Junior Group Leader / Fellow in microbiology

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology

06 May 2020


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology

Kevin Verstrepen Lab

Senior Scientific (Managerial)



The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology is part of the VIB life sciences institute and is embedded within the University of Leuven. The aim of the Center is to combine leading basic microbiology and systems biology research with top technology transfer activities.  The current research focuses on microbes as a model to study their general biology, cellular physiology, ecology and evolution, including themes like genetic and epigenetic inheritance, cellular sensing and signaling, biofilms and the intestinal ecosystem. Apart from being a leader in basic research, the Center is also an important hub for translational research, with emphasis on the beer, wine, bakery, biofuels, and green chemicals industries, as well as human medicine (antifungals, microbiome analysis,…).

Our institute greatly values diverse standpoints and equality and promotes an inclusive research environment in which everybody, irrespective of nationality, gender, race and personal beliefs is respected.

We are currently interested in recruiting

1 Junior group leader/research fellow

specialized in any microbiology-related field; including but not limited to synthetic microbiology, microbial metabolic engineering, industrial microbiology, systems microbiology, microbiomes, microbial pathogens, virology, bacteriology, antibiotics. We are particularly interested in candidates who have a keen interest in combining basic science with tech transfer.

The successful candidates will be appointed as VIB - KU Leuven Group leader and in this capacity can be appointed as research professor (tenure-track or tenure) at the KU Leuven, one of the oldest and most prominent universities in Europe. Candidates are expected to apply for an FWO Odysseus grant with deadline June 1st:  https://www.kuleuven.be/english/research/support/nf/calls/odysseus2020

Your challenge will be to set up a forefront research group in basic and applied microbiology within the newly established center, publishing in high impact journals and translating novel insights into valorization strategies.


We are looking for candidates who have:

  • a Ph.D 
  • At least 3 years of experience as a postdoctoral researcher or as junior faculty member
  • published at least 5 papers in leading journals of the field (typically IF>10), some of which as lead author. 
  • a successful track record in fund raising is a plus but not required
  • an ongoing ERC grant or filed ERC application is a plus but not required
  • teaching experience at an academic level is also a plus but not required

We offer

  • a position in a stimulating, supportive and international research environment with excellent and committed peers
  • startup funding and yearly research stipend of approximately €250.000 (on top of the Odysseus funding)
  • laboratory space and access to Core Facilities
  • a competitive salary
  • support in terms of finance, HR and tech transfer
  • support for preparing applications for international and national grants (e.g Odysseus)
  • depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor.

About Leuven

Leuven - only 20 minutes away from Brussels by train - is a vivid, international family-oriented Medieval university town with a rich history, a well-preserved historical town center and a lively multi-cultural atmosphere. It is surrounded by charming small villages, woods and nature.

Leuven is home to KU Leuven, one of the oldest universities in Europe and consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world. The related university hospital of UZ Leuven is one of the largest hospitals in Europe.

Leuven and the surroundings are a great place for young people and families to live and to raise children. There are day care centers on campus, and several schools near campus, including an international school.

How to apply?

Deadline is June 1st.  Candidates are expected to file two applications.

Firstly, a pre-application for the Odysseus program


also fill out the online form in the VIB system via the above apply button and upload to your application. The application to the VIB system should contain:

  • a list of your 5 most important achievements in the past 5 years (specific publications, patents, research, valorization or outreach initiatives,…)
  • a two-page statement of your research interests and research goals, including 2-3 main research topics for the coming 5 years.
  • full CV with list of publications
  • contact details of 3 referees
  • It is OK to copy parts of the Odysseus application.

For more information please contact Kevin Verstrepen, Science director Center for Microbiology