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Assistant or Associate Professor on Astronomical Data Science

University of Groningen - The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute

Job description

The Kapteyn Astronomical Institute invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor, with a focus on enhancing our capabilities in the development and application of astronomical data science methods within both observational and theoretical research domains. Candidates should have a background in Astronomy/Astrophysics and demonstrate a robust track record in cutting-edge data science research fields. This can include, e.g., expertise in managing and analysing large scientific datasets, applying machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques, engaging in innovative modelling, and software development.

We seek a candidate eager to exploit existing (e.g., JWST, Gaia, VLT, LOFAR, ALMA, WEAVE, Euclid) as well as future facilities (e.g., 4MOST, ELT, SKA, CTA) or other instruments with involvement of the Institute, including datasets from advanced numerical simulations. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to one of the Institute's current research areas, fostering collaborations within the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, across NOVA institutes, ASTRON, SRON, and with Computer Science at the University of Groningen (Bernoulli Institute) and elsewhere.

We are offering a full-time position within our faculty's Career Paths in Science and Engineering system, providing an excellent pathway for career development. For those appointed at the Assistant Professor level, we offer the opportunity for a permanent appointment (tenure) within one to three years, with the potential to advance to Full Professor within approximately ten years. For appointments at the Associate Professor level, tenure is granted following a brief probation period, with the opportunity to progress to Full Professor in approximately five years. This system is designed to support your professional growth and long-term career prospects within our institution. The level of the appointment that will be offered depends on the candidate's track record and career stage.

As Assistant or Associate Professor, you will:

  • Set up and develop your own research line and research group
  • Teach bachelor and master courses and contribute to the development of degree programs in Astronomy
  • Supervise PhD students and postdocs
  • Acquire external funding
  • Promote the societal relevance of your research
  • Contribute to the organisation of the institute and faculty, for example, by participating in working groups and committees in the domains of teaching, research, and management.

At the stage of Assistant Professor, 60% of your time is for research, 30% for teaching activities and 10% for organisational tasks. As an Associate Professor, 40-50% of your time is dedicated to research, 40% to teaching activities, and 20-10% to organisational tasks.


The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Groningen is the lively capital of the Northern Netherlands with a high quality of life and affordable living conditions. The University has 37000 students in BSc and MSc programmes, 4400 PhD students, and 4600 staff members. Our students and staff come from all around the world.

Quality has been our top priority for over four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines, from classical disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy, and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy, and nanoscience. At FSE, education and research are strongly intertwined, and we value a strong disciplinary basis for our students. Our programmes in science and engineering, while diverse, share a common view on best practices for research-driven, international education. We are proud of the open, inclusive, and informal character of our community.

The position we offer will be embedded in the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute. The mission of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute is to perform front-line research in astronomy, astrophysics, and related fields, aided by the presence of NWO-institutes ASTRON and SRON and NOVA labs, and to provide an excellent educational environment for both graduate and undergraduate studies. The Institute’s mission and its policy and strategy are closely linked to and partly define the mission of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, NOVA, of which it is one of four member institutes. The excellent reputation of the Kapteyn Institute has made it possible to attract promising, top-quality astronomers to the University of Groningen. The facilities the Institute offers, such as access to world-class observing facilities, make the Kapteyn Institute a very attractive environment for astronomical research.


We seek candidates with the following characteristics:

  • A PhD degree in Astronomy/Astrophysics or related fields
  • Excellent research qualities, as shown by a publication record in international peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of renowned conferences and the research statement
  • A proven track record in developing and applying novel data-science methods to observations and/or simulations
  • A great affinity with and a good track record in teaching, appropriate for the career stage
  • Ideally, at least two years of postdoctoral experience outside of the Netherlands, preferably in a different country than where you received your PhD
  • A relevant international network
  • The potential to acquire substantial research grants from external sources
  • Demonstrable communicative and organisational competences
  • The ambition and the potential to develop academically
  • The ability to work well with others in international and diverse teams
  • Good command of spoken and written English.

Furthermore, we expect all new staff members to either have a University Teaching Qualification (Dutch: “Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs”) or obtain it within three years and, if they do not already speak it, to learn the Dutch language within at most five years.


Conditions of employment

The Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen was the first on the European mainland to introduce a tenure track career policy, twenty years ago, and with significant success. We have attracted great talents that have contributed strongly to the worldwide leading position of our faculty’s ten research institutes. Our career system has helped our staff members to develop highly successful and rewarding academic careers. The latest version of this system, ‘Career Paths in Science and Engineering’, offers:

  • Diverse career paths with a focus on research, education, or impact
  • Dynamic career paths, in which staff members can switch focus during their career
  • If hired at Tenure Track Assistant Professor level, promotion to Assistant Professor level 1, in combination with a permanent contract, already after 1 - 3 years, provided the relevant criteria are met. Promotion to Associate Professor after 5 years, and promotion to Full Professor after another 5 years if the corresponding criteria are met
  • If hired at Associate Professor level, promotion to Full Professor after 5 years if the corresponding criteria are met
  • Significant freedom for staff members whether and when to apply for promotion.

For more information about Career Paths in Science and Engineering, see: Please consider the career path with a focus on research for the criteria for tenure and for promotion to more senior positions.

As starting conditions, we offer a salary, depending on qualifications and work experience, from €4,332 up to a maximum of €6,737 gross per month (scale 11 or 12 CAO Dutch Universities, depending on your career stage) for a full-time position as Assistant, or from € 6,002 up to a maximum of € 8,025 gross per month (scale 13 or 14 CAO Dutch Universities, depending on your career stage) for a full-time position as Associate Professor. Additionally, we offer:

  • A holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus of respectively 8% and 8.3% of your yearly salary
  • A pension scheme
  • Maternity and parental leave
  • The possibility of working part-time (0,9 FTE or 0,8 FTE)
  • A mentor programme and a broad range of opportunities for personal development
  • Dual career support for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Consider our website for more information about the working conditions at the University of Groningen:


We invite you to submit a complete application, including the following:

  • A cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications, a description of your teaching. experience, and a list with names and contact details of references
  • A list of five self-selected papers with an explanation of your contribution and what impact it made on science and/or society
  • A statement of your teaching goals and experience
  • A research statement, including a description of your scientific interest and plans.

Please send your application by clicking on “Apply” below. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be sent directly by your referees by the indicated deadline. The application deadline for this position is at 23.59 CET on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

The on-site selection interviews will take place between April 29 and June 5, 2024.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Additional information

Location: Groningen - Netherlands
Salary: €4,332 to €6,737
£3,767.96 to £5,859.82 converted salary* gross per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 14th February 2024
Closes: 24th March 2024
Job Ref: V24.0087
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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