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Chairperson of the Board of Directors

Hamburg , Germany
Posting live until
7 Jun 2023

Job Details

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Chairperson of the Board of Directors

Starting date: preferred end of 2024 | ID: GD/2023 | Deadline: 30.06.2023 | Full-time

DESY, with more than 2900 employees at its two sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen, is one of the world’s leading research centers in decoding the structure and function of matter, from the smallest particles of the universe to the building blocks of life. In this way, DESY contributes to solving the major questions and grand challenges facing science, society and industry. With its ultramodern research infrastructure, its interdisciplinary research platforms and its international networks, DESY offers a highly attractive working environment in the fields of science, technology and administration as well as for the education of highly qualified young scientists.

Firmly rooted in physics-based fundamental research, DESY has in recent years increasingly reached out towards politics, society and industry. DESY is now a key driver in the development of science and innovation eco-systems such as the Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld or the science and technology region dahme_innovation. Innovation and technology transfer are furthermore an integral part of new cutting-edge research infrastructures, in particular at DESY’s new flagship project PETRA IV, the ultimate x-ray microscope with outstanding potential for academic and industrial users.

DESY is established as a foundation under German civil law and a Member of the Helmholtz Association. The research center is headed by a Board of Directors composed of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, the Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Directors (Administrative Director) and four Directors representing the four DESY research divisions in accelerator science, photon science, astroparticle and particle physics. In addition, there is the delegate of the directorate for innovation (CTO).

The Board of Directors conducts the business of the research center jointly and in accordance with the applicable legislation, DESY’s foundation statutes and the decisions of the Foundation Council.

The Foundation Council of DESY has initiated an international search process for a dynamic and visionary individual to serve as the next Chairperson of the Board of Directors at DESY.

About your role:

  • You will be responsible for providing overall strategic vision, executive leadership, direction and management to the entire research center and to its staff
  • You will lead the overall strategic development and the definition of the central research goals of the research center
  • You are responsible for the implementation of the overall research program at DESY taking into account the framework conditions set by the program-oriented funding system of the Helmholtz Association and the respective research policy objectives
  • You will act in close communication and trust with the other members of the Board of Directors and chair the Directors’ meetings
  • You will act as the highest scientific representative of DESY and represent the research center in all aspects towards its stakeholders as well as the regional, national and international scientific environment
  • You will liaise closely with the committees of the research center, the funding bodies, the Helmholtz Association and the numerous regional, national and international cooperation partners in science, society and industry
  • You are the highest superior to all employees at DESY and are responsible for the lead scientists’ appointment strategy
  • You are responsible for strategic organizational departments and staff units at DESY including Innovation and Technology Transfer, the press and communication department, the European project office and the staff office of the Board of Directors
  • It is expected that you play a strategic role in shaping the research field Matter in the Helmholtz Association

About you:

  • You are an internationally recognized scientist with profound leadership experience in science or science-related institutions
  • You have an outstanding international scientific reputation in one of the scientific disciplines relevant to DESY. You can represent the scientific spectrum of DESY in its entire breadth, both internally and externally
  • You have experience in developing scientific strategies and convince with decision-making power, strategic farsightedness, analytical thinking as well as implementation strength
  • You have experience in strategic management of large projects and outstanding organizational skills
  • You have experience in interacting with decision-makers and stakeholders from politics, science, funding agencies and industry
  • You communicate and negotiate convincingly at all levels, contribute your own ideas, are open to contributions from others, inspire people and profitably use networks
  • You act with confidence, are trustworthy and work with colleagues in a team-oriented manner. Diversity and equality-oriented leadership is a prerequisite
  • You have a profound knowledge of the international research landscape and environment

DESY promotes equal opportunities and diversity. The professional development of women is very important to us and therefore we strongly encourage women to apply for the vacant position.

Applications from severely disabled persons will be given preference if they are equally qualified.

The appointment is for a period of five years. Reappointment is possible. The salary is at an internationally competitive level in accordance with the W3 salary system in Germany which includes the option of performance-related payments.

Knowledge of or commitment to learn the German language would be desirable.

Please note the data protection instruction under the link

The Foundation Council of DESY has appointed a search committee for the selection process. This committee is supported by Leadership Advisors for Academia, Dr. Norbert Sack. We look forward to receiving your application at

You can find further information here:

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Personalabteilung | Notkestraße 85 | 22607 Hamburg
Phone: +49 40 8998‑3392


DESY profile imageBecome a part of DESY, one of the world’s leading accelerator centres. Researchers use the large-scale facilities at DESY to explore the microcosm in all its variety – from the interactions of tiny elementary particles and the behaviour of new types of nanomaterials, to biomolecular processes that are essential to life.

Why work for us
DESY is not only an employer for 2500 people from more than 65 nations, but also a magnet for more than 3000 guest researchers each year from all over the world using our unique research tools. Committed young researchers find an exciting interdisciplinary setting at DESY. We strive to achieve a balanced relationship between our work at DESY and our private lives, and we promote equal opportunity and a healthy balance between professional and family life.

Training and development
We offer young scientists an international and interdisciplinary setting for ambitious scientific projects, and we provide the appropriate training and working environment for a variety of technical and administrative professions. DESY offers a large number of internal training programmes for all career stages as well as individual talent management courses and mentoring programmes, and therefore supports the career path of every single person in our institute.

Graduate schemes
DESY covers the whole educational lifecycle of a scientist – from internships, summer-school programmes for undergraduates, bachelor and Master’s theses, graduate schools, all the way to specific fellowship programmes, young investigator groups and professorship programmes.

What we are looking for
In order to maintain our top-level position and to achieve our future scientific goals, the highest attribute that we are looking for is passion. This means that we are not only focusing on just the very best talents, but the ones combining knowledge, ambition, curiosity and dedication towards science and its surrounding areas in one personality.

Hamburg and Zeuthen, Germany

Number of employees

Positions recently recruited for
Beamline scientists and engineers, laser and control engineers, scientists detector development, DESY fellowships in accelerator R&D/photon science/particle physics, computer scientists, electrical engineers, software developer, and many more

Desired degree disciplines/class
From interns to trainees, from students to graduates, from PhD to postdocs, all in a wide variety of specializations

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round

Tel +49 40 8998 3392

Company info
+49 40 8998 3392
Notkestraße 85

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