processes that we depend on. Naturalis focuses on evolution, fossil and extant species identification and monitoring biodiversity. Biodiversity is a multidisciplinary and multi stakeholder topic. So we do not cover all biodiversity research ourselves. Naturalis is about species. We combine our knowledge of species with promising novel technologies such as metagenomics, artificial intelligence, data science and 3D imaging. 

We aim to accelerate the discovery of species and their interactions in ecosystems. For this, we will create exciting new multidisciplinary lines of research and we will train scientists, students and experts to become world-leading in this new frontier research.

Ever since the 18th century, taxonomists have been naming and describing the plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms that share our planet today and in the past. Although about 2 million species are now known, research suggests there are at least 10 and probably more than 20 million species on Earth, meaning that 80-90% of our world’s biodiversity is still undiscovered! At the same time, we are witnessing alarming biodiversity declines. Reports indicate that 1 million species are currently threatened with extinction. It is increasingly recognized that biodiversity loss is one of the most significant threats to the environment and to our ability to transition to a sustainable future. These circumstances call for transformational scientific progress and serious action.

Transformation

We believe that we, as Naturalis, can play an important role in this transformation by:

  • Foster excellence in science and innovation in the field of biology and earth sciences;
  • Offer training for scientists, students and experts to provide sustainable capacity building in the field of taxonomy;
  • Provide a vibrant scientific environment for early-stage and mid-career researchers and foster their academic career;
  • Provide and maintain a sustainable state-of-the-art (inter)national research infrastructure;
  • Further support and strengthen the national research community in the field of biology;
  • Further develop an extensive (inter)national network that connects academia, society, government, industry and the general public;
  • Extend our outreach to the general public by not only focussing on our visitors, but also by engaging with new audiences outside the museum, and by using citizen science;
  • Expand our role in Dutch national science policy by calling for an ambitious biodiversity strategy in societal and political agendas.

Find out more about our research, labs and collection.

Positions

We are seeking four ambitious, enthusiastic, innovative scientists to strengthen our research capacity and multidisciplinary lines of research. We provide a vibrant environment organised in 9 research groups, and provide access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and the 42 million natural history objects in our collection. At Naturalis you will get the opportunity to develop your research career, to cooperate with inspiring colleagues and to teach at Dutch universities. 

As a (senior) researcher, you are challenged 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 new researchers. For postdocs this is an opportunity to pioneer their own research line within the context of one or more research groups. They will spend part of their time on the acquisition of research funding.

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 at Naturalis; 
  • You have a proven track record of independent research, in line with your career stage;
  • You have strong teaching, 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;
  • You have expertise in natural history collection driven research;
  • You have an excellent level of written and spoken English.

For the (senior) researcher positions we are particularly interested in candidates with a background in taxonomy and systematics and a close link to natural history collections. The successful candidates are very productive in terms of research output with international impact, have a proven track record in funding acquisition as well as the ability to engage with the Dutch audience and relevant local and (inter)national communities. Candidates for the (senior) researcher position need to have at least 3 year of relevant postdoctoral experience.

For the postdoc positions, working experience after obtaining a PhD is not required. We are looking for candidates with the willingness to attract external research funding, for example within the NWO Talent programme (VENI) or otherwise.

We
offer

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. Our Research Coordination Office provides ample support to our scientific staff with grant writing and effective and efficient supervision of our PhD candidates. 

We offer the two (senior) researchers a contract for a period of one year and a monthly salary between € 3,744 and € 5,913 gross per month (depending on relevant experience) based on a fulltime (36-hour) working week. After a successful first year evaluation, the contract will be extended. After a maximum of 4 years, the contract will be converted into permanent employment.

We offer the two postdoctoral fellows a contract for a period of one year, to be extended with one more year after a successful evaluation and a monthly salary between € 3,099 and € 3,630 gross per month (depending on relevant experience) based on a fulltime (36-hour) working week. 

Other benefits include an allowance for travel expenses, holiday allowance (8%) and year-end bonus (3.4%) - as according to the Dutch Museum CLA.

Procedure

Applicants are invited to submit their application (in one PDF) before 19 April 2021 using this form for the (senior) researcher positions and this form for the postdoc 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 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 

First round interviews are scheduled in week 21/22.

More
information

Please feel free to contact us with questions about the position (Maaike van de Kamp-Romijn, maaike.vandekamp-romijn@naturalis.nl, scientific director) or the procedure (HR, sollicitaties@naturalis.nl).

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 Code Cultural Diversity.

Acquisition is not appreciated.