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Full Professor in Artificial Intelligence for Biodiversity

Maastricht University - Department of System Earth Science

Job Description 

We are looking for a Professor in Artificial Intelligence for Biodiversity to help develop our new activities in the area of system earth science at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo in the Southern Netherlands. These new activities will focus on earth and plant-biological research (from fundamental to applied) in relation to human health, the environment and relevant stakeholders. Currently, a strong knowledgebase is being developed to facilitate education, research and innovation in an interdisciplinary setting at the Greenport Campus. All activities have a strong systems approach. As one of the most international universities in Europe, Maastricht University is consistently ranked in the top ten of universities younger than 50 years worldwide. 

With this chair in Artificial Intelligence for Biodiversity, Maastricht University will establish a new research line within the national Dutch priority area 'Artificial Intelligence for Biology'. This new chair builds up research and education in the field of artificial intelligence and biodiversity and will be positioned centrally in the System Earth Science department. The chair will develop tools to aid in studying biodiversity at all levels (from genes to ecosystems) such as detecting genetic patterns in DNA pools, species identification and discovery, monitoring of biodiversity, and analysis of big data, including spatial data. This priority area aims to facilitate effective and timely action to protect biodiversity through early detection and mitigation of changes in biodiversity as well as its conservation and sustainable use. The chair should engage in cooperation with other research departments (such as the Department of Advanced Computing Sciences and Brightlands Future Farming Institute) at Maastricht University, local and (inter)national biodiversity organisations and knowledge partners. Finally, the chair will contribute to education on the use of artificial intelligence for biodiversity in the bachelor programme University College Venlo and several other bachelor and master programmes. 


For this position, we are looking for a candidate with a strong biological profile. The candidate has a doctoral degree in Biology, Ecology, Biodiversity studies or a related discipline such as Computational Biology or Bioinformatics, with a fair number of years of experience with artificial intelligence in this field. Alternatively, the candidate has a doctoral degree in the field of artificial intelligence, computer science, data science or a related discipline, complemented with proven knowledge of the biological sciences. Experience with analyses of data from different sources, such as DNA sequencing data, optical remote sensing data (e.g. multi- or hyperspectral data), data from GIS (geographical information system) or data from AI-aided image analysis techniques is highly desirable. You should have a strong commitment to excellence in research and education. Those with a multidisciplinary interest, who are willing to cross boundaries between scientific disciplines and to society, are especially encouraged to apply. You have an excellent record of accomplishment, which reflects your strong base in international (interdisciplinary) research, grant acquisition and education in the area of biodiversity and artificial intelligence. You have an excellent command of written and spoken English. 

You will be responsible for the development of a new research line on artificial intelligence for biodiversity within Maastricht University. You are expected to take initiatives to help strengthen the development of the chair and the earth and plant-biological sciences in general. You should especially create strong collaborative ties to the Brightlands Future Farming Institute. You are stimulating and approachable for staff and students and will readily interact with colleagues within Maastricht University and with other knowledge and business partners. You also have a proven capability to acquire (international) grants. 

The chair will contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching. You will create new course materials, including syllabi, lectures, assignments, and assessments using the Problem-Based Learning approach that Maastricht University uses as a basis for all education. Experience in developing educational modules or curricula is seen as an asset. Next to this, you are motivated to supervise students in Research-Based Learning during projects periods and final thesis works. 

Although the Faculty is looking for an experienced candidate who will considered for appointment at a Full Professor level, candidates with a strong track record at the level of Associate Professor, are encouraged to apply. 

What we offer 

As Full Professor at the Faculty of Science & Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you: 

  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale 14-18 according to UFO profile Professor (2 or 1), with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €6,305 and €11,686 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An indefinite employment contract at Maastricht University with a scope of 1.0 FTE.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'. 

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here. 

Why work at Maastricht University? 

At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research. 

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers. 

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community. 

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together. 

Click here for more information about UM. 

Faculty of Science and Engineering 

At the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), we focus on themes such as circularity and sustainability, future farming, digitisation and (scientific) instrument development.  FSE's leading projects, like the Einstein Telescope Pathfinder, are sure to grab anyone's attention.  The faculty is a vibrant hub of education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).  At FSE, over 450 staff members and 3700 students gather to explore e exciting interdisciplinary research and educational programmes. Feel welcome, be part of our team and put your brilliant mind to work! 

FSE at the Brightlands Campuses 

Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen, and Venlo, the home of four creative Brightlands campuses, are bustling with 30,000 entrepreneurs, researchers, and students working diligently to solve global challenges. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is active on all four Brightlands campuses, and this is where our impact reaches its peak. To give you an idea of what is happening at each campus: Sittard-Geleen is home to the largest chemical site in the Euregion, while Venlo is a large hub for agri-food innovation. Maastricht is the site of the Health Campus, and Heerlen is the place to be for Smart Services. 

Department System Earth Science 

This position will be embedded in the recently founded System Earth Science department ( within the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Maastricht University. This will house research lines in the fields of plant ecology and evolution, planetary health, and sustainable and healthy food systems. These activities will be located at the Brightlands Greenport Campus Venlo. 


Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Roy Erkens, Associate Professor Evolutionary Diversity at for more information. 


Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new Full Professor Artificial Intelligence for Biodiversity? Apply now, no later than 17 March 2024, for this position. 

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Location: Maastricht - Netherlands
Salary: €6,305 to €11,686
£5,484.06 to £10,164.44 converted salary* gross per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 1st February 2024
Closes: 17th April 2024
Job Ref: 607
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