Job description


Would you like to contribute to the Public Health in the Netherlands with your data skills? At RIVM you can make a difference in infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness, and applied research. You can thrive in a supportive environment with flexible working options, competitive benefits, and a strong sense of community. Continue reading to see what this position has to offer you.

Infectious diseases in the Netherlands

The Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Diagnostics and Laboratory Surveillance at RIVM plays a key role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases in the Netherlands. Our team coordinates the nationwide surveillance of infectious pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 (causing COVID-19) and?Mycobacterium tuberculosis (causing TB). We perform outbreak investigations for bacterial food infections, and we advance multiple lines of research related to microbiology and public health.

We are working on a new laboratory-based surveillance platform (LSP). This platform is primarily focused on detecting relevant signals such as outbreaks at national level based on, among others, genetic data from micro-organisms. See this summary for further information about the LSP.

Your role in this

We are looking for a data scientist or bioinformatician to join our team to help develop the LSP. Our team currently consists of seven colleagues that work on themes like bioinformatics pipelines, data validation, training, and the development of the LSP, which currently is at the stage of alpha release. For this position, you will mainly be working on the LSP and integration with bioinformatics pipelines.?A substantial part of the code you develop for the LSP will become open source, and you will initially work on data transformation from various sources, data validation and software testing.

As such, you will gain experience with the full stack and the full cycle of agile software development as well as data engineering and standardization. Feel free to make use of the latest methods, including AI-based ones, to assist you in your work, but make sure you stay in control. We also encourage you to voice your opinion in a positive way, thereby strengthening the team. Opportunities for other tasks will arise as you progress in your work and skills.

Your core activities:

  • Transform lab data from various sources into a standardized format;
  • Connect the LSP with bioinformatics pipelines;
  • Write automated tests for the LSP to achieve high coverage of all edge cases;
  • Review code, identify and fix bugs, and contribute to code documentation.

Why choose this position

This position gives you the unique possibility to be part of a team that works on a daily basis on public health issues. Your work actually contributes to prevention and control of infectious diseases in the Netherlands. The job is intended as a starting position or for a candidate with a few years of experience and offers a good opportunity for intellectual growth and for getting to know a field with strong societal relevance, such as public health.

This year the RIVM is still on our green campus in Bilthoven, where rabbits walk the grounds and you are located next to the forest for a walk during your lunch. Mid-2025, we will move to a completely new building at the Utrecht Science Park, built especially for RIVM.

Working for the government also means that you will get a contract with a thirteenth month, a good pension scheme and, of course, travel allowance. Do you need more vacation days because you want to stay a little longer on vacation this year? Through your personal plan, you can ‘buy’ extra days at an affordable price.

Finally, hybrid working and flexible working hours are also the new normal for us, where we would like to see you in the office at least twice a week. We like to stay connected that way. We understand the need for flexibility and taking into account personal situations as an important factor for your (and our) motivation.

More information

Are you interested in this position, but do you first have some questions? Feel free to reach out to department manager André van Esburg (06-2554 0744), he will be happy to answer your questions.



Working with data requires working structured and meticulous, with an eye for detail. And you have to be able to work well within a team, including giving feedback, being open to receive feedback and acting on that.?Finally, you have knowledge of microbiology and public health or at least have an interest in acquiring it.

Further, we ask:

  • You have a bachelors- or master degree in bioinformatics, information technology or a related field that has strong emphasis on data, structure and logic;
  • You have knowledge of Python at base or intermediate level. We use predominantly Python and some SQL;
  • You can navigate a sizeable code base, understand how different parts work together and have good insight in what constitutes high quality code;
  • You are able to comfortably work on the command line;
  • You care deeply about code documentation, can write good documentation and are able to use version control systems. We work mainly with GitHub;
  • You are familiar with agile software development, data modeling, SQL or cloud computing, otherwise you will learn it on the job;
  • You speak English at a professional level. You need this among other reasons for the programming languages that we work with. Our corporate services and communications are in Dutch, so knowledge at least at a basic level of Dutch is required, with a willingness to improve this.


  • Salaris­niveau

schaal 9

Maand­salaris: Min €3165 - Max €4440

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