Head Research & Development
  • Expertise
  • Section
    R & D
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Are you interested in a senior leadership opportunity to lead the R&D department of ASTRON? We are an international research institute engaged in cutting-edge science.  We seek a motivated Head of R&D, a key member of ASTRON’s Management Team who directs the cross-systems capabilities of ASTRON to deliver innovative systems of the future.

Head Research & Development


Job description:

The Head of Research & Development (R&D) leads ASTRON’s large R&D department as a member of the ASTRON Management Team. ASTRON’s R&D group is the core driver of our innovation platform with 60 FTE currently organised into six capability groups: Radio, Digital and Embedded Signal Processing, Computing, Mechanics, Project Management & Systems Engineering and Technical Support. As Head of R&D you will contribute to the overall strategy of the institute, review and direct our technology roadmap vision and identify sources of funding.

ASTRON strives to be an attractive workplace for all individuals irrespective of race, gender, ability or any other points of difference. Improving staff diversity is an important topic for our management team.  Applications from women and other under-represented groups are highly encouraged.


  • ensure that the ASTRON’s R&D department maintains leading-edge skills, providing the technical capabilities necessary to deliver our Institute-wide program missions;
  • continue to develop a vibrant and engaged R&D effort, delivering results to the ASTRON programs to specification, whilst also encouraging innovative solutions;
  • participate in the acquisition of funding and in exploring novel uses of ASTRON’s innovations;
  • ensuring ASTRON’s R&D effort yields impact via technical and scientifically excellent results;
  • contribute to the long term vision of ASTRON and translate this into a long term strategy/ technology roadmap for the R&D department;
  • manage the R&D Department staff and budgets and further the collaboration between the groups in the department and throughout the rest of ASTRON;
  • communicate with stakeholders in the astronomical community, engineering academia and industry.

Essential attributes:

  •  PhD (or MSc with extended experience) in a relevant science or technology area such as instrumental astronomy, physics, electrical engineering or computer science;
  • experience in managing highly qualified professionals with a wide range of technical and cultural backgrounds;
  • be a team player, especially as member of the ASTRON management team;
  • demonstrable interest in leading edge technology along with an active professional network.

Desirable attributes:

  • range of experience in both commercial and academic environments;
  • proven experience in the acquisition and management of international projects;
  • proficient in the Dutch language.

Our offer:

  •  the initial fixed contract will be for a maximum of five years after which the expectation is to convert this to an indefinite contract based on performance and in alignment with the the long term ASTRON vision for R&D;
  • as well as a pleasant and challenging work environment we have a good package of benefits like a pension plan and travel expenses;
  • we offer numerous possibilities for personal development and growth;
  • 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 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 aim at continuously improving the performance and cost-effectiveness of this technology for future telescopes, such as the Square Kilometre Array.

ASTRON is an institute in the NWO portfolio.


For more information about ASTRON check our websites www.astron.nl and www.jobsatastron.nl. For more information about this vacancy please contact Diana Verweij, Head of HR, phone: +31 521 595 100, e-mail: verweij@astron.nl.


You can apply (in English) directly for this job by sending your application via the ‘Apply now’ button below. The closing date is September 28, 2018. Candidates will be considered until the position has been filled.

Word of a staff member
Bram Veenboer
PhD researcher

After studying computer science I wanted to continue in the direction of my master: High Performance Computing. Besided, I wanted to get my doctorate, so I ended up at ASTRON. At ASTRON there was a nice position available within the Dome project. At Dome I can apply the theory into practice and I can immerse […]

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