(Senior) Scientist Translational Research Computational Chemistry/Computer-Aided Drug Design

Leuven VIB Discovery Sciences

17 Jan 2022


VIB Discovery Sciences

Senior Scientific


VIB is a world-class life science research institute in Flanders, Belgium, hosting more than 1800 scientists in over 5 universities. VIB has a long-standing and successful history of translating scientific breakthroughs into impactful societal innovations and new innovative biotech companies.

The current position is within the VIB Discovery Sciences (VIB DS) unit, a translational research team of around 20 scientists and technicians with a strong industry background, focusing on validation and translation of VIB scientific breakthroughs into drug and agro product candidates, diagnostics, and biomarker discovery projects.

In order to strengthen its small molecule therapeutics team in Leuven, VIB DS is looking to recruit a creative, energetic, and self-motivated (Senior) Scientist Computational Chemistry/Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) with relevant industry experience.  You will be joining a high-performing multi-disciplinary team, contributing to translating novel scientific discoveries into early small molecule drug candidates, and bring your expertise to further strengthen our CADD capabilities.

Your job

  • To contribute to project progression by providing computational chemistry expertise to multiple internal drug discovery projects;
  • To identify and implement novel computational approaches to enhance internal CADD capabilities and enable structure-based and ligand-based small molecule drug discovery campaigns;
  • To independently design and execute computational experiments in a timely manner;
  • To present results and ideas to colleagues and external collaborators;
  • To serve as project leader for early-stage small molecule drug discovery programs;
  • To help in the identification of new target opportunities and contribute to proposal and grant writing;
  • To contribute to the daily operational workload of the team;
  • To effectively communicate in English, both verbally and in writing. 


  • Several years of relevant industry experience in leading, designing, and executing studies in the early stages of small molecule drug discovery;
  • Ph.D. or Master degree in computational medicinal chemistry or a related field;
  • Excellent technical/scientific skills and knowledge in medicinal chemistry and modern computational chemistry approaches for compound design and optimization, with proven knowledge on 3 of the 5 profile requirements described below:
    • Knowledge of structure-based and ligand-based techniques for virtual screening;
    • Proficiency in drug-like molecule design utilizing current medicinal chemistry knowledge for multiparametric property-based compound optimization;
    • Experience with generation of automated workflows for data analytics using graphical interface software and/or experience of self-coding in Python;
    • Practical knowledge of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations;
    • Experience in mining data and skills in machine learning, deep learning, statistical modelling, and advanced data analytics;
  • Demonstrated experience in writing project and grant proposals;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Meticulous, independent, and self-motivated;
  • Solution-driven mindset;
  • Keen to learn new techniques, expand knowledge and take on responsibilities;
  • Sense of humor highly recommended;
  • Fluency in English (verbally and in writing) is mandatory.

We offer

  • Candidates are offered a full-time, open-ended contract, working from our site in Leuven;
  • We provide a supportive, stimulating, and international environment with a clear focus on drug development, at the forefront of life science, in the best team ever;
  • Total social security, including pension scheme and health care program.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

How to apply?

Motivated candidates should apply online.

A complete application file (English) should contain the following documents:

  • your cover/motivation letter
  • your CV
  • references