Research assistant (HBO): “Sandeels and Seals”

Are you a research assistant with interest in marine benthic life of the North- and Wadden Sea? Then the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) might offer an interesting job within NIOZ at Texel. 24-28 hours per week, depending on salary and available financial budget.

2020-11-02 10:38:49

VACANCY ID:              2020 - 057
CLOSING DATE:         December 10th , 2020

The overarching research project aims to understand the role of sandeel in linking human-driven changes in productivity and marine top predators.  In the North Sea, sandeel is an important food source for many higher trophic predators like seals, porpoises and sea birds. Therefore, this project aims to understand the main top down and bottom up processes which control the distribution of sandeels, and how changes in their distribution and abundance may ultimately impact the higher trophic levels.  The project is funded through the NWO programme ‘Topsector Blauwe route’ with additional support from Rijkswaterstaat (WOZEP) and Gemini Windpark.

To understand the sandeels’ fine-scale spatial and temporal distribution and habitat selection, we will collect environmental and biological data on sandeel grounds during a series of sea going expeditions. Data collection involves taking Triple-D dredge samples ( In a later stage of the project an acoustic fish and zooplankton profiler will be deployed to collect data on feeding behavior of sandeel in the water column.

The above mentioned project requires cruise preparations and these scientific cruises  generate a large volume of macro zoobenthos and fish samples that need further processing in the laboratory. We are therefore looking for proactive, enthusiastic candidate to supplement the current team of research assistants. Together with these other research assistants the candidate will play an important role in supporting the scientists in this research project with preparatory work for the cruises, and laboratory based work such as species identification, and sample analyzes among which measuring energetic content, and DNA and tissue extractions for stable isotope analyses.


For this vacancy we are looking for a technician with an interest in marine benthic research, taxonomic skills and a good technical insight. The candidate should be fit and willing to join sea going expeditions and furthermore have good organizational and administrative skills. Having a natural and well developed team spirit with a supportive character is an important prerequisite. Preferably the candidate is in the possession of an article 9/13f.2 permit of the Act on animal Experiments .  

The research assistant will support a team of permanent staff as well as a PhD and a Post-doc which will be appointed within the project. The involved permanent staff consists of researchers from NIOZ, Wageningen University, Wageningen Marine Research  (IJmuiden), CEFAS (England) and University of St-Andrews (Scotland). Specialized tasks might take place at any of these institutes.  


An enthusiastic, and proactive candidate who would like to work in and support a multidisciplinary team of scientists and technicians.

  • A BAS or BSc. degree in Laboratory Animal Sciences (Fish)
  • Interest and or experience in benthic and fish biology – ecology
  • Taxonomic skills
  • Willing and able to do sea going fieldwork as well as laboratory work
  • Be open, critical and have a well organized mindset.
  • Good communication skills in both Dutch and English

Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for a period of approximately 3 years (24-28 hours per week, depending on salary and available financial budget).

The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes) with a maximum of scale 8, step 10, which is € 3,583,- gross per month (fulltime and depending on your education and experience), a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8,3% of the gross annual salary, flexible work arrangements and 338 hours of holiday leave (for a full-time position).

You may expect attractive secondary employment conditions. We offer generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support with finding accommodation.

For additional information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Rob Witbaard (scientist) or Sander Holthuijsen / Loran Kleine Schaars (research assistants). For additional information about the procedure, please contact Sigrid Moerbeek (sr. HR advisor).

Please visit NIOZ and the departments of Coastal Systems (COS) and Estuariene & Delta Systems (EDS)  here.

Please note: job interviews are foreseen for the beginning of January 2021.


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