Open Positions

How to apply

All our openings are always offered publicly on our homepage.

Please use exclusively our online recruitment tool, which can be directly called up by clicking the link in the "Application" section in the relevant job advertisement. There are only four mandatory fields to fill. Then please attach your complete application file (preferably as a PDF) to complete the first step. You will immediately receive an automatically-generated message acknowledging receipt. Afterwards, we ask you for some patience. In most cases, we will get in touch with you only after the application deadline has expired.

Applications submitted after the posted deadline usually will not be considered for the recruitment process.

Please note: Only on rare occasions (mainly because of browser problems) will this procedure not work. In the event of a technical problem, please send us your application with a respective message via email to Also please bear in mind that the system only allows you to upload a total file size of 7 MB.

Recruitment process

Immediately after the deadline for applications, an international selection committee of men and women evaluates the written applications.

One criterion is the completeness of the solicited documents. So please provide a cover letter, a CV, and certificates (if requested). Normally, in the course of one week following the deadline, the committee compiles a shortlist consisting of three to six candidates. Dates for the interviews are fixed and the invitations are sent out. We try to take the wishes of the candidates into consideration, which is mostly, but not always, possible.

Applicants who will not be considered further in the recruitment process or who might be contacted at a later stage will also be informed within the aforementioned timeframe.

Travel costs and the use of public transport at the place of residence and in Hamburg as well as accommodation–if necessary–will be covered or reimbursed by the company in the maximum amount of 2 overnight stays. Flights and hotels are usually organized by the company through our travel agency and are directly paid by the company. Please note that travel costs within Hamburg for local/Hamburg candidates are not reimbursed.

If a visa is needed for traveling to Germany, we will send you the necessary invitation and consult you regarding the procedure. In exceptional cases, if a visa is not attainable in the available timeframe, we will organize a video conference instead.

The interviews are held by the selection committee in English language. Positions for technicians or mechanics might, in exceptional cases and on request of the candidate, be conducted in German. Scientists and engineers are usually requested to give a talk of roughly 15 to 20 minutes about previous achievements in an area relevant to the position. A PC and a beamer/projector will be available for use. The presentation is followed by a question and answer session with the committee. Afterwards, the candidate also has time to ask questions—for example, regarding the position, the company, and the respective group. The duration of the interviews varies between 50 and 90 minutes, depending on the position. In most cases, you will also meet an HR representative, who will explain to you details such as salary and working time. Interviews for technical or computer science positions may be followed by a short practical exam. For scientific positions, a short tour through the lab is sometimes organized. After the interviews, the selection committee summarizes the results; if deemed helpful and necessary, reference persons are contacted after the interview. The selection committee then provides a ranking of the candidates. The candidates will receive feedback, usually within two weeks after the final interview.

How to find us

The Human Resources office is located on the second floor of the European XFEL headquarters building in Schenefeld.

Should you have an appointment with us at our office in Schenefeld, please come to the reception desk in the foyer. Please see our contacts page for more information, including directions to the Schenefeld campus via public transportation, automobile, and taxi.

Enlightening Science

European X-ray Free Electron Laser (European XFEL) is one of the world's hot spots in the field of natural science research. European XFEL GmbH is a non-profit company, supported by twelve European countries, based in the Hamburg metropolitan region. Currently, more than 400 employees process an annual operating budget of about 130 million euros; the construction budget was 1.54 B€. Our core values are collaboration, excellence, transparency and trust.
Our unique, high energy, linear accelerator generates ultrashort, high repetition rate, X-ray pulses of outstanding spatial coherence and spectral brilliance. In collaboration with international user communities, especially from our shareholder countries, we perform world-class experiments for a broad range of scientific applications. By creating research opportunities, developing novel scientific methods, and pioneering beyond state-of-the-art technologies, we strengthen the competitiveness of European science. As a culturally diverse workforce with a collaborative spirit we place user support, research and knowledge transfer at the core of our mission.
European XFEL provides the international scientific community a world-leading research facility which pushes forward the frontiers of scientific knowledge, opens new scientific avenues and enables solving major societal challenges.

Because the current post holder is retiring, we have to fill as of 1 January 2024 the position

Managing Director and Chairperson of the Management Board (f/m/d)

The position

Main responsibilities of the position are to:

  • Act as the legal representative of the company, jointly with the Administrative Director,
  • Manage and act as an example for the staff,
  • Act as the primary contact at the company for the shareholders, the international scientific community and the public,
  • Lead the definition of the medium and long term strategy for the further development of the company, in collaboration with the shareholders and user community,
  • Position European XFEL as a world-leading photon science user facility,
  • Provide a safe, excellent, efficient, reliable and frictionless user operation,
  • Act proactively to attract funds and to develop opportunities for the facility,
  • Promote the in-house research programme and the continuous technological advancement of the facility, in dialogue with the user community,
  • Optimize the organizational structures and processes of the Company.

The Managing Director will

  • Inspire, lead and coordinate the work of the Management Board, which consists, besides the Chairperson, of the Administrative Director and three Scientific Directors.
  • Act in agreement with the Convention and the Articles of Association and report accountable to the Council (assembly of shareholders),
  • Promote internally the further development of leadership culture, diversity and equal opportunity policies,
  • Put a focus on sustainability in every respect,
  • Cooperate trustfully with the employee representation,
  • Attract outstanding talents from the international community to work at European XFEL company and support them.


Candidates should have

  • A record of distinguished performance and leadership in scientific research with a strong background in X-ray photon science with at least 15 years postgraduate positions and significant experience in high-level management functions,
  • A proven track record in the successful management of scientific facilities or large projects, at senior management levels,
  • Understanding of the principles of the legal framework of corporate governance,
  • Strong organisational skills,
  • Ability to work in a complex multidisciplinary and international environment and to promote science diplomacy,
  • Ability to find creative solutions to complex problems,
  • Excellent communication skills, with institutional stakeholders as well as with the broader public,
  • Cooperative leadership style,
  • The ability to inspire and engage the staff.

The working language of European XFEL is English, hence fluency in spoken and written English is a must. German knowledge is considered an asset.

For additional information, please contact Simone Pfister, BT&Cie. Executive Search, Tel. +49 30 2063279-14 ( or Michael Tippmann, BT&Cie. Executive Search, Tel. +49 30 2063279-12 ( .

Working place will be Schenefeld in the Hamburg metropolitan area. General information on working in Germany, the Hamburg area and the European XFEL can be found under

Our offer

For this highly challenging management position we offer an attractive remuneration package including a performance-based pay component. In addition European XFEL provides a non-contributory company pension scheme as well as broad relocation benefits. The duration of the contract is five years. An extension by up to five years is possible if agreed and decided by the European XFEL Council.
The European XFEL GmbH intends to achieve a widely international staff and in particular applicants from our shareholder countries are welcome. The European XFEL GmbH is an equal opportunity, non discriminative and affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women.

Reference number



This appointment is initially limited to 5 years. An extension is possible.


21 June 2022


If you are interested in this position, please apply and provide a motivation letter and a CV in English, as well as a list of publications and your references in one pdf-file. Questions regarding the announcement may be addressed to Simone Pfister or Michael Tippmann BT& Cie Executive Search under +49 30 2063279-14 respectively -12.
Please note that your application documents will be shared with the members of the Search and Selection Committee as well as our executive search partner (information about data protection is available to you on the website :

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