Fusion Energy Department Head (x/f/m)

Do you have it in you to lead our Fusion Energy research program?
De Zaale 20 Eindhoven
Theme Fusion Energy
Integrated Modelling and MHD
Kind of contract
Temporary with option for permanent
Kind of function
Scientific staff
Working hours
0,8 - 1 FTE
Level of education
Level of experience
Vacancy id
Publication date
Closing date


The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) performs leading fundamental research on materials, processes, and systems for a global sustainable energy infrastructure. We work in close partnership with (inter)national academia and industry. Our user facilities are open to industry and university researchers. As an institute of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) DIFFER plays a key role in fundamental research for the energy transition.

We use a multidisciplinary approach applicable on two key areas, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and nuclear fusion – as a clean source of energy.

DIFFER is looking for a Fusion Energy Department Head (x/f/m)

who wishes to lead our Fusion Energy (FE) research program, to establish his/her own research line within this program, and to join the management team of the institute.

The  FE department head -together with the FE group leaders- is responsible for the overall strategy and development of the FE research program. You manage the FE group leaders and lead a strong (inter-)nationally competitive team working on the relevant research questions to fulfill DIFFER’s mission. As FE department head you are member of the DIFFER management team (MT). As member of the DIFFER MT you will develop, contribute to and implement the overall strategy of the institute.

A key aspect of the position is to establish the FE research program nationally as well as internationally, to secure research funding, and to acquire and exploit state-of-the-art research infrastructure. DIFFER made a strategic choice to invest the coming years in research infrastructure focusing on “Materials for Energy”, ideally your research line fits closely to the available or planned research infrastructure at DIFFER (Magnum PSI, UPP, Ion Beam Facility, …), to optimally use and promote the instrumentation. To this end you will need to have and further build up a network of stakeholders in the FE community, academia and industry. As head of FE you will have an important role in organizing the national research field and to initiate and to contribute to agenda-setting activities with external partners, such as the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the European Research Council (ERC).

Next to this, you establish your own research line and develop methods of research. You are responsible for budget control and planning for your department.

Position and requirements


  • Establish or continue your own research line within the Fusion Energy theme at DIFFER;
  • Secure a prominent positioning for the Fusion Energy research program and its constituent research groups in the national and international scientific arena;
  • Identify and stimulate new research directions in the field of fusion energy and beyond;
  • Manage the Fusion Energy group leaders, planning and budgets;
  • Contribute to the long-term vision of DIFFER and translate this into a long-term strategy (research directions, program description);
  • Lead projects and partnerships, both inside and outside the institute;
  • Participate in international boards of Fusion4Energy and EuroFusion and represent DIFFER in there.
  • Participate in (inter)national science, advisory and management boards

We ask:

Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent in a relevant field of research (physics / materials science & engineering) and a proven track record in the field of fusion energy or closely related topics. Naturally you have excellent communication and leadership  skills and a proven experience in management of international scientific staff with multiple drivers and interests. Your English is at level Language Proficiency Definitions level 4, i.e. ‘full professional proficiency and you are (willing to become) proficient in the Dutch language.

An external assessment will be part of the selection procedure.

Terms and conditions

This position is for 0,8 - 1 FTE, will be for a period of  2 years with possible permanent contract at proven suitability and is graded in pay scale 15-16, depending on level of education and experience. The position will be based at DIFFER (www.differ.nl) and the working location will be at TU Eindhoven. When fulfilling a position at DIFFER, you will have an employee status at NWO. You can participate in all the employee benefits NWO offers. We have a number of regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. At DIFFER we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage everyone to apply. More information on working at NWO can be found at the NWO website (https://www.nwo-i.nl/en/working-at-nwo-i/jobsatnwoi/)

Information and application

For more information concerning the position please contact Marco de Baar via m [368] r [368] debaar [18] differ [368] nl. To apply for this position, please click the button underneath:

Closing date

Go to the Vacancies page.