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The Business Development Officer’s main goal is to further strengthen the financial sustainability of the Institute by creating and maintaining excellent relations with the main donor organizations, identifying opportunities for new funding sources, thereby expanding and diversifying the income streams.

IHE Delft
is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The mission of IHE Delft is to work in partnership to strengthen capacity in the water sector, to achieve global sustainable development. IHE Delft has a permanent staff of 230 of which more than 140 are academics from all over the world, while about 250 guest lecturers from academia and industry contribute to our educational programmes. Each year 750 professionals (including about 200 new MSc students per year) from all over the world attend various water-related courses at IHE Delft. The Institute has an international staff & student community with English as the working language.

The Office of the Rector (OR), is responsible for providing policy, strategic and administrative support to the management of the Institute. OR consists of a Communications Office and a Liaison Office. The Liaison Office provides acquisition, donor relations and project management services within the organization and works in close cooperation with the Academic Departments, the Rectorate and other units. The Liaison Office intends to recruit a:

Business Development Officer 32-38 hours

The Business Development Officer’s main goal is to further strengthen the financial sustainability of the Institute by creating and maintaining excellent relations with the main donor organizations, identifying opportunities for new funding sources, thereby expanding and diversifying the income streams.


  • Prepare business development plans in coordination with Marketing office and the Rectorate to achieve revenue goals.
  • Conduct donor intelligence activities within the organization as well as in IHE Delft’s target countries by making use of existing or expanded local networks (including IHE Delft’s alumni community).
  • Initiate contact and maintain effective relationships with a selected number of donors, stakeholders, partners, and key networks in order to jointly explore new business opportunities.
  • Conduct early intelligence making use of relevant partners, local networks and Alumni community in relation to institutional donors’ upcoming calls for proposals.
  • Develop in-depth knowledge about business development practices, marketing activities, prospective clients and sector trends.
  • Work closely with Communication Office (especially Alumni Officer and Marketing Officer) on maintaining a knowledge repository of prospective funders.
  • Anticipate trends in the educational and research markets, with possible impact on the organization business operations.
  • Identify, analyse and make recommendations regarding new business opportunities in support of IHE Delft’s programmes (in particular for MSc/PhD fellowship funding) and in line with IHE Delft’s strategic objectives.
  • Proactively follow up on promising leads and effectively secure new or expanded funding (if appropriate in cooperation with the Rectorate).
  • Develop business proposals for new and existing funders jointly with academic staff to submit to relevant donors/customers.
  • Actively participate in relevant high level events/workshops and in policy dialogue activities in order to pro-actively advocate IHE Delft’s position and influence donor strategies and priorities.
  • Other tasks deemed appropriate for this agenda.

Qualifications and Skills

  • University degree (bachelor or master) in a field relevant to the work of IHE Delft; additional education in business (and in particular market research, sales, planning) is a plus.
  • At least 10 years’ experience in developing the business of a similar or relevant organization is essential.
  • Understanding of water challenges on a global scale, ideally with a knowledge of capacity building challenges and opportunities.
  • Experience working in international contexts and multicultural environments.
  • Excellent proficiency of English. A good working knowledge of Dutch or other UN languages would be an asset.
  • Computer software application skills, in particular in depth knowledge of MS Office Suite. Knowledge of a CRM system is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel abroad (typically for short term missions).


  • Strategic thinking: able to explore alternatives to “business as usual” approaches within the framework/direction of the Institute.
  • Entrepreneurial attitude especially in relation to identification of business opportunities; business acumen.
  • Creative, proactive, opportunistic, able to find his/her way even in uncertain situations.
  • Exploratory and risk taking; does not wait to have everything in place before acting.
  • Feels at ease in approaching external organizations.
  • Excellent social, communication, and negotiation skills. Able to communicate effectively to senior professional audiences (e.g. in public presentations).
  • Excellent team-worker.
  • Independent and able to work with minimum supervision.
  • Flexible (can switch tasks easily).
  • Excellent time management skills. Able to set priorities that best fit organizational strategy.
  • Able to perform under pressure (e.g. with tight deadlines).
  • Able to make decisions and act quickly if necessary.
  • Customer focused.
  • Showing confidence and assertiveness according to prerequisites in the various work settings.


Terms of employment

The employment contract is for 32-38 hours / 0.84 -1.0 Fte.

A competitive salary (starting at scale 11 according to the CAO Dutch Universities), is offered depending on qualifications and experience in accordance with the conditions of employment for Dutch Universities.

IHE Delft offers an attractive, multiple choice employee benefits scheme, year-end bonus and generous pension scheme. We also offer 31 days’ leave based on a 38 hours working week.

The selected candidate will be appointed for an initial fixed-term employment contract and the possibility of a permanent contract thereafter. The above mentioned contract duration may differ in case of internal staff in comparison to external candidates.

Information and application

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Gaetano Casale, Manager Liaison Office (+31 15 215 1868 or Applications in English should be sent before 30 November 2019 (closing date) including curriculum vitae and motivation letter (as one PDF file with your family name as the filename), to IHE Delft, attn. Human Resources Management (, PO Box 3015, 2601 DA Delft, The Netherlands, stating vacancy-number 19-LO-01.

Reactions from staffing agencies and other 3rd parties are not appreciated.


IHE DELFT Institute for Water Education