Dean Faculty of Science and Engineering

Ref: 5410

University of Groningen

Groningen, the Netherlands

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Role Managed by:

Thomas Modder

Senior Research Associate & Head of Research

t: + (31) 2 0240 4379

f: +44 (0) 207 340 6201


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive

Closing Date: 06/12/2021

The University of Groningen is seeking its next dean for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The new dean will provide vision and guidance for the university and faculty’s ambitions with respect to research, education, and proactive engagement with industry and society. The Dean chairs the Faculty Board, which holds final responsibility for the faculty’s education, research, societal impact, operations, finance, personnel policy, and business processes, and represents the faculty to several internal and external stakeholders.

The new Dean, together with the other members of the Faculty Board, has an unparalleled opportunity to lead a diverse faculty comprising 10 institutes with a solid disciplinary basis and a strong undergraduate and graduate program. The Dean will have the responsibility to carry out the faculty strategy for the period 2021 – 2026, which involves important aspects such as stimulating interdisciplinary education and research via the FSE research themes, improving student-staff ratio by expanding teaching capacity, allow for diversification in career paths by committing to the recognition and rewards movement, and promote excellence, diversity and inclusion among students and staff. The Dean participates in the Board of Deans, together with the Deans of all other faculties, and contributes to the overarching strategy of the University of Groningen.

Transformative opportunities identified for the faculty over the coming years include the engagement in interdisciplinary education, research and valorisation embodied in the establishment of four Schools and the University of the North. These new UG initiatives aim to find innovative local solutions to global challenges that society faces related to health, energy, digitalisation, and sustainability. The faculty is well established to deepen strategic partnerships with universities of applied science, the private sector, and societal partners.

The successful candidate is a dynamic and open-mined individual, equipped with strategic insight, commitment to excellence in education, research and impact, and with connecting academic leadership. The Dean must be able to inspire, motivate, and persuade the faculties to create synergy across disciplinary borders and with internal and external stakeholders.

Person Specification

The faculty is looking for a Dean who:

  • is a renowned scientist with an excellent reputation in one of the scientific fields of the faculty and has a proven ability to motivate and stimulate others to collaborate and create synergy across disciplinary borders;
  • operates at a high strategic level and has a clear vision on education, research and impact in a multidisciplinary environment, and can translate this into faculty policy;
  • has a focus on students by understanding the importance of undergraduate and graduate teaching and the continuous need for innovations in higher educations;
  • has proven leadership skills and significant experience in administration and management; and has a clear and inspiring management style;
  • is open to change and focuses on strengthening collaboration (including interdisciplinary collaboration) and increasing synergy in education and research within the faculty;
  • has a collaborative approach and the ability to create and strengthen the relationships between faculties at the University of Groningen, the broader research field, and society;
  • acknowledges the importance of internationalisation, can contribute to its reinforcement, and has international experience;
  • can persuade people both internally and externally, and takes a leading role in advocating science and engineering, actively contributing to the public debate;
  • has knowledge of and experience with the Dutch higher education system and awareness of the Dutch culture. The Dean has excellent proficiency in English and Dutch (or the willingness to learn Dutch);
  • is a team player, open-minded, and shows initiative and communicates concisely and effectively;
  • has a demonstrable affinity with diversity and inclusion and promotes a positive and professional working environment in which employees and students can flourish.


The Faculty of Science and Engineering offers first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines, from classical disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and nanoscience. Our researchers pursue fundamental key questions while collaborating with partners from industry, the medical world, and other realms of society. Frontline research groups explore new fields such as synthetic biology, sustainable energy use, and materials for cognitive computing. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.

The faculty is led by a collegial board that includes the Dean, the Vice-dean, and the Managing Director. A fourth board member with the portfolio research will be sought after the appointment of the new Dean.

Conditions of Employment

The Dean will be appointed for 4 to 5 days a week, in principle for a period of four years, with the possibility of reappointment for another term of four years. The Dean will be appointed to the position of permanent Professor (0.8 – 1 FTE) by the Board of the University, with the associated salary scale, and will, in addition, receive an administration allowance for fulfilling the role of Dean (max. 15% of scale 18). Adequate teaching facilities and support may be offered.

The University of Groningen has adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

For more information on the terms of employment, please visit:

Appointment Process and How to Apply

An executive search exercise is being undertaken by Perrett Laver to support the university in identifying the widest possible field of qualified candidates and assisting in the assessment of candidates against the requirements for the role. Queries can be directed to Thomas Modder via  or +31 (0)20 2404 379.

Applications should consist of a cover letter stating their motivation and a complete curriculum vitae. These can be uploaded at quoting reference 5410. The closing date for applications is 9 am CEST on 6th December 2021.

Applications will be considered by the selection committee at the end of December and longlisted candidates will be invited to meet with Perrett Laver in January. Shortlisted candidates will be selected by the committee at the end of January. The interviews with the selection committee will take place in February. Selection of and negotiations with the preferred candidate and final campus visits will take place thereafter.

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