Coordinator position at Utrecht University in the framework of EPOS-IP, Work package (WP) 16

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Monday, January 25, 2016 - 00:00

The Utrecht University opened one position for a project coordinator with a background in data management in Earth science, to implement a key component of EPOS, Work package 16. The position is initially for 2 years. Deadline 31/01/2016.

Job description

An interdisciplinary team in the Earth Sciences department at Utrecht University, led by Prof. C.J. Spiers, Prof. M.R. Drury and Dr. Ernst Willingshofer, seeks a project coordinator with a background in data management in (Earth) science to play a central role in implementing a key component of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), namely Workpackage (WP) 16, which aims to develop an electronic data infrastructure for Europe’s Solid Earth Science laboratories.  The position is initially for 2 years but we hope to extend this to a total of 4.


The current EPOS Implementation Phase involves 46 EU institutions. Utrecht University leads WP16 - the Thematic Core Service on Multi-­scale Laboratories. This integrates infrastructures ranging from experimental facilities to electron microscopy, micro-beam analysis, scale modelling and paleomagnetic laboratories.

WP16 will provide virtual and transnational access to a range of data products and services for supporting research on geo-resources, geo-storage, geo-hazards and Earth System Evolution.


We seek a coordinator for developing WP16 who can bridge between the scientists generating data and the IT infrastructure needed to provide new data products. A key role will be to steer the laboratories involved in WP16 across Europe to provide the necessary data in the form needed and within the governance guidelines for the EPOS programme. 

The appointee will also play a central role in coordinating aspects of data interoperability, reusability, information standards, and so on. He/she will work in a team that also includes legal,  data-management and IT specialists. Everyone who can identify with these topics in a geoscience setting is invited to apply.



Coordination of:

-       WP16 tasks at Utrecht University

-       definition of community metadata

-       mapping of community metadata onto CERIF based metadata catalogue

-       harmonization and quality control of metadata (vocabularies)

-       definition of services and mechanisms (api’s) through which data products will be provided

-       Design, testing and validation of data services.


Day to day activities:

-       Communicate with data scientists, (geo) data specialists and software implementation specialists

-       Communication with geo-researchers from the different laboratories on the semantics of their data

-       Explain IT and data related issues to non-IT-specialists

-       Assure/validate the fit of the overall WP16 data- and services architecture within the EPOS ICT framework

-      Testing of web/data services



Applicants should have at least an MSc, as well as demonstrable experience, in computational- or data science, Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry or a comparable field.  They should be or possess the following:

-       Well informed of the different disciplines within Earth Sciences

-       Well informed on the use of (Geo) metadata standards

-       Ample experience with data science projects or data management

-       Preferably some programming experience in both service and web oriented frameworks

-       Comfortable with general IT architectural topics and questions

-       Excellent communication and negotiating skills

-       Fluent in English, both written and verbal

-       Persuasive (able to urge partners to fulfil their duties)

-       Capacity for strategic thinking

-       Independent and pro-active.



The successful candidate will initially be offered a 0.8 to 1.0 fte  position for two years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. Based on the experience and qualifications of the candidate, the gross monthly salary is between  € 2532 and € 4654 (scale 10/11) on a fulltime basis and is dependent on experience. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%. In addition, we offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model).

About the organisation

Utrecht University has high ambitions for its teaching quality and study success rates. This also applies to its research programmes which are centred around four themes: Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability. The University plays a prominent role in society and contributes to finding the answers to both present and future societal issues. 

The Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a complement of 2,600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. It embodies four departments:

Earth Sciences;
Physical Geography;
Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences;
Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning.


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 group of more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

Additional information

Informal enquiries may be sent to Otto lange (  , or else any of the above named team.


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but we prefer to receive your application by 31 Jan, 2016. Evaluations and interviews are planned for February. We seek to initiate the position as soon as possible.


The application deadline is



You can also find the position via:

Job title: Project coordinator Earth Sciences (0.8-1.0fte)