Top job
Research Data Manager/ Engineer (0.8 FTE)
Utrecht, The Netherlands
from €2,846 to €4,490
30 hours per week

Research Data Manager/ Engineer (0.8 FTE)

Job description

Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research are currently setting up the Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Center (NPEC) for large-scale phenotyping of plants for research purposes. This new facility will use state-of-the-art (high res) sensor technology and will generate and process a lot of data on a weekly basis.

For the NPEC we are looking for a Research Data Manager/Engineer. You will set-up and implement big data workflows and protocols for the large multi-dimensional data sets that will be generated in this national roadmap facility. NPEC performs high-throughput research by measuring and computer imaging diverse characteristics of plants with the ultimate aim to develop novel climate-proof crops and cropping systems to secure our future high-quality food production and improve ecological sustainability. Good data management practices based on the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) are essential for the use and reuse of research data. You will implement data management processes throughout every phase of the data cycle. You play a crucial role in securing the quality of research data in all its manifestations, thereby enabling the optimal use and reuse of the data. On a detailed level, you work on complex data (processing) issues, and, if necessary, give your input to improve processes or systems. You assist researchers in developing plans for collecting, managing and publishing data, both in new or ongoing projects. Within this function, you will implement your programming/scripting skills to automate various data processes and work intimately with sensor functioning.

As  a Research Data Manager/Engineer you will:

  • work with computer vision-based imaging sensors and robotized machines used to phenotype various traits in plants;
  • create and maintain a data management plan, entailing the entire data workflow from machines/sensors to local (UU) and central storage facilities (SURFsara), and finally to researchers;
  • implement a data workflow that aligns with the data management plan to safely handle and store data;
  • create and maintain scripts in Python/R/iRODS to carry out the data workflow;
  • extract metadata from sensors and machines, convert to appropriate formats, and use iRODS protocols to secure the metadata at SURF within the Plant Phenomics Information System (PHIS);
  • assist in collecting, managing and sustainably storing and/or publishing research data. Ensure that data administration meets relevant rules and legislation. You work according to agreements and contracts with managers of data- and source systems, and keep account of and manage relevant formal documents;
  • create tools (software/scripts) to aid in automated data management processes. Help in advising on the improvement of the data, IT architecture machine set-up, and assist in implementing these improvements or expansions where necessary;
  • cooperate and exchange knowledge, scripts, and tools with Wageningen University and NPEC partners.


You are an enthusiastic and versatile Research Data Manager/Engineer, who is eager to help us connect various elements of the facility to a central database and make this accessible to users throughout the country. You have a customer and result oriented approach, possess strong analytical and problem solving skills and have the ability and willingness to learn. Furthermore we would like you to bring the following: 

  • professional and intellectual capacities at a higher educational level and affinity with an academic working environment. A background in sensor technology, IT infrastructure or computer science at Bachelor’s or Master’s level is an advantage;
  • at least two years of relevant work experience in a data management context. You know how to work with research data, you are for instance experienced in setting up databases, managing data and/or large databases;
  • knowledge and experience of methods and techniques of processing scientific data or willing to train yourself. This means that, besides the necessary technical knowledge, you are familiar with topics such as meta-dating and securing provenance and audit trail;
  • knowledge of and extensive experience with Python;
  • highly desirable to have knowledge on additional processing tools and/or database management systems such as for example R, iRODS, (T)SQL and/or PL/SQL and the willingness to learn new tools or techniques;
  • excellent communication skills, and an excellent level in English;
  • knowledge of version control systems and code sharing platforms such as Git;
  • knowledge of and experience with setting up Apache Tomcat, PHP and MongoDB, the platforms underlying PHIS.


  • a position for one year, with the prospect of an extension of another year;
  • a full-time gross salary, depending on previous qualifications and experience, ranging from €2,846 to €4,490 in scale 10;
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

About the organisation

NPEC-Utrecht is part of the Utrecht University plant sciences cluster, which is embedded in the Institute of Environmental Biology of the Department of Biology. We host a dynamic research community of over 75 scientists, with PhD candidates, Postdocs and visiting scientists from 17 countries. Our mission is to discover conceptually novel biological mechanisms of how plants interact with and adapt to their biotic and abiotic environment. Our mission statement “Understanding nature for future innovations” reflects our vision that knowledge generated by fundamental research on unravelling what nature has already invented, will form an essential knowledge basis for urgent societal problems, such as future food security and the transition towards more sustainable horticultural and agricultural systems.

At the Faculty of Science, there are six departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Dr D.H. (Diederik) Keuskamp, via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 9 May 2022.

0 x bekeken
Job listings powered by the CATS Applicant Tracking System - ©2010 CATS Software, Inc.