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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.
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We strive to step out from the structures and well-worn paths so that we facilitate excellence for underrepresented groups. We are leading in science and technology, and we now set ourselves to push the frontiers of inclusive excellence. Here, we foster your potential and we will give you the confidence in our world-class innovation hub, far from conventional pressures.

Director Jessica Dempsey: 
"ASTRON is not your ordinary institute. We're here to tackle the unsolvable and pioneer uncharted territories. Our biggest challenge is achieving equitable science and inclusion for all. With 75% of our management team now comprised of women, we're dedicated to bringing more women into science and technology. Join us to accelerate your career and help us build a safe, inclusive workspace."

Working at ASTRON entails being part of a community comprising of professionals who value interaction grounded in equality and empathy. We actively support and look out for one another. We strive to improve our openness, honesty and transparency. Our commitment is to set a leading example and take responsibility in all fields.

Director Jessica Dempsey: 
"My promise to you is that together, we'll shape a truly inclusive, safe workspace where every individual can accelerate their career and have an enriching experience. Beyond our Equitable Hiring Program, we're actively co-creating an inclusive workplace, recognizing that addressing imbalances in representation is a shared journey, where your voice matters deeply."

Astronomers, support staff, and engineers, everyone at ASTRON can experience the freedom to explore, create and imagine.

Our culture

Working at ASTRON is working in an international scientific work environment, where you are passionate with your work, where we every day all work in making discoveries in radio astronomy and on the latest techniques for radio astronomy. We are ambitious and curious. Curious about the universe, the origin, structure and new stars and galaxies. Ambitious to make discoveries possible. Also, we are perhaps a tad stubborn or obstinate. These features connects us.

To achieve our mission we need colleagues with (specific) knowledge, expertise and skills with regard to a number of what we call core competencies. These core competencies along with the together with the previously mentioned characteristics and the stories of our employees form a good image of our culture. These ingredients are the basis for our existence.

Innovative & Courageous

If you come work with us we encourage you to be innovative and courageous to fulfil our mission. We ask you to generate solutions and new ideas by means of imagination, creativity and the ability to get things done. With us you are able to discover new methods that replace existing methods and techniques. Thereby you should dare to take calculated risks based on a focus on quality.

Global player & open communication

With us you will work within an international scientific environment. We are diverse. Our organization is currently formed by a multi-coloured palette of employees from different countries. This creates beautiful and interesting collaborations. Here within The Netherlands but also abroad. Here with us, we find it important that you take a broad outlook. Focuses on international collaboration.

We like to share our ideas and opinions with others, preferably in comprehensible language and in an approachable manner. We want to be open to our environment and each other. We give each other solicited and unsolicited feedback and we are always open to getting feedback.

ASTRON Netherlands institute for Radio Astronomy.

ASTRON making discoveries in radio astronomy happen.



ASTRON, SRZM was officially founded.

Prof. Jan Oort (Franeker, 28 april 1900 – Leiden, 5 november 1992)

On 23 April 149, the forerunner of ASTRON, SRZM (stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg/ Netherlands Foundation for Radio Astronomy) was officially founded with Prof. Jan Oort as chairman of the Board, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. SRZM was set up to prepare for the design, construction and operation of the Dwingeloo Telescope.


On 23 April 149, the forerunner of ASTRON, SRZM (stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg/ Netherlands Foundation for Radio Astronomy) was officially founded with Prof. Jan Oort as chairman of the Board, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. SRZM was set up to prepare for the design, construction and operation of the Dwingeloo Telescope.


The WSRT (Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope) is opened by HM Queen Juliana.

1975 - 1980

The WSRT is expanded to include two new telescopes, increasing the baseline length to 3 km. This doubles the spatial resolution of the telescope. Cooled receivers are also introduced at 6 and 21 cm.


Square Kilometre Array

ASTRON is at the forefront of conceiving the original concept of the Square Kilometre Array – this will later emerge as one of the most ambitious global mega-science projects of the 21st century.


The Joint institute for VLBI in Europe is established, hosted by ASTRON. The EVEN Correlator is formally opened in 1998.


LOFAR is opened by HM Queen Beatrix.


A new upgrade of the WSRT commences with the installation of the first APERTIF PAFs (Phased Array Feeds).


The SKA telescope is under construction.

Terms of employment and regulations

ASTRON is an institute that is part of NWO-i, the Institutes Organisation that falls under the Dutch Research Council (NWO). NWO-i is an independent foundation belonging to NWO.

ASTRON’s terms of employment are regulated by the Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutes (CAO-OI) and in the NWO Implementing Regulations (IR). Several main points:

  • Besides the monthly salary stated in the job advertisement, you will receive a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33%.
  • In the case of a full-time position, you will work 40 hours per week and you are entitled to 42 days of annual leave, which you can have partly paid out. In addition, there are several special forms of leave that are (partly) paid.
  • NWO-I has the Tailor-made Terms of Employment (AVOM) which allows you to tailor several employment conditions to your own needs.
  • NWO-I has (under certain conditions) allowances for relocation costs and supports foreign employees in applying for a visa.
  • NWO-I employees, with the exception of those who receive funding from a European grant, accrue pension entitlement at the National Civil Pension Fund ABP.
  • ASTRON encourages the continuous development of employees and gives generous allowances for courses that employees follow in relation to their work activities or career.
  • ASTRON offers various ways to develop your career, like for example: learning on the job, commitment in challenging projects which appeals to your talents and capacities, visiting conferences, training programs and of course sharing the knowledge within the institute itself, for example by organizing colloquia. Within ASTRON several fields of expertise offer the possibility to develop from a junior to a senior level.
  • ASTRON takes its responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of its employees very seriously. NWO-I considers it to be a joint task of the employer and the employee to ensure health, safety and well-being at the workplace.
  • ASTRON wants to be an organisation where everybody feels welcome, can be themselves and can bring out the best in themselves and in teams. We strive to be a diverse organisation with an inclusive culture where everybody is equal, irrespective of cultural, ethnic or religious background, gender, sexual orientation, health and ag
  • ASTRON believes that people have to respect each other’s personal boundaries. It therefore strives to realise a working environment in which employees feel safe. In the work relationship, NWO-I does not tolerate any form of (sexual) intimidation, aggression, violence, bullying and discrimination.


Upcoming vacancies

Systems Engineer

We are continuously developing new, cutting-edge instruments for radio astronomy and are working on major upgrades of our current telescopes. As a Systems Engineer, you will oversee the instrument development process.

SDC Software Engineer

For our ongoing Science Data Centre (SDC) development, we are seeking a software engineer to strengthen Team Rainbow, one of our highly esteemed scrum teams. At the SDC, we strive to maximize the scientific impact of our world-leading instrumentation portfolio.

LOFAR Software Engineer

For the continuous development of our LOFAR telescope, we are looking for a software engineer to strengthen one of our SCRUM teams.

Bell Burnell Fellow

Bell Burnell Fellow will represent and reflect all of ASTRON’s foundational values as it continues its 75 year leadership in radio astronomy discovery and innovation. The fellowship provides an outstanding opportunity for a scientist to pursue innovative research and development in an institute that spans the entire spectrum of radio astronomy expertise – from development, to operation, to science frontiers. 

Word from a staff member
Emanuela Orrù
Telescope scientist
During my studies, I realised that I wanted to work in radio astronomy. In my second year, I decided to focus on radio astronomy. My professor pointed out to me that ASTRON build a new radio telescope in the middle of Europe.
Read more