32 - 40 hour

Researcher / Projectmanager Microbial Water Quality and Health

In this attractive position, working in the dynamic interface of research and practice, you will be responsible for the set-up, conduct and reporting of research into microbial (surface) water quality. As part of a multidisciplinary team of experts, you will work on innovative new methods for the detection and assessment of microbial risks, and combine these methods with existing ones.

In this research you will apply classical microbial techniques as well as the latest techniques in the field of genomics. You will advise water utilities, industry and governments on the basis of the research results. An active approach to the acquisition of research and consultancy projects will be part of your task package. Your participation in research and consultancy projects will be directed at extending knowledge and insight in the field of microbial water quality, and at conveying this knowledge to clients by making clear presentations and writing solid reports.

You will have a good induction period, with a view to taking up a position in the management of our projects. You will learn how to manage to produce timely, high-quality results within the set frameworks. Together we will be translating our knowledge for application in water-cycle practice, with the aim of using our insights, for instance, to assess the effectiveness of technical and other interventions in the water cycle in reducing health risks.

Your profile

You are a university graduate in (aquatic) microbiology or microbial ecology. You are a practice-oriented researcher with at least 5-10 years’ research and consultancy experience in the field of microbial water quality. This could for example include the detection of (potential) pathogens or toxic microorganisms, and the assessment of the microbial risks. You possess relevant knowledge in the field of microbial (surface) water quality and the associated research methods, such as qPCR, NGS, metagenomics and/or eDNA. You take initiatives based on your knowledge, and you are an enthusiastic and results-driven colleague.

You are familiar with the practical challenges facing stakeholders in the water cycle, and have demonstrable experience in acquisition and project management. You identify interesting partners for KWR, set up collaborations and attract new partners for our activities. This means that you contribute to acquiring research funding and maintaining relationships in public and semi-public organisations as well as industry. To this end, you have a demonstrable network of people active in water-related microbiological issues, both within and outside of the drinking water sector.

We would like someone who can follow international developments in microbial ecology and related fields, and who can contribute to them with complementary expertise and experience. You have the ambition of making a name for yourself in your research field. You enjoy presenting and publishing research results with flair, both nationally and internationally. To this end, you have an excellent command of written and spoken Dutch and English. Preferably, you already have experience with larger projects involving several partners.

About KWR

Safe and clean drinking water is a great thing. As an internationally-renowned research institute, KWR contributes to the provision of such water through the conduct of applied scientific research related to the water cycle. Bridging science to practice is our mission. Our 180 staff members work, within the framework of three research groups, on innovative projects in the Netherlands and, increasingly, elsewhere in Europe. Our shareholders are nine of the Dutch water utilities and one Flemish one.

The Microbial Water Quality and Health team researches microbial water quality, and its possible health impact, in all kinds of water systems. We study the presence of unwanted microorganisms in the water cycle, the influence of environmental conditions on their behaviour, and how we can control them. We develop molecular methods in order, among others, to detect micro- and other organisms, to trace contamination sources, and to understand their function in the water cycle. Besides molecular methods, we also apply classical microbiological methods for the growth, detection and characterisation of microorganisms and their populations in water. KWR has a well-equipped laboratory, both biological (molecular) and chemical-analytical, and a test hall for pilot tests. We also have numerous other specialists on staff, such as social scientists, technologists and hydrologists.

Our offer

KWR is a challenging and engaged employer. We offer you the space and development opportunities to flourish as you feel you should. You will see the great importance we attach to a good work-life balance reflected in our excellent primary and secondary employment conditions. We are parties to the Water Utility’s Collective Agreement. At KWR you will conduct high-level applied scientific research along with 180 passionate colleagues in a modern work environment.

Are you the experienced health-risk researcher with an interest in the water cycle we’re looking for?

If so, then please e-mail your letter of application and CV to before 5 May 2019. We will immediately contact the suitable candidates.

The job interviews are currently planned for week 20 (on 13 and 15 May).

Further information

For substantive information about the position please contact Anthony Verschoor (Microbial Water Quality and Health team leader) at 030 606 9596.

For further information about the application procedure please contact José van Lieshout (HR Consultant) at 030-606 9536 or

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