Group Leader Tropical Botany

Group Leader Tropical Botany

Published Deadline Location
26 May 15 Jun Leiden

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We are seeking an enthusiastic, ambitious, innovative senior scientist to fulfill the role of Groupleader for the research group Tropical Botany.

Job description

The research group Tropical Botany focuses on describing species, understanding their distributions, evolutionary and ecological relationships and recognizing their role in human societies in the tropics. The group consists of 7 (senior) researchers, 2 postdoctoral fellows, 8 PhD students and 9 guest researchers and several students.   

We are seeking an enthusiastic, ambitious, innovative senior scientist to fulfill the role of Groupleader for the research group Tropical Botany. A strong representative within and outside Naturalis with a worldwide (scientific) botanical network (incl. herbaria). An inspiring and stimulating leader and team player with a clear (long term) vision. An excellent experienced senior researcher with a strong scientific background in taxonomy/ systematics in Southeast Asia, who brings innovative technologies to improve taxonomy (e.g. phylogeny and state-of-the-art techniques such as DNA, image recognition, infrared scanning) and has field work experience. We are looking for someone with experience in teaching and fundraising, who can attract PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows and is able to train them. Someone who values the importance of our collections. 

The concrete assignment for this group leader is to strengthen and renew the research field of  tropical botany and taxonomy within Naturalis, for the purpose of the quality of the research as well as the taxonomic expertise of tropical botany.

As a group leader your main result areas/ activities are research, teaching, knowledge utilisation and outreach, management of the research group and group members and sectorial decision making/management. 




  • Proven mentoring and group leadership abilities
  • PhD qualification in Biology or related discipline, with emphasis on Plant taxonomy/systematics
  • Excellent senior Scientist with an actual or potential professorship appointment
  • Relevant field work experience
  • Convincing view on long-term strategy in research, teaching, knowledge utilisation and outreach
  • Track record in acquiring funding
  • Strong planning and budgeting skills
  • Excellent communication, influencing, collaboration and networking skills

Conditions of employment

We provide a vibrant and inspiring working environment organised in 8 research groups, with ample support to our scientific staff by our Research Coordination Office and provide access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and the 43 million natural history objects in our collection.

At Naturalis you will get the opportunity to develop your research career, to cooperate with inspiring colleagues and to teach at Dutch universities. We offer formal affiliations with Dutch universities as associate professor or (full/special) professor.

A contract (32-36 hours per week) for a period of one year and a monthly starting salary between  € 4,945.- and € 7,298.- gross per month (depending on relevant experience). A permanent contract after the first contract and a successful evaluation.

You also get an allowance for travel expenses, holiday allowance (8%) and year-end bonus (3.4%).

The successful candidate will be employed by Naturalis in Leiden.


Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden is the Dutch national research institute for biodiversity and systematics. With our collection of 43 million specimens, one of the world's largest natural history collections, and our state-of-the-art research facilities we offer the (inter)national research infrastructure for species, identification and monitoring (for example in  ARISE and DiSSCo ). We closely collaborate with many Dutch universities, research institutes, industry, and government. We host over 120 researchers including 16 academia embedded professors and 50 PhD students. We present the history of our planet, and the diversity of life on Earth, through permanent and temporary museum exhibitions, educational programmes, and online presence, with more than 400,000 visitors per year. All in all, a unique combination of science and culture in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world!

Biodiversity drives the fundamental ecosystem processes that we depend on. Biodiversity is a multidisciplinary and multi stakeholder topic. So we do not cover all biodiversity research ourselves. Naturalis is about species. About discovering and identifying species. About the evolution, the interaction and monitoring of species. We combine our knowledge of species with promising novel technologies such as metagenomics, artificial intelligence, data science and 3D imaging. 

We aim to accelerate the discovery of species and their interactions in ecosystems. For this, we create exciting new multidisciplinary lines of research and we train scientists, students and experts to become world-leading in this new frontier of research. 

Ever since the 16th century, taxonomists have been naming and describing the plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms that share our planet today and in the past. Although about 2 million species are now known, research suggests there are at least 10 and probably more than 20 million species on Earth, meaning that 80-90% of our world’s biodiversity is still undiscovered! At the same time, we are witnessing alarming biodiversity declines. Reports indicate that 1 million species are currently threatened with extinction. It is increasingly recognized that biodiversity loss is one of the most significant threats to the environment and to our ability to transition to a sustainable future. These circumstances call for transformational scientific progress and serious action. We believe that we, as Naturalis, can play an important role in this transformation by: 

  • Fostering excellence in science and innovation in the field of biology and earth sciences 
  • Training scientists, students and experts to provide sustainable capacity building in the field of taxonomy
  • Providing a vibrant scientific environment for early-stage and mid-career researchers and foster their academic career
  • Providing and maintaining a sustainable state-of-the-art (inter)national research infrastructure
  • Further supporting and strengthening the national research community in the field of biology
  • Further developing an extensive (inter)national network that connects academia, society, government, industry and the general public
  • Extending our outreach to the general public by not only focussing on our visitors, but also by engaging with new audiences outside the museum, and by using citizen science
  • Expanding our role in Dutch national science policy by calling for an ambitious biodiversity strategy in societal and political agendas. 

Find out more about our research, labs and collection.


  • Management; Research, development, innovation; Professor
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—36 hours per week
  • €4945—€7298 per month
  • Doctorate
  • SP NBC 20230526


Darwinweg 2, 2333 CR, Leiden

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