Two senior researchers positions

Two senior researchers positions

Job Description


Job Title: Two senior researchers positions                                   
Accountable to:

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Responsible for Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Appointment: September 2021
Between € 3,744 and € 5,913 gross per month (depending on relevant experience)

Location Leiden, Netherlands
Overview of Naturalis Biodiversity Center:

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.

Overview of the project:

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.

  • 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.

Application Process

Applicants are invited to submit their application (in one PDF) before 19 April 2021 using this form.
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.

Please feel free to contact us with questions about the position (Maaike van de Kamp-Romijn,, scientific director) or the procedure (HR,