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Ronald Stark

Head of Astronomy

Ronald Stark (1963) is currently Head of Astronomy at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). He obtained his PhD in Astronomy from Leiden University in 1993. He has a research background in studies of the interstellar medium and star formation. From 1994-2002 he worked as invited professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris (ENS, 1994), as EC Human Capital and Mobility Research Fellow at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP, 1995), as Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie in Bonn (MPIfR, 1996-1998), and as astronomer in the sub-millimeter technology division of the MPIfR (1999-2002). In the latter position he was also project manager of heterodyne instrument development for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

In 2002 he returned to the Netherlands to take up a science policy position as Astronomy Advisor at the Physical Sciences Council of NWO. In 2008 he became Head of Astronomy at NWO. His particular policy interests concern the development of interdisciplinary research programmes, and international collaboration. He is observer in the Board of the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE); and member of the Board of Directors of the JCMT at Mauna Kea, Hawaii; the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) at La Palma, Canary Islands; and the European Research Area Network ASTRONET, a comprehensive long-term planning for the development of European astronomy. In 2010 he was elected as chair of the ASTRONET Board.