Research Officer in Numerical Support (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Uren per week: 
28 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Geowetenschappen
GEO / Dept AW
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


In recent years, the Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University, has seen a substantial increase in computational research related to topics from the energy transition to blue-sky science. The department has its own computer cluster with 89 compute nodes that are connected through InfiniBand and we expect to extend our usage of the Dutch National Super Computer. The department also hosts advanced laboratory and imaging facilities producing increasingly larger data sets that require machine learning techniques to aid in analyses. Since we expect these demands to keep growing, we are now seeking additional capacity by filling a position for Research Officer in Numerical Support.

As a Research Officer, you will support the scientists in our department in computational research and education on topics ranging from sustainable use of the subsurface in the energy transition to understanding Earth's processes across a broad range of space and time scales. You will be working in an engaging international environment by collaborating with junior and senior scientists. As such, you will have a pivotal role in the development of numerical research capabilities of the department.

Your main tasks will be:

  • to collaborate with researchers to upgrade existing codes so that they better benefit from High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms and from GPU- and cloud-based computing;
  • work with scientists to develop and optimise machine learning software for discipline-specific data;
  • support and train researchers on research software design and management following FAIR principles by use of version control, documentation, packaging, and testing.

With your knowledge and expertise you support and advise our scientists and help strengthening our research. You will not be asked to develop your own research line(s) or seek your own research funding. Support in education is expected to be limited to supporting (numerical) practicals and possibly student projects. Incidental expert (guest) lectures may be optional, whereas all primary teaching duties lie with our assistant, associate and full professors.


Candidates are expected to have:

  • strong teamwork affinity to work in a diverse environment of junior and senior scientists;
  • good social and communication skills;
  • excellent skills in writing and speaking English;
  • and a critical, open, and interdisciplinary mindset;
  • A PhD involving computational research is an asset, but is not required.

The ideal candidate is a jack-of-all-trades who possesses a vast and diverse knowledge and skills in multiple disciplines and who also excels in all topic areas. We recognise however that it is more realistic that the Research Officer demonstrates a solid grasp of one or few of the following subject areas. We therefore expect all candidates to demonstrate curiosity, intellectual versatility, and a deep interest in exploring and mastering new subjects:

  • experience in the development and maintenance of software for homogeneous and heterogeneous HPC platforms, preferably in the context of research-related products;
  • experience with state-of-the-art HPC hardware, such as multi-GPU clusters or cloud environments;
  • experience with the development and maintenance of machine learning techniques;
  • experience with deploying and supporting open-source software, possibly running on remote platforms;
  • a distinct interest in, and affinity with, open-source software for scientific research.


This is a position for 0.8-1.0 FTE for one year in an international working environment. In case of a good performance, an indefinite employment is one of the possibilities.
The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between €3,377 and €4,640 (scale 9 - 10.9 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, professional development, (partly paid) parental leave, sports and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

Over de organisatie

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts a highly international tenured staff of over 50 scientists and about 110 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Our research programmes spans four intertwined themes: Climate & Life, Earth interior, Earth materials, and Environmental Earth Sciences.

About Utrecht
Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of nearly 360,000 and forms a hub in the middle of the country. Its historic city centre and its modern central station can easily be reached from the Utrecht Science Park by public transport or by a 15-minute bicycle ride. Utrecht boasts beautiful canals with extraordinary wharf cellars housing cafés and terraces by the water, as well as a broad variety of shops and boutiques.

Aanvullende informatie

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. dr. Jack Middelburg (Professor) via  

You are also invited to join our online information session via Microsoft Teams on Friday September 8th between 15.00 - 16.00 CEST. You can ask us about our profiles and tasks of the offered position, the possibilities of professional development, and moving to and living in Utrecht (housing, visa, schools, partner opportunities). If interested, please send an email to Sophie Ketting via to receive the Teams link. We look forward to meeting you!


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation via the 'apply now' button. This position is re-advertised after an unsuccessful initial search for a suitable and strong enough candidate. When you applied before and weren’t selected, please, do not apply again.

We hope to start the position as soon as possible after a quick selection procedure. However, note that international candidates that need a visa/work permit for the Netherlands require at least four months processing time after selection and acceptance. This will be arranged with help of the  International Service Desk (ISD) of our university. Finding appropriate housing in or near Utrecht is your own responsibility, but the ISD may be able to advise you therewith. In case of general questions about working and living in The Netherlands, please consult the  Dutch Mobility Portal.

Uiterlijk reageren op 1 oktober 2023.