Vacancy Advertisement: Executive Director of CLARIN ERIC

Submitted by Elisa Gorgaini on 20 July 2021


About the position of CLARIN ERIC Executive Director

CLARIN ( is one of the pan-European research infrastructures (RIs) in the domain of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) organised as a distributed network of currently 60 centres in 24 countries (in Europe  and beyond) with a federated service offer,  and a central coordination office. CLARIN’s primary focus is on services for languages resources. It is listed in the roadmap (link) as one of the landmark RIs. It is actively pursuing collaboration with other European and international RIs.  

The Executive Director chairs the CLARIN Board of Directors and is supported by the staff of the central CLARIN Office. As the last term of office of the current Executive Director will run out in 2022, CLARIN is looking for an inspiring person to chair the Board of Directors ( ) and - in close collaboration with the other board members and the national coordinators - steer CLARIN in consolidating its position in the dynamic landscape.

The main challenges for which the new Executive Director needs to take the lead in the upcoming  years are: ensuring  the sustainability of CLARIN along all relevant dimensions, to increase the uptake of the services in the relevant communities of use (including the ones that are currently not connected), to balance the central and distributed activities, to align the agenda with those of relevant research communities (e.g. in digital humanities, computational social sciences, , AI and data science), to align with the strategic agenda of the European Open Science Cloud ( ), to contribute to the reinforcement of the emerging SSH cluster structure (, to set up collaborative links with new partners, and to promote collaboration with non-academic partners, including heritage institutions and industry.

The Executive Director will be based at CLARIN Office in Utrecht (NL).  The position requires regular presence in the Utrecht Office, while travelling frequently throughout Europe will also be part of the working pattern.

The Executive Director is appointed by the CLARIN General Assembly.


The ideal candidate has

An academic background in a domain that is relevant* in view of CLARIN’s mission to provide infrastructural services for language resources (PhD or equivalent qualifications) and an international interdisciplinary network in one or more of the fields of research that are targeted by CLARIN.  

In addition:

  • Relevant experience in the European Research Area, the international arena and EC-supported models for research collaboration
  • Understanding of the European Research Infrastructure landscape (ESFRI, EOSC), reflected in a vision of how CLARIN could contribute to the further development and innovation of the landscape.
  • Understanding of current and emerging agendas and challenges in data-driven research and data management and curation in the social sciences and humanities domain
  • Excellent communicative skills
  • A record of relevant academic excellence and governance/managerial responsibilities, reflected in e.g. 
    • A proven ability to lead a heterogeneous team of professionals
    • Demonstrated ability to understand the organisational and technical issues involved in building, maintaining, and federating digital repositories, catalogues, authentication services, and similar infrastructure components
    • A proven fundraising record in the context of European or international funding schemes.
    • Proven interest and competence in stimulating the experimentation and adoption of technology in research.

*People interested can contact the chair of the selection committee to check whether their profile is indeed considered relevant/suitable. 


Overview of responsibilities 

The Executive Director will be the legal representative of CLARIN and responsible for the daily operation of CLARIN ERIC. 

  • Chairing the CLARIN ERIC Board of Directors 
  • Acting as the representative of CLARIN in the international community
  • Facilitating and supporting the operation of CLARIN’s governance bodies
  • Leading the execution of the strategy and the implementation of the work programme.
  • Developing the strategy for the mid-term and longer term in consultation with the relevant bodies
  • Monitoring and measuring CLARIN’s activities and reporting to the General Assembly
  • Together with the Technical Director: 
    • planning the next stages of the technical development and 
    • overseeing the implementation and operation of the distributed infrastructure and  the coordination of the centre activities
  • Together with the “Director of Operations”: 
    • planning the next stages of the development of the central organisation in line with the strategy area Organisational Development (link
    • maintaining and developing strategic partnerships (academic, non-academic, industry, etc.)
    • supervising the preparation of annual budgets and accounts
    • leading the international fundraising efforts for CLARIN
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of CLARIN and guiding its European and global expansion
  • Consolidating and extending strong pan-European and international relationships with a broad range of stakeholders within and outside the consortium, including CLARIN member countries, the relevant ministries and funding bodies, external language resource providers, relevant units in the European Commission, and international bodies, such as   
  • Monitoring the adherence of the national consortia to the agreed rules and standards for CLARIN-related activities
  • Ensuring that CLARIN’s services comply with the relevant ethical, legal and societal values.


About the seat of CLARIN ERIC

The legal entity CLARIN ERIC has its seat in Utrecht (NL), and is hosted by Utrecht University (UU; link) at the Faculty of Humanities (link), home to a range of disciplines, including  history, art, philosophy, music, literature, language, religious studies, and media. This  faculty is also home to the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, the  research institute affiliated with the Department of Languages, Culture and Communication which used to host CLARIN when it was still run as a project (before 2012).   

For most of the central CLARIN staff, the UU is acting as employer and the Faculty of Humanities as HRM node. All UU contracts for CLARIN personnel are aligned with the collective labour agreement of VSNU, the association of universities in the Netherlands (link).


Conditions of employment

  • Depending on the candidate’s qualifications, employment will be at the level comparable to associate or full professor, initially for a period of 5 years. (See the CLARIN Statutes for the rules of prolongation; link)
  • The position is in principle embedded within the Department of Languages, Culture and Communication, part of the Faculty of Humanities of Utrecht University. (Other models, such as secondment from another academic institute, can be discussed.)
  • The job of Executive Director is offered as a position that depending on other roles and responsibilities can be carried out in full time (1.0 fte), or in part time (minimum: 0.6 fte)
  • Depending on qualifications and experience the monthly gross salary will vary between the minimum rate for associate professors (scale 14) and the maximum rate for full professors (scale 18) , based on full time employment (most recent table with salary scales: link). The monthly salary is supplemented with an annual holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3% per year. Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave. The employment conditions and salary rates will follow the collective labour agreement for all Dutch universities (link). 
  • The exact extent of the required presence at Utrecht Office will be discussed as part of the  contract negotiations with the selected candidate.
  • For applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands (temporary) tax regulations may be applicable, such as the 30% facility(a special expense reimbursement scheme). 
  • Expected starting date: first half of 2022.


Application process

To submit an application, please submit an application letter with your qualifications and experience. Please specify your outlook on the position and your motivation to apply.

Your letter, plus a CV including a list of recent relevant publications and other relevant materials in a single PDF-file can be submitted via this email address:

The closing date for applications is 18 October 2021.

For further information, or in case you would like to suggest suitable candidates, please contact  the chair of the selection committee: Ursula Brustmann via this email address: