NIZO food research is an independent contract research organization located in the heart of Food Valley. Our mission reflects our ambition to be the partner of choice for industry in speeding up innovation and translating science and technology to rewarding applications. Our highly skilled experts work closely together internally and externally to apply science/technology into practical applications. NIZO’s food grade pilot plant is a unique asset which offers a variety of both upstream and downstream processing techniques in mutual interaction with laboratory approaches.

Health, data science, fermentation, and food safety are among NIZO’s key expertise areas and highly valued by our industrial partners.

With respect to health NIZO has a long history in supporting industry with the development of health claims through nutritional studies. Next to that, we have a unique expertise in nutrient-gut interactions and a whole array of gut health & immune defence in-vitro models. In combination with our expertise on microbiomics a true pearl to support our customers. Our data science expertise is key to get most out of our generated data sets.

Fermentation is traditionally one of NIZO’s key areas applied to develop a wide variety of fermented products such as yoghurt and cheese. Nowadays, we make microbes work to deliver great tasting and healthy plant based products, clean label/natural ingredients and flavours and add value to waste & side streams. Using our built-up knowledge of genetically modifying LABs, we accelerate within the precision fermentation field. Last, we are experts in process development and upscaling of challenging probiotics. Our data science expertise is key to predict for instance flavour profiles, or potential health benefits of beneficial microbes.

At NIZO we have scientific and practical know-how on both food safety issues, food stability issues and quality assurance. We use this expertise throughout most of our customer research projects to either solve or prevent serious safety issues. Our data science expertise is key in for instance modelling potential outgrowth of unwanted organisms.

To further boost these areas of expertise, we are searching for an experienced and enthusiastic

Division Manager Health & Microbiology (36-40 hours/week)

reporting directly to the CEO.

As a manager at NIZO you have quite some freedom to get things arranged for the best performance of your team, including yourself.

The position

  • Translate the NIZO business plan into an operational plan for the division and execute, evaluate and steer the plan to realise company goals;
  • Assure with your team efficient acquisition and execution of complex and multidisciplinary research projects delivering high quality and implementable solutions;
  • Support scientists/technologists to translate customer needs into scientific and technological approaches and to come up with (technological) innovations;
  • Support the commercial team in prioritising qualified leads and supply technological and scientific support for follow-up;
  • Team up with principal scientists and other division managers to co-develop and implement a science strategy;
  • Aided by delegate team leaders: motivate and develop people to ensure they deliver the best result and achieve their full potential;
  • Responsible for maintaining and improving quality, environment, safety and health procedures.

Your profile

  • A pro-active, practical, decisive person who can manage professionals in a commercial environment;
  • A self-organising manager, used to prioritising and not shying away from the sometimes-hectic circumstances that come with the job;
  • Flexible and enthusiastic team player who likes to develop people;
  • PhD or MSc in health or microbiology scientific fields, preferably food or nutrition related sciences;
  • 5-10 years of (management) experience in health, food or ingredients industry, preferably in an R&D environment;
  • Broad industrial network;
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent in English and preferably proficient in Dutch or willing to master the language.

NIZO offers

  • A key position in a well-established and internationally recognized organization, member of the Business Team and reporting directly to the CEO;
  • Become part of a dynamic, inspiring and creative environment with great facilities from lab to pilot plant scale, where high performance goes hand in hand with an informal working atmosphere and short lines of communication;
  • Opportunity to work in an established diverse team of experts in areas such as fermentation, gut health and immunity and food safety, and also interact with business development managers;
  • A good salary and attractive secondary conditions, such as a personal bonus scheme, pension plan, flexibility to work from home and ample holidays.

Information and application

For further information about this vacancy, contact Nikolaas Vles, CEO (+31 318 659511, For your CV to be processed, please upload it before May 20th on our application portal, together with your brief motivational letter.

Applications will be processed as of 29 May 2024.

Intermediaries, please note that we have deliberately chosen to fill this vacancy ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. Unsolicited CVs will be dealt with as if it were a direct application, without any obligation to third parties.