Two Data Stewards (2 x 1.0 FTE)

Two Data Stewards (2 x 1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
9 Apr 3 May Utrecht

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Support colleagues at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Human Geography and Spatial Planning!

Job description

The Faculty of Geosciences seeks to appoint two Data Stewards to work in close collaboration with existing teams and colleagues at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Human Geography and Spatial Planning departments.

Your activities will include:

  • support Researchers and students to store, (re)use and analyse research (meta-)data and information according to FAIR principles;
  • advising Researchers on management of research data and on procedures and technical aspects that are important for the quality of (meta)data;
  • hands on collaboration in some projects;
  • advising on the improvement of the data architecture per project and assist in implementing the  improvements where necessary;
  • advising Researchers about how to deal with privacy sensitive data in accordance with the (GDPR) guidelines;
  • documenting workflows and data protocols for projects and Researchers in the research domains;
  • organize training courses or workshops that relate to the Research Data Management field;
  • assist in managing and sustainably storing and/or publishing research data.

In addition, you will liaise with (data management, information security, privacy-) expertise available in Geosciences (i.e. Geo’s Virtual Data Management Team) and in UU (i.e. Research Data Management Support), as well as with the Data Archive Geosciences team.

The Data Stewards will be appointed at the Faculty Office, at GEO-ICT, but will work dedicated to one of the departments.

Current situation
The faculty of Geosciences is accelerating its efforts to make research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).

It is acknowledged that data management processes are domain specific: handling data in qualitative research is different from handling data in quantitative research, furthermore data is collected in different science domains, from social to natural sciences; handling personal data differs from handling non-personal data; sharing data with Utrecht University staff only differs from working in a consortium. Therefore, the data management process needs to be tailored to the specific domain.

The Data Steward’s focus is on empowering and supporting staff to handle and process data in a defined and documented process, as to make proper data management and FAIR data “business as usual”.

She/he will work closely with Researchers and will analyse a data flow throughout the data life cycle. Based on the analysis, the Data Steward will give practical advice on how to store and process (meta-)data, using a domain's good practices and standards – including meta data standards and file formats – and UU’s institutional policies. This will result in a practical, accepted, documented workflow. The documentation of the workflow – or data protocols – is critical to sustain the workflow after this position has ended. The data protocols will be created for individual Researchers, and similarities will be sought for efficiency reasons.

The Data Steward will also 'train' permanent and temporary staff including junior Researchers and PhD’s on these subjects. In addition, the Data Steward will develop a system to store and share data that positions a department (together with partners) as an internationally leading geographical data centre, which facilitates innovative research and project acquisition. She/he will also implement a structure for maintaining and updating data in the data centre.


Utrecht University


As a Data Steward:

  • you are a trusted and proactive advisor to research and teaching staff;
  • you have excellent communication skills and you are creative in finding suitable solutions using co-creation principles;
  • you have demonstrable knowledge of methods and techniques of processing scientific data, for example through a diploma at Master's or PhD level;
  • you do not necessarily have to be an expert in the scientific domain; but you do have affinity with either the domain of Sustainable Development, or Earth Sciences or Human Geography and Spatial Planning;
  • you have a strong affinity with IT, information security and privacy;
  • you have experience in using R, Python, SPSS, MS Access, (T)SQL and/or PL/SQL.

Conditions of employment

We offer two temporary positions (1.0 FTE each) for a period of two years in an international working environment. It is possible to work part-time with a minimum of 0.8 FTE. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience  - ranges between € 2,790 and € 3,217 (max scale 10.3 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information about working at Utrecht University can be found here.


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.

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences studies the Earth: from the Earth's core to its surface, including man's spatial and material utilisation of the Earth - always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.

The department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning has a strong tradition of working with geographical and behavioural data. This includes data gathered by our Researchers in surveys, interviews, focus groups and observations, but also secondary data. Secondary data includes large surveys and panels (e.g., Woon, ODIN, MPN, LISS), register data (e.g., CBS Social Statistical Data, Patent Data), but also geographical data sets concerning e.g. land use, greenery and air quality. As part of our research programme Urban Futures, we participate in various initiatives for developing data driven research infrastructures in the domains of health (Vitality Data Center), transportation (Urban Mobility Observatory) and social sciences (ODISSEI). We aim to play a leading role in developing these infrastructures further as a base for collaborative research projects. Besides research, in various Bachelor's  and Master's educational courses in which the department is involved, data plays an important role in various way across various courses.

Within the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development a wide variety of data is being acquired, analysed and generated, ranging from the natural to the social science domain, all in support of research linked to sustainable development. This data consists of for instance time-series of photovoltaic power generation at various time resolutions, satellite images for land use change research as well as for weather and renewable energy forecasting, data needed for and generated by global climate models such as IMAGE-TIMER, privacy-sensitive data from interviews, remote sensing data on grasslands and tiger habitats, spatially explicit data of plant diversity, nutrients, and productivity, formal and informal data supporting innovation system analyses, and data for analyses of governance processes. In addition, this data is part of many collaborative research projects in which also third parties are involved, thus requiring compliance with GDPR and confidentiality. Besides research, in various Bachelor's and Master's educational courses in which the department is involved data is also collected by students and staff.


  • IT; Support staff (clerical, administrative, facility)
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2790—€3217 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1146953



Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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