Job ID: 97187

Scientific Director for the Donders Institute

Position: Post-doctoral Position

Deadline: 6 November 2022

Employment Start Date: 1 January 2023

City: Nijmegen

Country: Netherlands

Institution: Radboud Universiteit



Are you a leading researcher in the field of brain, cognition and behaviour with experience in managerial leadership? Do you have a clear vision on the future of cognitive neuroscience and are you able to translate this into a coherent business strategy for one of the leading neuroscience institutes in Europe? Then combine your scientific and leadership skills as the scientific director of the Donders Institute.
In 2023, a new governance structure will be implemented at the Donders Institute. As part of this development, the Donders Institute has an opening for a scientific director who will spend 0.5 FTE as director of the institute and 0.5 FTE for research activities and teaching.

As scientific director, you will be the head and chair of the Executive Board of the Donders Institute Network. The Scientific Director is ultimately responsible for the overarching research activities and research strategy and for managerial and financial aspects of the Donders Institute. The latter include among others various portfolio’s, such as the Donders Graduate School’s graduate programme, talent development, societal impact, external relations, public outreach, diversity and sustainable science. Since most researchers at the Donders Institute are based at partners of the Donders Institute (Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, the Radboud university medical center, Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Max-Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics), you will consult with the deans/directors involved at the Supervisory and Strategy Boards’ meetings to set out a long-term research strategy, financial commitment and investment programme.

You will chair the Executive Board of the Donders Institute, the Research Platform with the leaders of the Institute’s four research themes, and the Strategy Board, which includes the directors of the four Donders Centres and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (MPI). The Research Platform and the Strategy Board operate as advisory bodies to the Executive Board for all strategic issues of the Donders Institute Network. As scientific director, you will be accountable to the Supervisory Board, which will respond to Radboud University’s Executive Board.

To ensure that the appointments of new staff members in the faculties, DCCN and MPI are in line with the Institute’s long-term strategy, you (or someone else from the Donders Institute on behalf of you) will be consulted to define job profiles and to select candidates for search committees for all tenure (track) positions (scientific staff) in the Donders Institute.


  • You are a leading researcher in brain, cognitive and behavioural science with an outstanding international reputation and with a broad overview of research on brain and cognition.
  • You are an active researcher, who will continue to be involved in research and teaching for 0.5 FTE; the other 0.5 FTE will encompass leadership and managerial activities.
  • You have a clear vision on developments in the field of cognitive neuroscience and you are able to translate this vision into a coherent long-term strategy for the Donders Institute.
  • You have a successful track record of managerial leadership in academia as a director of a research institute, dean or vice-dean of a faculty, or equivalent expertise.
  • You have experience with change management in complex scientific organizations.
  • You are committed to promote a diverse, sustainable and inclusive working environment.
  • You have a clear vision on talent management and team science.

We are
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research network, that houses more than 800 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: Theme 1: Language and Communication, Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control, Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory and Theme 4: Natural Computing & Neurotechnology. The Institute has the ambition to further increase its strength as an outstanding, internationally oriented research organization that plays an important role in the ‘premier league’ of similar brain-research organizations in Europe.

In a multidisciplinary setting with advanced research facilities, researchers from the Radboud university medical center, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics focus on the advancement of brain, cognitive and behavioural science, and on improving health, education and technology. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as ‘excellent’ and recognised as a ‘very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent’. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €6,794 and a maximum of €10,721 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale H1).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • The successful candidate will be given a permanent position at one of the faculties contributing to the Donders Institute. The directorship is for a term of 4 years, renewable once.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University’s primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Prof. Stan Gielen, Chair Search Committee at

Practical information and applying
You can apply until 6 November 2022. Kindly address your application to Prof. Stan Gielen. Please fill in the application form on our website and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.

You would preferably begin employment on 1 January 2023. Screening is part of the selection process.

We can imagine you’re curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.