Two Postdocs on Digital Twin-oriented Virtual Research Environments and Infrastructure Services

 We are looking for two researchers on the subject of ‘digital twins-oriented virtual research environment and infrastructure services’. The positions will be funded by the NWO project LTER-LIFE. LTER-LIFE is a large-scale research infrastructure in the making; it aims to provide a state-of-the-art e-infrastructure to study and predict how changes in climate and other human-induced pressures affect ecosystems and biodiversity.


One of the grand challenges in ecology is to understand and predict how ecosystems are impacted by changes in environmental conditions, and external pressures. Predicting how complex ecosystems will behave under different scenarios requires combining empirical and observational data. To truly predict how ecosystems and landscapes will respond to current and future global change, we need to increase the availability of existing environmental long-term datasets, integrate disparate types of ecological data, and create a user-friendly and secure cloud-based digital modelling and simulation platform that can be used to link data to models and scenarios. This can be done by creating Digital Twins of entire ecosystems.


A Digital Twin is “a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity”. Building Digital Twins of ecosystems has only recently become possible as Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and analytics, advanced computing infrastructure, and the FAIR principles have been developed and made available for ecology, ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity science. This approach brings together data scientists, informaticians, and ecologists in research communities around ecosystems. Detailed information on the LTER-LIFE project can be found here.


What are you going to do?


The researchers will be embedded in the MultiScale Networked System (MNS) group, informatics institute at the University of Amsterdam. The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team with domain scientists, modelers, and data curators to tackle the software challenges in developing virtual research environments and infrastructure services needed for constructing specific digital twins required by the ecological research domains.


The researchers will focus on the software challenges in developing digital twins for large-scale ecosystems, and aim to deliver reusable software tools and platforms for facilitating the construction of digital twins.


Tasks and responsibilities
Working in an interdisciplinary team, the candidates will:

  • interview the (potential) users of the LTER-LIFE and digital twins, and analyse technical requirements for constructing ecology domain-specific digital twins;
  • review the state-of-the-art and technical gaps for developing digital twin;
  • design the system architecture of digital twin-oriented virtual research environment;
  • provide effective infrastructure services for sharing, discovering, accessing and integrating digital twin-related components, tools, models, and data;
  • develop software integration solutions and required core algorithms for constructing digital twins together with the data specialists, modelers, and end users;
  • develop reusable software framework towards a digital twin-enabled cloud virtual research environment which can be used by the domain specialists to develop new digital twins;
  • collaborate with the researchers and developers from other domains and collect feedback from (potential) users to validate and improve the developed software system.


What do you have to offer?


The candidate should have a master or PhD (preferred) degree in computer science or relevant disciplines and fluently speak and write English. International research experience is preferred, as well as a highly collaborative and enthusiastic approach.


Your experience and profile
Specifically, we are interested in people with:

  • expertise in cloud computing, distributed and parallel computing, distributed workflow management;
  • be experienced in programming (using Java, Python or other languages), and in developing web development (e.g., RESTful services);
  • be experienced in technologies in DevOps, e.g., git, dockerization and CI/CD;
  • be familiar with AI (machine learning), big data, and data management techniques;
  • excellent communication skills in speaking and writing;
  • is willing to learn new methods, standards and technologies when needed by the project.

It is a preference if you additionally have experience in performing interdisciplinary research together with another scientific specialty, e.g., biodiversity, environmental and earth sciences, or life sciences.


Our offer


We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 12 months. The preferred starting date is September 2023. If we assess your performance positive, your contract will be extended with 18 to 24 months (depending on available funding).


The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,960 to € 4,670 (scale 10). UvA additionally offers an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.


Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


About us


The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 42,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.


The Faculty of Science (FNWI) has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.


The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.


The MultiScale Networked System (MNS) group is part of the Systems and Security Lab (SNE), one of the five research clusters at the Informatics Institute. The group focuses its researches on the fundamental architectural problems that arise from the interconnection of systems and of data flows. We look at the emerging architectures that can support the operations of the future Internet. In particular we focus on the delivery of secure and sustainable ICT services across multiple domains. Device programmability and virtualization play in this field an ever-increasing role in designing networks and ICT infrastructures. We address the interoperability challenges in supporting discovery, analysis and interoperation between heterogeneous complex infrastructures. Our vision is to build an effective ‘knowledge fibre’ to facilitate information discovery, integration and reuse across distributed infrastructures.


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Any questions?


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:


Job application


If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 31 May 2023.


Applications should include the following information (all files besides your CV should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • A detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • A list of publications;
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of two academic referees who can provide details about your academic profile in relation to this position (please do not include any reference letters in your application).


Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.


Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered. Please don’t send any applications by email.


We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the expiration of the vacancy.



The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, please try using a VPN connection when outside of the European Union. Please reach out directly to our to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.


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