Technology Director CropXR (0.5 FTE)

Updated: about 1 month ago

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Technology Director CropXR (0.5 FTE)

Job description

CropXR is a new national virtual research institute to be launched in 2023 focused on resilient crops for sustainable agriculture. Over the next 10 years, more than €90 million will be available in this public-private partnership for research and development of knowledge and new methods for breeding resilient crops. At the core of CropXR is a large-scale research programme (PlantXR) flanked by supporting programmes in data management and infrastructure (DataXR), educational development, agronomic research and knowledge transfer.
To lead the development of the DataXR data infrastructure we are looking for a highly skilled and experienced Technology Director. The DataXR infrastructure will be used to manage heterogenous datasets from different sources, and to manage AI models for analyzing the data or performing prediction and simulation. You will be responsible for defining the requirements for the data infrastructure, and for conceptualizing the high-level design of the platform in collaboration with CropXR partners, including concepts for running and storing AI models and handling feedback on the produced outputs. This will involve overseeing and leading the development of the software and ensuring its reliability, efficiency, security and stability, but also the translation and integration of academic prototypes developed in CropXR into the DataXR infrastructure. You will lead a team of about 10 people within the DataXR programme. In summary, you will drive the creation of a flexible and extensible state-of-the-art platform focused on data and model storage, accessibility, sharing, and exploration.
As Technology Director you will be one of the three members of the Board of Directors, together with the CropXR Programme Director and headed by the Scientific Director. You will also work closely with scientists at TU Delft who have high-quality expertise in AI and Data Science, and with a wide range of stakeholders, such as commercial entities, academic partners, and cloud providers. The CropXR office is located and embedded in Utrecht University's Faculty of Science at Utrecht Science Park .


We are looking for a strong results- and solution-oriented organiser who is able to initiate and proactively design the Data-XR programme. We would also like you to bring:

  • an academic working and thinking level (MSc/PhD);
  • strong expertise with respect to technical aspects of data and model infrastructures and software development;
  • experience or affinity with handling (plant) genomics data;
  • demonstrable communication and project management skills, and the ability to manage the development of large software systems;
  • relevant work experience that enables you to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including commercial entities, academic partners and cloud providers;
  • a positive and enthusiastic communication and leadership style.

  • A unique opportunity to help build a new national research institute and contribute to CropXR's relevant societal goal to develop resilient crops for sustainable agriculture;
  • A position for one year (0.5 FTE) with the prospect of permanent employment;
  • A full-time gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranging from €4.814 to €6.702 in scale 12-13 (according to the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) Dutch Universities );
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions from the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. These include agreements on professional development , leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment through the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we encourage you to grow.
For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University .

About the organization

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University , the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.
At the Faculty of Science , there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us at Working at the Faculty of Science .
Utrecht University is the coordinator of CropXR, where the position of Technology Director is embedded. CropXR is a joint project set up by the universities of Utrecht, Wageningen, Amsterdam and Delft and the Dutch crop improvement sector. CropXR is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (through the National Growth Fund) and the Dutch Government Service for Entrepreneurship. Dutch and international companies, Dutch knowledge institutes and government will thus give a huge boost to research into a new methodology for exploiting complex traits and using it to breed resilient crops and for their application for sustainable agriculture. CropXR aims to develop into a national institute with an international presence.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact Guido van den Ackerveken (Programme leader CropXR) via .
Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to .
For more information, please visit Working at the Faculty of Science .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
To apply, please send us the following documents via the 'apply' button: 

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;

If this specific opportunity isn’t what you are looking for but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
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