Scientific Programmer Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 35,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

The Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), the largest institute of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), fills a special niche in the life sciences by covering and integrating mechanistic, evolutionary and ecological approaches, aiming to understand adaptation on all levels of biological organisation. Researchers pursue fundamental questions while collaborating with partners from nature conservation, industry, medicine and other realms of society. Our research fields include ecology, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, behavioural biology, chronobiology, genetics and genomics, neurobiology, physiology and theoretical modelling, using a wide array of research tools. Research levels range from molecular and organismal to populations and ecosystems, performed under laboratory, semi-natural and field conditions.
The Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES) at the University of Groningen has a vacancy for a Scientific Programmer.

The scientific programmer will mainly work for the research groups participating in the GELIFES-expertise group Theoretical Research in Evolutionary Life Sciences (TRES). These groups develop and analyse mathematical and computational models to further the understanding of complex patterns and processes in ecology, evolution, and the behavioural sciences. In line with the mission of the GELIFES institute, many of these models strive for an integration of mechanistic and functional perspectives.

Job description

You are responsible for the development, maintenance and quality control of software that is used in scientific research and education. You will work under supervision of one coordinating professor and will be embedded in the TRES group. However, you will work for different researchers that address a diversity of research questions with different programming environments. Programming tasks can be challenging, and programmes need to be structured and documented in such a way that individual researchers (including MSc and PhD students) can use and further develop them independently. You keeps up-to-date with simulation techniques and developments in computational biology. You will play an important role in training and supporting researchers and students at all levels and participates in theoretical courses.


The ideal candidate:

- has an hbo, Master or PhD degree; either in a field such as computational biology, or in ecology, evolution or the behavioural sciences
- has a proven track record in the application of simulation techniques and other computational methods to biological research questions
- masters C++ and R and is willing to, and quickly able to, learn other languages (Python, Netlogo, add-ons for Excel that make use of C# and C++)
- has experience with spatially explicit models, MCMC and numerical mathematics
- has affinity and the capacity for working in a research environment with a diversity of modelling tasks and a diversity of programming requirements, for a diversity of fields (ranging from self-organisation to systems biology and macroevolution) and researchers, requiring excellent time management
- has affinity for working in a teaching environment, with (international) students at all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD), and is willing to write software that is readable for students of BSc- and MSc level courses and useful as accompanying software for (educational) articles, books and websites
- is willing and able to assist in teaching in modelling-related courses
- has affinity with the basic principles of modern biostatistics and bioinformatics and is able to apply these principles to the analysis of the data arising from modelling studies
- is able to work independently and in a user-directed manner, including the development of code that can independently be used and further developed by researchers and students
- is well informed about recent developments in modelling techniques, simulation paradigms, and computational and statistical methods (e.g. HPC, parallel processing) and is dedicated to stay up-to-date with these developments
- has very good communication skills, both orally and in writing, and is able to approach scientists to explore their needs for programming support
- is fluent in English.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 12 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary dependent on qualifications and work experience minimally € 2,790 (salary scale 10) up to a maximum of € 5,127 (salary scale 11) gross per month for a full-time position
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
- an appointment of 0.7-0.8 FTE for 1 year, with the perspective of prolongation.

Starting date: as soon as possible

Job Application

Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• a letter of motivation
• a curriculum vitae with a detailed description of experience and expertise
• the names, email addresses and phone numbers of three referees.

The application interviews are scheduled for March 2021.

You can submit your application until 28 February 11:59pm / before 1 March 2021 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP),

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. R.S. Etienne
+31 50 3632230

Prof. I.R. Pen
+31 50 3638083

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221036

Digital application form