Vacancy Technical Advisor

Are you analytically strong, proactive and have a passion for helping others? Do you feel comfortable talking to scientists and IT departments about their data management requirements, in order to bring these from wild conceptual ideas to workable solutions? Then we are looking for you!

  • Level of education: MSc/PhD
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Number of hours: 32-40
  • Closing date: 1 October 2021

About SURF and the team Data Management Services

SURF is the collaborative organisation for ICT for Dutch education and research. SURF works together with educational and research institutions and communities to develop ground-breaking ICT innovations.

Our Data Management Services group is an energetic cross-functional team that specialises in Research Data Management (RDM). We develop services that help researchers to safely store, analyse and share their research data according to the FAIR principles, and in support of Open Science.

We work in close collaboration with SURF members (i.e.: scientists, students and scientific institutions) to co-create vital IT services. Supporting their research is what drives us. The team is based in Amsterdam.

What does the job entail?

As a technical advisor you will provide advice and support about Research Data Management (RDM) as a discipline, as well as about our iRODS-based and other data services at SURF. You may be involved in European projects on Research Data Management too.

For your daily work at SURF, you have a deep understanding of scientific research. You can easily present and expand your knowledge in a professional and engaging way around colleagues, users from our services and otherwise external relations. You are able to recognise researchers’ needs for services that SURF is already offering or might develop in the future. You identify naturally possibilities for improvement and innovation, and then build the puzzle by driving the pieces that will ultimately deliver new solutions.

What are you going to do exactly?

  • You help research communities make optimal use of the services that SURF offers. You translate and explain their needs to your colleague advisors and system experts. Therefore, you build and maintain relations with scientific researchers, research groups, and supporting functions such as IT departments or research supporters.
  • You build proofs of concept to address requests from projects
  • You foster effective communication among different teams internally within SURF and externally, including both a national and international level. You attend (inter)national project meetings and conferences
  • You provide trainings on: general topics related to Research Data management, such as: FAIR data, metadata, persistent identifiers; using SURF services; using services that we develop with our partners; etc.
  • You keep up-to-date, deepen your knowledge, and develop your skills in the domain of Research Data Management and other fields related to data processing.

We ask

  • An academic level of thinking and working.  You either:
    • h­old an MSc or PhD in a data-intensive or computationally challenging research field, such as: computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, etc., or
    • you show equivalent professional experience, or
    • you are technically savvy and have been professionally involved in Research Data Management (RDM), such as: being in Research IT, Research Support, Data Steward, etc.
  • Excellent communication skills. You speak and write fluently in English, and preferably also in Dutch
  • 3+ years development experience in Unix / Linux environments, preferably in Python, C/C++, or Java
  • A strong candidate has hands-on experience with RDM in general, and tools such as iRODS, or alternatives
  • The skills to present your technical work, especially to an audience at conferences or blogs
  • Familiarity with scientific workflows, data processing algorithms and data structures
  • Experience in teaching or delivering trainings is an advantage
  • Knowledge or experience in project management is an advantage

We offer

  • A varied and challenging job for 32-40 hours (0.8 - 1.0 FTE) in an informal and collegial atmosphere with a high level of ambition;
  • SURF offers extensive training opportunities and excellent fringe benefits;
  • This position has a salary range of € 3.535 to € 5.802 gross on a full-time basis 
  • 8.33% holiday allowance, a fixed year-end bonus of 8.33%
  • 36 holiday days per year (on the basis of a 40-hour work week);
  • An NS Business Card 1 class;
  • Our Amsterdam office is located at the Amsterdam Science Park, with good public transport facilities nearby.
  • The appointment is initially on the basis of a one-year contract, with the prospect of permanent employment in the event of good performance and unaltered business conditions.


Send your motivation and resumé to for the attention of Ander Astudillo.

You must be able to submit a Certificate of Good Conduct (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag/VOG) during your first month of employment. SURF can guide you through the process.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.