Vacancy Technical Consultant for our Data Processing Services

Are you someone who likes to work with state-of-the-art computing as well as with people? Does a job focus on innovative technologies and service development sound interesting to you? Would it excite you to really make a difference to scientists and contribute to their impact on society?

  • Level of education: Technical institute / University / Scientific businesses
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Number of hours: 32-40

About SURF and the Distributed Data Processing team

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

Our Distributed Data Processing team is an energetic cross-functional group that develops, operates and supports solutions for scientific projects that are faced with a wide range of data-processing challenges. Our largest customer fields are high-energy physics, astronomy, life-sciences and earth observation, but we support projects from all scientific fields if they require our services and expertise.  We always take time to get to know and understand our users, translate their project into technical and usability requirements, and together look for best-fit solutions; if needed we may even build a dedicated environment for our users.

Within our multi-disciplinary team we work closely together to provide state-of-the-art services and solutions, enhancing the efficiency and impact of our scientific users.

What does the job entail?

You will support a variety of scientific projects that make use of our data-processing facilities (Grid, Spider, MS4). Some of these projects struggle with petabytes of structured data that need to be transferred, stored and processed within short time-frames, requiring efficient parallel processing workflows and data-management designs tailored to their specific problem. Other projects may have additional requirements, related to data sharing and distribution, privacy, advanced data enrichment, post-processing, data management, or other possible aspects that each require their own specific approach. Apart from supporting such project, you will be one of the driving forces on the leading edge of innovation, making sure our users will be best served not only now but also in the future. You will work together in a group of people that shares the same focus on results, but from a variety of expertises (advisors, sysadmins, developers and researchers). You will work in an environment driven by learning and continuous improvement.  

What are you going to do exactly?

  • Provide consultancy and support to users of our data-processing services;
  • Match requirements of potential users to best-fit solutions;
  • Design, maintain and execute service management processes;
  • Explore one or more strategic areas at the forefront of innovation;
  • Represent your work effectively towards relevant user communities as well as within SURF. 

We ask

We seek candidates that:

  • Has great interpersonal skills
  • Is a self-proficient team player
  • Has a drive to explore new technologies
  • Has a customer-oriented mindset
  • Has an analytic approach when needed
  • Has worked in a research-related environment
  • Has experience with scientific data processing
  • Has a background with UNIX/Linux systems
  • Has experience with scripting (e.g. *sh, perl) or programming (e.g. Python, Java, C, Fortran)
  • Is fluent in English, strong verbal/written communication skills

as a candidate you will make a difference if you have:

  • experience with distributed and/or federated infrastructures
  • experience with HPC or HTC systems such as Cluster, Grid or Cloud computing 
  • experience with working in European projects
  • an MSc or higher degree in Computer Science or Engineering field
  • experience with translating user requirements into solutions
  • experience with or interest in IT service design, development and support
  • the ability to communicate your ideas and work in a clear and accessible way

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 € 3.676 to € 5.252 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 1st 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 Coen Schrijvers.

Prior to commencement of employment, a VOG must be presented for this position. Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

More information