Head of Department of the Niels Bohr Institute

We are looking for a head of department for the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) at the Faculty of Science (SCIENCE), University of Copenhagen, who – together with the staff and students – can ensure the continued development of NBI at a high international level. The position commences on 1 January 2024.

The Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) conducts research and provides research-based education within a broad spectrum of fields of physics at the highest international level. In recent years, NBI has undergone a number of positive developments – it is attracting an increasing level of external funding, not least in the field of quantum technologies, and is seeing an increasing student intake. Our students, staff and partners are the source of our success, and they are also our main ambassadors. Our ambition is to offer an inspiring and challenging working environment, and we strive to ensure a good work-life balance. We want our staff and students to be proud and happy of working and studying at NBI, and we want NBI to be perceived as a preferred collaboration partner

Head of department’s areas of responsibility and tasks
The head of department reports to the dean for SCIENCE and

  • is responsible for managing and developing NBI in line with the positive development achieved so far. This happens in close collaboration with the deputy heads of institute for research and for teaching as well as the head of administration, and together with the heads of section and with the involvement of the rest of the employees;
  • manages NBI in accordance with the spirit of the place, safeguards academic freedom and works to maintain NBI’s leading position both nationally and internationally;
  • drives the strategic development of NBI’s research and education based on their vision for NBI and in collaboration with staff, and also contributes to the implementation of UCPH’s policies and strategy via goals and action plans;
  • opens doors, builds networks and represents NBI in a wide range of contexts at the
    Faculty, as well as nationally and internationally, and promotes the value of NBI’s research and degree programmes;
  • forms part of the SCIENCE management team together with the dean, vice-deans, faculty director and other heads of department;
  • is responsible – supported by the head of administration – for NBI’s budget and resource allocation, and for supporting initiatives aimed at attracting external funding, both nationally and internationally;
  • has overall personnel responsibility for NBI staff and their professional and academic development, and must work for an attractive working, research and study environment, characterised by multiplicity, gender balance, diversity and inclusion, through an open and trusting dialogue with staff and students;
  • will have the overall responsibility for NBI’s move to the new Niels Bohr Building, which is expected to take place in the coming years.

Ideal profile
We are looking for a head of department whose experience and visions for NBI as a whole are aligned with a number of the characteristics listed below. The right candidate:

  • is interested in management and organisation and preferably holds a degree in management;
  • has successful experience as a research and personnel manager in a large unit and has built up good organisational understanding through this;
  • has documented experience as an internationally recognised researcher at minimum
    associate professor level in one of the disciplines covered by NBI;
  • has documented experience as a successful lecturer at university level and has contributed to the development of university education;
  • has strong analytical skills, is an experienced negotiator and has experience with financial management of large units;
  • is good at communicating visions, values and views and at implementing decisions by
    proactively involving staff and students in the development of a unified institute;
  • thrives where research, education, innovation, communication, management and administration meet, and understands the value of the considerable academic breadth of NBI’s activities;
  • has a strong network and is passionate about developing NBI and its academic environments and degree programmes together with the surrounding world and about creating
    results across departments, faculties and universities;
  • has a good track record in terms of attracting external funding from both national and international funders and grant donors;
  • has insight into the complexity involved in moving and establishing laboratories;
  • is highly proficient in English and Danish/Scandinavian;
  • is visible, empathetic, committed and welcoming, with a high level of integrity and a
    transparent management style.

Please read the Job and Personal Profile for more information on the department, the job and the recruitment process. If you have any further questions about the position, please contact Dean Katrine Krogh Andersen on +45 3533 2010.  

Terms and conditions of employment
The position of head of department will be on a fixed-term basis with a five-year period of employment and the possibility of an extension of up to three years. The appointment will be made in accordance with the collective agreement for academics employed by the state entered into between the Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC), as well as in accordance with the protocol covered by the collective agreement for academics employed by the state relating to heads of department and deans at universities.

For external applicants, academic assessment may be required in line with the executive order on university appointments.

The scope of any research and teaching activities will be negotiated and agreed with the Dean.

The application deadline is 8 October 2023. Applications must be received electronically via the UCPH job portal. Click “Apply now” to submit. 

The application must include your CV and a presentation in English (max. three pages) of your vision for NBI, including the key elements of a strategy for the development of NBI and for the performance of the management task.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 08-10-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Niels Bohr Institutet
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