Universiteit Leiden

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Assistant Professor in Computational Biodiversity

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
16 juli 2024
15 september 2024 Nog 56 dagen om te solliciteren

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The Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, is looking for candidates for a:

Assistant Professor in Computational Biodiversity (0.8-1.0 FTE)

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), and Naturalis Biodiversity Center are seeking a candidate for an Assistant Professor position in Computational Biodiversity. The recent proliferation in biodiversity data has unlocked a vast array of biological information. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can reveal patterns and relationships that traditional methods might miss, enabling more accurate modeling of ecosystems, predicting species behavior, and understanding genetic diversity—crucial for conservation efforts and sustainable development. Additionally, computational challenges that arise in biodiversity research push the development of multi-modal algorithms for modelling, predicting, and optimizing complex systems, leading to innovations in machine learning and optimization techniques. This interdisciplinary approach not only propels ecological research but also enhances AI's ability to tackle complex, real-world challenges. At LIACS, there are more opportunities than boundaries; you will join existing or new research groups and are expected to thrive in our culture of cross-group collaboration. As an assistant professor, you will teach courses related to your research, supervise students, and foster connections between LIACS, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Universiteit Leiden. LIACS values fun, inclusivity, openness, and teamwork. Next to LIACS, you will also be embedded in Naturalis Biodiversity Center, collaboration with leading researchers in biodiversity and providing access to state-of-the-art biodiversity data infrastructures.


  • Conduct independent research in computational biodiversity.
  • Create and foster connections between LIACS and Naturalis Biodiversity Center.
  • Teach relevant courses at both BSc and MSc levels.
  • Obtain the University Teaching Qualification (BKO) within 2 years.
  • Supervise BSc and MSc students.
  • (Co-)supervise PhD students.
  • Secure external funding for research initiatives.
  • Participate in committees and organize activities within your research group, the institute, and relevant initiatives in Leiden and the Netherlands.

Selection Criteria:

  • PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence or Computer Science
  • Demonstrated interest in the computational aspects of biodiversity.
  • Proven independence and excellence in research at the postdoctoral level or beyond.
  • Strong publication record and experience in securing research funding.
  • Proven teaching experience with a track record of effective student engagement.
  • Ability to work independently, as part of a team, and in a supervisory role with students.
  • An academic, creative, and open mindset.
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English.

Additional Information:
We are looking for a candidate who is passionate about the intersection of computational science and biodiversity. The ideal candidate will be innovative, collaborative, and ready to contribute to our academic community. LIACS offers a supportive environment with a balance between teaching and research, allowing the candidate to write research proposals and providing opportunities for professional growth and development. The level of the position will correspond to the candidate experience.

As an Assistant Professor, you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities at both LIACS and Naturalis Biodiversity Center and be part of a network of leading researchers in the field. You will play a key role in advancing our understanding of biodiversity through computational methods, contributing to both academic knowledge and practical solutions for conservation and sustainability.

Research at LIACS
The Leiden Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. 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 one of Europe’s biggest bio-science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science Institute of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. We offer courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in the core areas of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and Data Science, and in the interdisciplinary areas of Business, Creative Intelligence, and Bioinformatics. We are a highly international place to do research, and we strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and inclusiveness go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow.

Research at Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is the Dutch national research institute for biodiversity. Working with one of the largest natural history collections in the world, our researchers work on describing, monitoring, and understanding biodiversity. Over 120 researchers are working on scientific issues in the field of biodiversity on land and at sea worldwide: mapping species and their cohesion, and their changing living environment. Our data specialists work on automatic species identification, and on weaving all biodiversity data together. In the light of the current biodiversity crisis, having all biodiversity and taxonomical data connected and available is more important than ever. Naturalis is leading the way in endeavors to make this happen, both on a national and a worldwide scale. Naturalis aims to identify and monitor all Dutch species, accelerating the discovery, identification, and description of overlooked species in soil, rivers, sea, and air. Extensive research is required to create a fully operational infrastructure, enabling a new approach to biodiversity monitoring that can be scaled to include European and global species.

Terms and conditions

We offer a position commensurate with your level of experience, initially for one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the research and personal compatibility, the appointment can be extended further to a permanent one. The salary ranges, depending on qualifications and experience, from
€ 4.322,- to € 5.929,- gross per month, following the pay scale 11 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. For international spouses, we have set up a dual career program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

Diversity and inclusivity
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community that enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High-quality teaching and research are inclusive.

Enquiries about this opening can be made to Prof. Dr. Marcello Bonsangue, scientific director, email m.m.bonsangue@liacs.leidenuniv.nl
If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl

Please submit online your application via the blue button in the vacancy no later than15 September 2024 to using the vacancy number, including:

  • A short cover letter (1 page) detailing your motivation to apply for the position,
  • A brief description of your research plan,
  • A brief description of your teaching experience,
  • A full CV including a list of publications, grant acquisition, community service, and a link to your Google Scholar page,
  • Links to key publications and PhD thesis when appropriate,
  • The names and addresses of at least two persons who can be contacted for reference (who have agreed to be contacted).

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