Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Theoretical/Computational Biology


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has been our top priority for over four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines, from classical disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and evolutionary life sciences. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.

The position we offer will be embedded in the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES). GELIFES fills a special niche in the field of life sciences as its research not only covers mechanistic, evolutionary and ecological approaches, but also specifically aims at the integration of these fields that are traditionally studied in isolation. Thus our research provides a better understanding of fundamental biological processes. The institute is coordinating one of the four Faculty strategic themes called Adaptive Life. This programme specifically addresses the growing realization that proximate and ultimate approaches need each other in order to make firm progress in understanding and predicting adaptation in a wide array of systems, requiring an integration of neurological, physiological, behavioural, ecological and evolutionary perspectives.

Job description

We are looking for an Assistant Professor who can strengthen our position in the field of theoretical and/or computational biology. The new staff member is expected to set up an independent research line within this field, complementary to ongoing research in the institute. The successful candidate may reinforce the current emphasis on theory development in ecology and evolution, for instance, by bringing in expertise in evolutionary developmental biology, systems ecology modelling, evolution of culture and language, or other fields that are complementary to the research of remaining theoretical staff members. Alternatively, the candidate may bring in expertise in other fields of theoretical biology relevant to GELIFES, such as computational neuroscience, integrative biology or complex adaptive systems theory.

Collaboration with members of the institute is highly welcomed, not only with other theoreticians, but also empirical scientists in the different fields in the GELIFES institute, such as Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics, Evolutionary Genetics, Conservation Ecology, Behavioural & Physiological Ecology, or Neurobiology. The new staff member is expected to contribute to the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Biology, and (depending on biological expertise) to the Master’s programmes in Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience, Biology, Biomolecular Sciences, Ecology and Evolution, or Marine Biology. Existing education in which the new staff member will be involved include ‘BSc Research Project’ (in Ecology & Evolution / Integrative Biology or Behaviour & Neuroscience) and the MSc track Modelling in the Life Sciences (MSc Biology). In addition, the candidate may contribute to teaching field-specific applications of theoretical biology and modelling in BSc and MSc level courses across the curriculum, be involved in the courses Modelling Life (BSc Biology), and contribute to the development of a new intermediate-level biological modelling course (replacing the course Self-organization). The candidate is also expected to supervise research projects of individual master students.

As a Tenure Track Assistant Professor you will:
● set up and develop your own research line and research group
● supervise PhD students
● acquire external funding
● promote the societal relevance of your research
● teach in and contribute to the development of the degree programmes [e.g. in Biology, Biomolecular Sciences, Ecology and Evolution]
● contribute to the organization of the faculty, for example by participating in working groups and committees, in the domains of teaching, research and management

At the stage of Tenure Track Assistant Professor 60% of your time is for research, 30% for teaching activities and 10% for organizational tasks. At the stage of Associate professor 40% of your time is for research, 40% for teaching activities and 20% for organizational tasks.


We encourage you to apply if you have:

● a PhD degree in (Theoretical) Biology or a related field (specialized in biological and evolutionary research)
● at least two years of postdoctoral experience outside of the Netherlands, preferably in a different country than where you received your PhD (can be compensated for after the appointment via extended research visits abroad), and a relevant international network
● excellent research qualities, as shown by a publication record in international peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of renowned conferences
● a good track record in teaching, appropriate to your career stage
● a good track record in acquisition of external funding, appropriate to your career stage
● demonstrable organizational competences
● good command of spoken and written English.

And you are:

● a team player with good communication skills
● able to acquire substantial research grants from external sources
● willing to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (Dutch: BKO) within three years
● able to work well in an international, culturally diverse, environment
● able to speak the Dutch language or motivated to speak it within five years.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 84 months.

We offer you a full-time position as Assistant Professor in our faculty’s tenure track system Career Paths in Science and:

● a salary, depending on qualifications, work experience and your career stage, from € 3,807 (salary scale 11) up to a maximum of € 5,922 (salary scale 12 Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time position as a Tenure Track Assistant Professor
● holiday allowance and end-of-year bonus of respectively 8% and 8.3% of your yearly salary
● a pension scheme
● maternity and parental leave
● the possibility to work part-time (0.9 or 0.8 FTE)
● a mentor program and a broad range of opportunities for personal development
● dual career support for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Consider our website for more information about the working conditions at the University of Groningen: https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/that-is-why/

As Assistant Professor you will enter a tenure track that, if followed successfully, will lead to a Full Professorship in approximately 10 years. In case of a full-time contract, you will initially be appointed for 7 years and your performance will be assessed after 5 years. This moment may be extended with at most one year in case of a life event (e.g. prolonged illness or maternity leave). If your assessment is positive, you will get a tenured appointment as an Associate Professor.

4 to 7 years after being appointed as Associate Professor you will be assessed for promotion to the position of Full Professor. Please consider Career Paths in Science for a complete description of our tenure track system as well as the criteria for promotion: https://www.rug.nl/fse/organization/vacatures/vacatures/career-paths-in-science-edition-4?lang=en

Job Application

We invite you to submit a complete application including:

● a cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position
● a curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications
● a list of five self-selected ‘best papers’
● a statement of your teaching goals and experience
● a description of your scientific interest and plans
● a list with names of references, complete with title and contact information.

You may apply for this position until 31 January 11:59 pm / before 1 February 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on ‘Apply’ below on the advertisement on the University website).

The selection interviews will take place in the week of 28 February 2022.

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), https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers, https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Rampal Etienne, chair of the selection committee
+31 50 3632230

Prof. Sander van Doorn, Theoretical Research in Evolutionary Life Sciences group
+31 50 3638097

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221720

Extra informatie kan worden verkregen via een van de volgende links:

Profile report in which the position is described in more detail More information about the research institute More information about the employment conditions of the University of Groninge Career Paths in Science

Digital application form