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Scientific Managing Director (m/f/d)

GSI Helmholzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Darmstadt, Germany
Posting live until
30 Apr 2024

Job Details

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH in Darmstadt operates one of the leading research centers in a broad field of science from biophysics to nuclear and hadron physics. In the near future, the new FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH), one of the world's largest international research projects, will give scientists from all over the world new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present. With its modern research infrastructure, its interdisciplinary research platforms and its international networks, GSI and FAIR offer a highly attractive working environment in the fields of science, technology and administration as well as for the education of highly qualified young professionals.

GSI and FAIR are two distinct entities – one national, one international –, but operated in a highly integrated way by a joint Management Team. 

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH (GSI) is the German national laboratory for hadron, nuclear, plasma and atomic physics as well as for other research disciplines with high-energy heavy ion beams, with about 1600 employees and an annual operating budget of about 200 million euros. GSI operates a large research infrastructure with unique accelerator and experimental facilities, a high-power laser system and high-performance computing facilities. GSI is an institution of the Helmholtz Association and is funded 90% by the Federal Government and 10% by the Federal States of Hesse, Thuringia and Rhineland-Palatinate. 

The new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH (FAIR), one of the largest research projects worldwide, is being built on and next to the GSI site and will progressively start operations in the coming years. The FAIR facility consists of several accelerator and storage rings with a circumference of up to 1,100 meters, two linear accelerators and about 3.5 kilometers of connecting lines between the accelerators and to the experiments. The existing GSI accelerators will be integrated in the new facility. Construction of the new facility began in 2010, and the commissioning is scheduled to be completed by 2028. During the FAIR operational phase, up to 3,000 scientific users are expected to participate in experiments there. 

FAIR is being realized in an international laboratory with 10 partner countries and an investment volume of around 3 billion euros: Finland, France, Germany, India, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden, with the United Kingdom as an associated partner and the Czech Republic as an aspirant partner. FAIR GmbH was founded in 2010 with the partner countries as shareholders for the construction and operation of FAIR. 
GSI also contributes the majority of the FAIR accelerator components as well as significant segments of the FAIR experiments.  

A joint team of three directors, consisting of the scientific managing director, the administrative managing director and the technical managing director, leads both companies, FAIR GmbH and GSI GmbH. 
We are currently looking for the

“Scientific Managing Director (m/f/d)"

for the FAIR GmbH and the GSI GmbH.

About your responsibilities:

The Scientific Managing Director is one of three legal representatives of FAIR GmbH and GSI GmbH. The management of both companies is the responsibility of the scientific management together with the administrative and technical management. The Scientific Managing Director is the chair of the management board of both FAIR and GSI, and is also the spokesperson for the management board. 

  • You will act as the highest scientific representative of FAIR/GSI and represent FAIR and GSI in all aspects towards its stakeholders as well as the regional, national and international scientific environment. 
  • You will be responsible for the entire scientific area of FAIR/GSI, providing to both companies’ overall strategic vision, executive leadership, direction and management to the entire research center and to its staff. 
  • In particular, you will be overall responsible for the scientific strategy of FAIR/GSI, the definition of the central strategic research goals, the implementation of the overall research program, the coordination of research and its organizational structure, the scientific planning of the accelerator projects and the allocation of experimental beam times.
  • You will shape the scientific future of FAIR/GSI as the prominent and visible scientific leader - nationally and internationally- as the driving force you will bring forward the implementation of the science programs to be pursued at FAIR.
  • Regarding GSI, it is expected that you play a strategic role in positioning it in the context of the research within the Helmholtz Association, especially in shaping the contribution of GSI to the research field Matter in the Helmholtz Association. 
  • You will act in close communication and trust with the other members of the management board and chair the meetings of the management board. 
  • You will report to the FAIR Shareholders' Meeting (FAIR Council) and the GSI Supervisory Board.
  • You will act in close coordination with the international shareholders of FAIR and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian Ministry of Science and Research, Art and Culture (HMWK) as the German funding bodies. You will also work closely with the Joint Scientific Council and other committees of FAIR/GSI, as well as with the respective bodies of the Helmholtz Association.
  • You will organize cooperations of FAIR/GSI with universities and other scientific institutions at a national and international level, including joint appointments of senior scientists (salary group W3/W2). 
  • You will represent FAIR and GSI to the public and in press and public relations work.
  • You are responsible for strategic organizational departments and staff units at FAIR/GSI including research coordination, information technologies, committee meetings, third party funding, press and communication, export control and the welcome office. 

About you: 

  • You are an internationally recognized scientist preferably from experimental physics with sound knowledge of and a distinction in FAIR-related science & technology.
  • You can represent the scientific spectrum of FAIR/GSI in its entire breadth, both internally and externally.
  • You have several years of experience in research management and profound leadership experience in science or science-related institutions in a national or international context. 
  • You have experience in developing scientific strategies. Furthermore, you possess strategic farsightedness, analytical thinking, as well as implementation strength. 
  • You have experience in strategic management of large projects and excellent organizational skills.
  • You have experience in interacting with decision-makers and stakeholders from politics, scientific communities and research organizations, funding agencies and industry in an international context. 
  • You are able to confidently represent FAIR and GSI in their international and national contexts and have the necessary intercultural skills. 
  • You have a profound knowledge of the international research landscape and environment.
  • You communicate and negotiate convincingly at all levels, contribute your own ideas, are open to contributions from others, inspire people and profitably use networks within the scientific community. 
  • You act with confidence, are reliable and work with colleagues in a team-oriented manner. Diversity and equality-oriented leadership is a prerequisite.
  • Due to the joint responsibility of all three management areas for the success of FAIR and GSI, you will understand your role within the management as part of a team.
  • You have a very good command of English. Additionally, you have a thorough knowledge of German or demonstrate a willingness to learn the German language.

The Scientific Director will be appointed for an initial period of five years, reappointment is possible. An appointment to a joint professorship with one of the neighboring universities is possible. The remuneration offered is commensurate with the position and the requirements and is of an international standard, based on salary group W3 of the German Federal Salaries Act (BBesG). A performance-related additional remuneration depending on the achievement of objectives is possible. 

Additional information about FAIR GmbH and GSI GmbH can be found at and

The international Search Committee for the position – consisting of representatives from the GSI Supervisory Board and the FAIR Council and international renowned scientists– is supported by Leadership Advisors for Academia GmbH. If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Norbert Sack at Absolute discretion and confidentiality are guaranteed. 

FAIR and GSI have committed themselves to an organizational culture of diversity to create and promote an appreciative work environment for all employees, irrespective of age, ethnic background and nationality, gender and gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion and worldview, sexual orientation and social background. 

Qualified applicants with a disability will be given preference.
Please send your application documents in English (cover letter and detailed curriculum vitae, copies of certificates) to by April 30th, 2024.

You can find information about the data protection policy on the GSI and FAIR web page: //


The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt operates a worldwide leading accelerator facility for research purposes. The new accelerator facility FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) is currently under construction at GSI.

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0049 30 88 01 98 80
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