Universiteit Leiden

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Astronomy for Development Project Scientist

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
1.0 FTE
Intern, Extern
Type aanstelling
Geplaatst op
08 februari 2019
18 maart 2019

Nog 28 dagen om te solliciteren

Leiden Observatory invites applicants for the position of Astronomy for Development Project Scientist (0.8-1.0 FTE) .

Project description

Leiden Observatory, the astronomy department of Leiden University, seeks a Project Scientist for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (E-ROAD) and several related projects.

Astronomy is a science that links research, education, cutting-edge technology and cultural heritage in many societies across the world. It is a science that engenders wonder and that has cross-cultural links to religion and philosophy. These qualities make astronomy a powerful science to help to achieve the SDGs and because astronomy is very versatile it is an exceptional platform with which to engage stakeholders across different disciplines and institutions.

Leiden University hosts the IAU E-ROAD in partnership with the European Astronomical Society. The E-ROAD is part of a global network of 8 regional offices, coordinated by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development in Cape Town, South Africa. The E-ROAD will participate in and coordinate Astronomy for Development programmes that exploit astronomy to further the UN SDGs and implement the new IAU Strategic Plan .

Key Responsibilities

  • Implement the Astronomy for Development strategy of the IAU European Regional Office of Astronomy for Development in Europe;
  • Support the global implementation of the IAU Strategic plan for Astronomy for Development;
  • Design and conduct research on models of development using fundamental sciences;
  • Engage with development and science for development communities;
  • Raise funds and identify resources to implement the above-mentioned plans;
  • Implement the H2020 SpaceEU Work Package on advocacy:
  • Monitor the progress of the technical and scientific aspects of the project, including budgets and quality and performance indicators;
  • Represent the project occasionally at national, European and international events and conferences;
  • Develop collaborations and communication with a range of relevant stakeholders;
  • Support the activities of Astronomy & Society Group of Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands.

Selection criteria

  • Master’s degree or PhD in astronomy, science for development, development,  science communication or another related study;
  • Experience in working with the astronomical and/or development communities;
  • Experience in fundraising;
  • Knowledge of principles and models of development and/or science for development;
  • Experience of working in international teams;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English;
  • Skills in written, visual and verbal communication;
  • Management skills;
  • Fluency in additional languages than English is a plus.

Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

Leiden Observatory, the astronomy department of Leiden University, is leading or involved in several important European and global educational programmes in astronomy at the elementary or secondary school level. These include Universe Awareness (www.unawe.org), Space Awareness (www.space-awareness.org) and more recently the Incredible Space Agency. The Incredible Space Agency offers Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education with hands-on, project-based learning approaches. The IAU E-ROAD project manager will report directly to the Astronomy & Society group coordinator, Dr Pedro Russo. 

Terms and conditions

We offer a one year term position. Salary range from €2,709 to €4,274 gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries and/or questions about the procedure can be made to Pedro Russo (Astronomy & Society Group Leader) at russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl.


Please submit your application no later than 18 March 2019 to Dr Pedro Russo on https://jobs.strw.leidenuniv.nl/2019/russoPS/We require you to provide contact information for one referee, and provide a motivation letter and a CV.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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