Head of Research Data Infrastructure

Ghent VIB Headquarters

13 Nov 2022


VIB Headquarters


VIB is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute, with a clear focus on ground-breaking strategic basic research in life sciences and operates in close partnership with the five universities in Flanders – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University.

To offer VIB researchers an answer to data-related infrastructural challenges associated with the increasingly data-intense life sciences disciplines, the institute is setting up a Research Data Infrastructure. The infrastructure will be operated as a facility and will serve VIB research centers and core facilities through provision of hardware, software and data-related services for both non-sensitive and sensitive data.

To set up this scalable Research Data Infrastructure, and provide strategic leadership, VIB is seeking a Head of Research Data Infrastructure. 

Role’s purpose

As an inspiring and diplomatic leader, you will provide direction and oversight for establishing the Research Data Infrastructure and the associated hardware and services supporting life science research. You will initiate efforts aimed at establishing VIB-wide interoperability of sensitive and non-sensitive data for research. To achieve these objectives, you will be leading a dedicated team that is supported by a distributed network of experts in the nine centers & cores of VIB, located at the VIB partner universities. You will be comfortable cultivating relationships with high-level stakeholders and contributing to strategic discussions on the future development of the regional, national and international research data landscape.


  • Set up a new Research Data Infrastructure and service network to support life science research with sensitive and non-sensitive data, provide strategic direction and oversee the implementation;
  • Set up the facility and manage the team;
  • Manage the budget, oversee efficient financial planning, management and deployment of resources, lead the development and implementation of a strategy to ensure long-term sustainability;
  • In collaboration with other entities of VIB, define the strategy, objectives and priorities of the Research Data Infrastructure and ensure alignment of the activities with the institutional policies and objectives;
  • Coordinate the activities and strategy of the infrastructure with major regional, national and international stakeholders;
  • Be a point of contact for VIB with respect to strategic and operational questions on the management of research data in Flanders; organize and streamline communication on the facility’s activities, including progress, priorities, policies, new technologies and decisions;
  • Establish strong working relations with national key stakeholders and relevant international efforts.


  • Profound experience in research data management and information technology, proficiency in international data models and standards for life science data; experience in managing sensitive data and in data-intensive biomedical research;
  • Several years of experience in running a scientific service-oriented operation;
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and successfully lead multi-stakeholder projects; highly developed analytical, problem-solving, strategic planning, decision making ability and communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Experience in change management;
  • Experience of working in an academic environment;
  • Proficiency in English, knowledge of Dutch is an asset.

What we offer

  • A chance to contribute to an innovative institute with a major impact on society;
  • An attractive salary package with extra benefits;
  • A smart working environment in our state-of-the-art head office (move foreseen Q4 2023).

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build an environment that leads to excellent science. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB’s collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates an impact on society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.

Start date                                          As soon as possible

Work city                                           Ghent, Belgium; with regular presence on the campuses of the                                                                                                 partner  universities

Employment fraction                      80-100%

How to apply

If you are interested in this challenging and rewarding opportunity, please submit your application online, including CV and letter of motivation, through Jobsoid.