Director of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO)

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is looking for a Director of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology with extensive expertise in high quality ecological research, a broad overall view of science and excellent management qualities. The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) is a top research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). NIOO-KNAW focuses on fundamental and strategic research on individual organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems. The mission is to carry out excellent research in ecology. In 2018, NIOO has received the rate “excellent” in a peer review by an international review committee.

Job description: The Director:

  • is responsible for the general and day-to-day management of the Institute, and for the research directions of the Institute, in line with the strategy of the KNAW;
  • ensures that NIOO remains a leading institution in ecological research, both nationally and internationally, where scientific talent can flourish;
  • develops a clear overall strategy for the future development of the Institute;
  • identifies important developments in science and society, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere, and responds accordingly;
  • promotes interdisciplinary cooperation and cooperation with other KNAW and NWO institutes to consolidate and further develop the scientific and societal status of NIOO;
  • positions the Institute with the bodies that fund research (e.g. EU, NWO), knowledge institutions, civil-society institutions, government institutions and the business community, and by doing so creates new partnerships;
  • plays an important role within national and international networks and partnerships within the discipline of ecology;
  • represents the Institute both within the KNAW (as a member of the Council of Directors) and in national/international bodies, representing the interests of both the Institute and the KNAW.

Requirements: The successful candidate:

  • has demonstrable leadership qualities, displays strategic thinking, has managerial skills, and has a track record in bearing responsibility;
  • is energetic and decisive, paying attention to and consulting closely with the Institute’s staff;
  • is an experienced ecology researcher at the highest international level;
  • has an eye for the organisation and is able to implement changes;
  • is people-oriented, connecting and accessible, and aims for cooperation;
  • has a large national and international network and is demonstrably able to use this network for strategic alliances and project          acquisitions;
  • has know-how and experience in the field of finance and personnel management;
  • has a good command of English, both spoken and written; foreign candidates are expected to become familiar with the Dutch language and culture within a reasonable time period.


    Conditions of employment: Depending on education and work experience, the person appointed will be remunerated at scale 18 (of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities), including 8% holiday pay and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of her/his annual salary. There is a comprehensive package of fringe benefits.

    Applications: Female candidates are emphatically invited to apply. In the event of several applicants being equally suitable, the KNAW – given its aim to achieve diversity at management and board level – will give preference to a female candidate.

    Your application – consisting of your CV and a motivation letter – should be submitted by 4 February 2019 at the latest.

    It should be addressed to the General Director of the KNAW, Mieke Zaanen, for the attention of the Personnel and Organisation Department, P.O. Box 19121, NL-1000 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands, or Please mark your application “Vacancy Director NIOO”.

    Your letter must in any case show how your experience matches the requirements for the position. The procedure may involve requesting references and an assessment.

    The first round of interviews will take place on 27 and 28 February 2019.


Application deadline:
Start date: Flexible
Location: The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Wageningen, the Netherlands