Senior Researcher, Circularity and Water

KWR is looking for a Senior Researcher, Circularity and Water. An inspired researcher who applies scientific insights to the research and development of integrated, circular system solutions. We seek a colleague with extensive research experience, who will further develop and convey our vision of water in the circular economy.

About KWR

KWR is an internationally-renowned research institute in the field of water quality, the water cycle and sustainable development. Bridging science to practice is our mission. KWR is a special, innovative and smart knowledge enterprise. Our staff members are critical thinkers and enterprising doers, who are strongly committed to ensuring that there is sufficient water, of the right quality, where and when it is needed. Safe and clean drinking water is a major public good, and water and wastewater treatment offer opportunities for the extraction and reuse of many components. In our completely sustainable building with state-of-the-art laboratories, our approximately 194 staff members work, within the framework of two research groups, on innovative projects in the Netherlands and, increasingly, elsewhere in Europe and beyond. Our shareholders are the ten Dutch water utilities and the Belgian ‘De Watergroep’ water utility.

Our researchers work at the interface of science, the private sector and society. Their strength lies in the translation of scientific knowledge to implementable, practical solutions for end-users in the Dutch and international water sectors. To support its research, KWR disposes of specialised laboratories, a test facility and builds its own pilot installations. In addition, we develop company-specific software for use within projects.

The ECS team

The Energy and Circular Systems team at KWR works on the transition to a sustainable water, energy and food provision. We are a committed group of experts who are active in connecting different disciplines and sectors, and in applying technological knowledge from a system perspective. Our themes are the loop-closure of cycles, water for energy, and system solutions for a circular economy. We carry out (consortium) projects with the water sector, public authorities and the private sector, and collaborate with universities and international knowledge institutions. The mission of the ECS team is to research and develop water-wise integrated system solutions for a circular economy with a renewable energy provision.

The position

We are looking for an experienced researcher who consolidates and extends our team’s scientific foundation.  Together with colleagues within and outside the ECS team, you develop lines of research in the circular economy workfield. You connect the (water) system perspective of the ECS team to the KWR fields of expertise, and contribute your own experience in the area of system analysis and transition processes. You work at the intersection of managerial, technical and economics knowledge. The position offers you the opportunity, as ‘principal scientist’ within the ECS team, to contribute to building up this enthusiastic group of researchers.

Your work activities include:

  • The further development of a vision and strategy for the water in the circular economy workfield.
  • The creation of a combined ‘circularity’ line of research, within which the knowledge contained in the ECS team and other KWR teams can excel as a whole.
  • Contributing to continued scientific innovation and knowledge development within the team.
  • Contributing to internal and external research agendas, writing national and international research proposals, and procuring research funding.
  • The conduct and coordination of scientific research, the publication of results and the creation of impact.
  • Together with project managers and researchers, the maintenance and extension of an international network encompassing the breadth of the workfield.
  • Making presentations (for example as keynote speaker) and publishing research results, which strengthen KWR’s scientific profile.
  • Responsibility for the scientific quality assurance of (integrated) projects.
  • Representing the ECS team on KWR’s Scientific Council.

Your profile

Your passion lies in developing scientific insights and knowledge, and in translating them into practical applications. You are a colleague who is enthusiastic, results-driven, innovative and collaborative. You have strong analytical skills and know how to approach complex systems from a circular perspective. In doing so, you work from both a technical as well as a societal perspective.

  • You are a university graduate in a workfield at the intersection of managerial, technical and economics knowledge. Your professional field is related to (water in) the circular economy.
  • You are an experienced researcher with professional knowledge in the area of transitions, system analysis and the circular economy.
  • You have a demonstrable affinity with the water sector.
  • You have experience in the development of visions and strategies, and of lines of research and programmes.
  • You have 10-15 years’ experience.
  • You have a proven scientific track record.
  • You naturally make connections between science and practice, with an eye to the market and the client.
  • You speak and write fluent Dutch and English.
  • A combination of this position with a university affiliation is open to discussion.

Our offer to you

We attach great importance to personal growth and career development, and to this end provide multiple opportunities, such as courses and skills training. A good work-life balance is paramount for us. KWR offers excellent primary and secondary employment conditions, and is a party to the Water Utilities’ Collective Agreement (Flexible Employment Conditions Budget, ABP Pension). In addition, partial home-working is a possibility with us.

KWR staff conduct their practice-oriented work in a sustainably built glass building, designed for collaboration and knowledge sharing between teams and partners. With this position and our profile – a societally relevant organisation, in which we work together and make an important contribution to the bridging of water science and practice – KWR offers a special work environment.

Are you the researcher who combines scientific ambition with a market-oriented perspective? If so, then please e-mail your letter of application and CV to before 1 June 2022, with a mention of vacancy number 1338010. The 1st round of interviews is planned for 9 June and 13 June 2022; we ask you to bear these dates in mind.

More information

For more substantive information about the position, please contact Marette Zwamborn (Team Leader) at 030-6069677 or . For more information about the application process, please contact José van Lieshout (HR Consultant) at 030-6069536 or

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