Head Radio Observatory
  • Expertise
  • Section
    Radio observatory
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Are you interested in a senior leadership opportunity at ASTRON: an international research institute engaged in cutting-edge science? Are you committed to delivering high-quality operations and expert support to astronomical teams around the world? Would you like to be at the forefront of the exploitation of two world-class telescopes, LOFAR and WSRT? We are looking for a

Head Radio Observatory

Job description:

The Head of the Radio Observatory leads ASTRON’s observatory operations as a member of the ASTRON Directors’ Group. Observatory operations is a large part of ASTRON’s day-to-day business with 35 fte currently organized in three areas (Operations & Maintenance, Science Operations & Support and Operational Software Development). You will contribute to the strategy of the institute, review and improve all aspects of operations, define new development projects within the operational sphere and identify sources of funding. ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.


  • Ensure the Radio Observatory delivers high quality astronomical data and excellent support services to the international user community;
  • Contribute to the long term vision of ASTRON and translate this into a long term strategy for the Radio Observatory department;
  • Supervise the optimization of the operations and performance of the facilities and archives to maximize scientific output;
  • Organize the efficient definition and execution of the observing program;
  • Manage the Radio Observatory staff and budgets and further the collaboration between the groups in the department and within the rest of ASTRON;
  • Communicate with stakeholders in the astronomical community;
  • Participate in the acquisition of funding and in exploring novel uses of ASTRON’s facilities.

Job requirements:

  •  At least ten years experience in operational management, preferably with large scale scientific instruments;
  • PhD (or MSc with extended experience) in a relevant science or technology area such as instrumental astronomy, physics, electrical engineering or computer science;
  • Proven experience in the management of international projects;
  • Be a team player, especially as member of the ASTRON management team; and have an excellent command of the English language and are proficient in the Dutch language.

Our offer:

  •  The initial contract will be for two years. This may convert to an indefinite contract based on good performance and the long term ASTRON vision for the Radio Observatory;
  • Besides a pleasant and challenging work environment we have a good package of benefits like a pension plan, group discounts on individual insurances and travel expenses;
  • We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation;
  • We offer generous relocation expenses and support with finding accommodation.

 The organisation:

 ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, is located just outside Dwingeloo, The Netherlands. Our mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen. We are a world-wide leader on the development and exploitation of array antennas for radio astronomy. We have developed and built phased arrays of 100,000+ elements operating between 10 and 250 MHz, and array feeds for the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the GHz range. Our research and development aims at continuously improving the performance and cost-effectiveness of this technology for future telescopes, such as the Square Kilometre Array.


For more information about ASTRON check our website www.jobsatastron.nl. For more information about this vacancy and/or the formal role description, please contact Diana Verweij, Head of HR and Communications, phone: +31 521 595 100 or e-mail: verweij@astron.nl.


You can apply directly for this job via the ‘Apply now’ button below (reference number 2016-03-007). Candidates will be considered immediately, and until the position has been filled; applications received before August 1, 2017 will be assured of full consideration. Internal and external recruiting will take place in parallel.

Acquisition based on this vacancy is not appreciated.

Word of a staff member
Boudewijn Hut
Junior commissioning engineer

During my graduation project for the study of astronomy, I had my first encounter with ASTRON. At that time I got the chance to make an interesting thesis I seized the opportunity immediately! After my studies I started to work at ASTRON. I chose ASTRON partly because it is a knowledge institute. There is also […]

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RT @daily_image Giant radio jets as seen by LOFAR tinyurl.com/y8lrvpj4 pic.twitter.com/lUNE…

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