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Working at ASTRON means working in an international environment with highly skilled professionals in a result-oriented, academic atmosphere. Whether you're an astronomer, engineer, software developer, technician or support staff, your job at ASTRON is innovative and ground breaking.

We value inclusion and we recognise its role in driving innovation, expanding the horizons of knowledge, and accelerating your career.

Current vacancies

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Research Software Engineer

Innovation & Systems
December 10, 2023

Are you a software engineer with the ambition to expand the frontiers of astrophysics? Are you keen to help us build the systems that will discover astronomical objects that no human has ever seen before? Can your software help us quickly find the newest and fastest-evolving objects in the sky? Then you could be our new

Research Software Engineer for Astronomical Data Processing

Why ASTRON? At ASTRON, we are dedicated to increasing its staff diversity and creating a safe and inclusive workplace. We offer an environment where you work alongside experts from various fields and where we have a culture of mutual support and respect. This makes the inspirational environment at ASTRON the biggest playground to innovate where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and grow.

Everyone at ASTRON is constantly working at the forefront of innovation. In our determination for diversity, we aim to break barriers and accelerate careers for everyone.  We constantly push the boundaries of what is technologically possible to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen. Innovations derived from our work benefit society as a whole. Moreover, we are committed to decreasing our organisational footprint, therefore we explore circular and green computing solutions in partnership with others.

On top of that, the ASTRON premises are situated in a fantastic area in the middle of a beautiful national park. Since we are surrounded by stunning scenery, our lunch walks are like vacation and where you can often see hares, fawns, and deer grazing around the building. We work where people travel to relax and enjoy their vacation!

Taming the astronomical data avalanche

Modern radio telescopes, like those operated by ASTRON and our partners, generate truly enormous amounts of data — we expect to be working with up to an exabyte annually over the next few years. At the same time, many of the most scientifically important observations are of transient phenomena: flashes, bangs, and explosions that might last for seconds or less. Your mission will be to help us find ways to quickly search images streaming from the telescopes to find, classify, and respond to astronomical events as they happen. That means pushing the boundaries in terms of handling massive datasets quickly and at scale.

You will join the Smart Backend Group within our Innovation and Systems Department. Within this group, we develop high-performance data processing pipelines and new scientific algorithms, as well as co-designing the hardware on which to run them. You will contribute to the Science Data Centre effort, by which we aim to make to make scientific data accessible to a wide community. You’ll be working as part of a dynamic, collaborative team, with lots of opportunities to explore new ideas and learn about cutting-edge technologies. And you’ll have close contact with astronomers based at ASTRON and the University of Amsterdam, who are eager for your help in understanding the universe.

What you can expect from us

  • An inclusive, innovative, and pleasant working environment with an international and inspiring work culture.
  • Opportunities and encouragement to accelerate and develop yourself and your career.
  • The exceptional combination of astronomy, operations and engineering in one building.
  • We provide all necessary facilities for people with a handicap of any form.
  • Employment conditions tailored to your needs (part-time appointment, parental leave, working from home, etc.).
  • A temporary appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for a duration of two years, with a possible extension for a further year based on good performance.
  • A gross monthly salary in the range of € 3.170, - to € 5.870, - (full-time salary), based on relevant experience, an holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary.
  • 42 vacation days per year on a full-time basis.

We strongly believe that progress, creativity and innovation is only possible in an inclusive and diverse environment. Therefore, we value the unique skills and qualities you bring to the table. While we appreciate a range of software engineering and scientific expertise, please note that not ticking all the boxes does not diminish our interest in your application. Therefore, we warmly welcome everyone and in particular women and individuals from under-represented groups to apply for an interview.

Calling all talented research software engineers who …

  • Have experience in bringing (preferably) Python-based data processing systems to life in a Linux environment; an understanding of other programming languages and operating systems can also be useful.
  • Have worked with relational (e.g. PostgreSQL) and/or specialist time series (e.g. InfluxDB) database technologies.
  • Are familiar with research software in an astronomical context and enjoy working with scientists to bring their ideas to life.
  • Are comfortable with modern software development practices such as agile development, continuous integration & deployment, DevOps, and design patterns.
  • Are collaborative, committed to working in a team, and enjoy engaging with colleagues outside their own functional area.
  • Have a drive for personal development and growth within our organization.

To discover first-hand experiences of colleagues who love working at ASTRON click this link.

We embrace hybrid working and support a healthy work/private balance. Collaboration at our office sparks some of the best ideas and solutions to complex problems and enables us to build a strong team. Therefore, we work at least 60% of our time at ASTRON. If you face difficulties coming to the office, we’ll be glad to consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Looking forward to your application

If you have come this far reading this job vacancy and are interested in this exciting opportunity, then we would very much like to meet you! Please visit our website to apply. We look forward to receiving your letter and curriculum vitae. For more information, please contact John Swinbank, Program Manager of the Science Data Centre (


You can apply for this job via the 'Apply now' button bellow and send your motivation letter and curriculum vitae. The first closing date is December 10th, 2023. Candidates will be considered until the position has been filled.

Word from a staff member
Andre Gunst
Group leader
My work at ASTRON is very interesting! Mainly because I can solve many challenging and complex problems. To solve these problems, I use the latest technologies.
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