Data Scientist / Statistician


02 Dec 2021


Bio IT


About the institute and research infrastructure

At VIB it’s our mission to conduct pioneering research in life sciences to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of life and to translate our research findings into products and solutions that benefit society. We believe that breakthrough research in the molecular mechanisms of life will lead to a better quality of life, economic growth, and sustainable societal well-being.

The recent opening of the new VIB Agro-Incubator site will foster the current AgBio/AgTech ecosystem, support start-ups, and catalyse new developments in the sector by providing services to industry and academia. Focus areas are sustainable agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biological crop protection, and digital farming. VIB wants to deploy the site’s high-tech facilities as an attraction pool for agricultural innovation.

Job description

We are looking for a skilled data scientist/statistician to support the data analysis and experimental design of our plant growth trials. The job will cover the setup of a generic analysis framework to analyse time series of plant phenotypic data, produced by automated robotic platforms and versatile camera systems. The work also covers experiment-specific statistics of data coming from manual measurements and scientific assays.  All raw data will be structured and stored in an in-house data management system, which should also integrate the analysis results. You will develop analysis algorithms, will apply data modelling and the latest analysis approaches to obtain robust results, and will implement the necessary data quality controls. Moreover, you will advise and support in the experimental design and planning of greenhouse tests and, at a later stage, also field trials, taking into account the environmental and biological variability, the logistic feasibility o the experiment, the experimental metadata, and the specific biological question to be answered. Being part of a  knowledge center for agricultural innovation, you will also be discussing with external partners and streamline the reporting for our collaborative projects with academia and industry.


  • You hold a Master in computer sciences, bioscience engineering, bioinformatics, statistics or applied mathematics or equivalent
  • Proficiency in R and/or python are required
  • You have strong skills in programming, techniques and methods of statistics, machine learning, data mining and data visualization, and a good understanding of data structures
  • You have an interest in machine learning approaches
  • You have a research-minded and solution-oriented attitude, with an interest in plants
  • You are fluent in English, with good communication skills
  • You are able to work both independently as well as in a team
  • You have an eye for detail, work accurately and have a great sense of responsibility

 We offer

  • An open-ended contract
  • A working climate, in which trust and commitment are essential
  • A stimulating and supportive environment with opportunities for personal development
  • Various training opportunities to broaden your expertise and skills

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.

Make sure your application includes:

  • A detailed CV
  • A one-page motivation letter

A first review of applications will start immediately. Applications are welcome until the position is filled. For more information about this function, you can contact Stijn Dhondt.