Project Manager NOVA

Job Summary

ASTRON, Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)


Job Description

The NOVA Optical Infrared instrumentation Group at ASTRON in Dwingeloo develops world-class optical and infrared astronomical instruments for telescopes at major international observatories. We do this in close collaboration with astronomers at the NOVA universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen, and with our extensive network of industrial partners. Our primary goal for the upcoming years is designing, building and testing various instruments for the Extremely Large Telescope (Description on the website of the European Southern Observatory: The development of these new instruments builds on the long heritage of the group, which includes instrument development for ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and the NASA-ESA James Webb Space Telescope. In the coming years, we will also start feasibility studies for several new projects, for both ground-based and space telescopes.

The NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group is compact and agile, consisting of about 30 highly skilled professionals, and yet covers all phases of instrument development: From feasibility studies through design & construction, all the way to testing and commissioning at the telescope. It does this across all relevant disciplines, from optical and mechanical through thermal control to control electronics and software.

For this unique and innovative group we are currently searching for a Project Manager who is a positive, result-driven and insightful process manager.

In your first assignment, you will be responsible for the development and delivery of a core subsystem of the MICADO instrument for the Extremely Large Telescope, one of three first-generation instruments. Developing this instrument is being realized by an international consortium of research institutions across the Europe. You will plan and manage the manufacture, integration and testing of this subsystem, now entering its critical phase. You will maintain a good connection with the international project office and make sure the subsystem activities are aligned with the effort at the system level.

Besides this main activity, you will be involved in organising and starting up one or more new instrumentation projects, currently in the conceptual phase. And, you will participate in creating/improving the NOVA project management toolkit now that NOVA has become a permanent organization.

Job description

  • Develop, control, and maintain a detailed project schedule and manage the associated resources, budget and risk register
  • Manage hardware procurements, including contract definition, coordinating with suppliers and other project partners, and managing delivery schedules
  • Organize regular project meetings at the subsystem level and coordinate with the system-level project management
  • Provide regular progress reports to the NOVA management and our Instrument Steering Committee
  • Together with other project managers and NOVA management, work to further strengthen and professionalise the project organisation of the group

Your profile
You can consider yourself a good match to this position if you have:

  • A master’s degree, preferably in engineering, physics, astronomy or equivalent experience
  • 5-10 years relevant experience in project management
  • Experience in optical / infrared instrumentation (cryogenics and/or astronomical instrumentation is a plus)
  • Experience in working in multi-national, interdisciplinary teams consisting of engineers and scientists
  • Experience in subcontracting to external (large and small) suppliers
  • Experience in advising the line organization regarding issues, opportunities and improvements
  • PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is desirable
  • Proficient oral and written communications skills in English and Dutch

Competences and skills:

  • Positive and communicative
  • Result driven
  • Decisive and convincing

Our offer

  • An inclusive, innovative, and pleasant working environment with an international and inspiring work culture.
  • A contract initially for one year for 32-40 hours per week, transitioning to an indefinite contract after this initial period upon good performance.
  • A gross monthly salary in the range of € 4.363,- to € 6.823,-, based on a 40 hour work week and based on relevant experience, an 8% holiday allowance, and an 8.33% year-end bonus.
  • A good package of benefits including a pension plan, discount on health insurance and a travel expenses scheme.
  • We offer flexible conditions of employment, tailored to your personal situation.
  • We offer generous relocation expenses.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutions.

The working location will mainly be in Dwingeloo with the NOVA OIR group, but may involve regular visits to other NOVA locations in The Netherlands as well as international visits to project partners, conferences and telescope facilities

NOVA/ASTRON strives to be an attractive workplace for all individuals irrespective of race, gender, ability or any other points of diversity. Improving staff diversity is an important topic for NOVA. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are highly encouraged.

Looking forward to your application

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, then we would very much like to meet you! You can apply via our jobs site We look forward to receiving your motivation letter and curriculum vitae. Candidates will be considered until the position has been filled.


For information regarding this vacancy please contact Michiel Kregel, Group Lead of NOVA at [email protected] or +31 6 52011346.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2024 Mar 22
Application Deadline
2024 May 16


Michiel Kregel