Run a lab at a leading institute
The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research (Belgium) and the department of neurosciences (KU Leuven) are searching for a Group Leader to join their faculty (Group Leader at VIB, Assistant Professor at KU Leuven).
This position comes with full salary and core funding (internationally competitive package) that is renewable for multiple additional 5-year periods, and access to state-of-the-art research and top-notch support core facilities, as well as support to attract talented PhD students and postdocs from across the world.
About the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research
The center currently hosts 14 research groups, addressing a broad set of questions in central and peripheral nervous system development and function, neuronal and neurodegenerative disease. Approaches range from protein biochemistry, single cell analysis, genetics, computational biology, neuronal cell biology, to neural circuit function and plasticity, while models include fly, zebrafish, mouse, hamster and human stem cell systems.
Our Center hosts some of the most influential scientific voices in the fields of neuronal development and neurodegeneration, internationally recognized for their outstanding work (e.g. the 2018 Brain Prize, EMBO memberships, and multiple highly competitive European Research Council grants). Take a look inside our labs, explore our science and meet our people here.
About the Department of Neurosciences – KU Leuven
The Department of Neurosciences at the Group of Biomedical Sciences strives for excellence in research and training in neurosciences both in normal and pathological conditions and from the molecular to the systems level. We perform impactful research in basic and clinical neurosciences and in translating novel insights and technological innovations towards improved clinical care and prevention. The department has 9 research sections broadly collaborating with researchers at the university hospitals and VIB.
The Leuven Life Sciences eco-system
Leuven and the surrounding area of Northern Belgium (Flanders) represent one of the top research destinations in Europe. The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research is part of the VIB Life Sciences institute (with colleagues in cancer, biotechnology, immunology, computational biology amongst others) and an extensive set of core facilities. The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research and the Department of Neurosciences are embedded within the University of Leuven, the largest university in Belgium and Europe’s most innovative university. All PIs at our Center are affiliated with the Leuven Brain Institute, bringing together ~80 research groups of neuroscientists from diverse fields as engineering, molecular and systems neuroscience, to the clinics. KU Leuven is also home to the Leuven AI Institute, the stem cell institute and the Leuven University Hospital, one of the largest in Europe. Leuven is also home to the NeuroElectronics Research Flanders (NERF) and Imec (a leading microelectronics institute).
About the position
We now seek a Group Leader to join our ranks and establish a new research group. International candidates at the entry level (equivalent to assistant professor) are particularly invited to apply. We look for candidates that have research plans and a scientific vision that complements those of faculty at the Center for Brain & Disease Research and the Department of Neurosciences and who plan to use and develop computational approaches, AI or machine learning tools to tackle important, outstanding questions in computational neurobiology to understand the molecular and cellular basis of brain function and development. Some (non-exhaustive) examples include, development of deep learning techniques inspired by neuroscience, quantitative models of neurons in circuits, mechanisms of (neuron-wide) synaptic energy expenditure and supply, modeling decision making in neuro-development or behavior, AI-based structural prediction of organelle function and interactions in neuronal disease, development of computer vision models to study behaviour, etc. The goal is to create synergies and opportunities for collaboration. Furthermore, we encourage women and members from underrepresented groups to apply as well.
- A PhD and experience as a postdoctoral researcher or junior faculty member
- Research goals in neuroscience, neuronal disease and/or technology related to neuroscience
- Experience in and a vision to use computational, AI, machine learning or computer vision approaches to tackle the most impactful neurobiology questions
- Possibility/desire to also develop wet lab activities in state-of-the art infrastructure
- An applied background, for example in neuroscience therapy development is also welcomed
- Published impactful research, demonstrating creativity and scientific quality
- Interdisciplinary mindset and keen on collaborating broadly in the center, the department and the university
- Goal to become a great coach and mentor of junior trainees
- Interest in outreach and broadly contributing to an exciting scientific environment
- International working experience
- Substantial core research funding that is renewable every 5 years
- An attractive employment package including 100% of your salary and excellent health benefits
- This position is linked to a tenure track professor position at KU Leuven
- Access to excellent and staffed core facilities at the Center, at VIB and at KU Leuven
- An internationally recognized, vibrant and very collaborative research environment
- A PI mentoring program
- Free language classes
- Broad administrative support, including help recruiting technicians, PhD and post-doc scientists for your group
- Professional leadership training for all PIs in the institute
- New open-design state-of-the-art research space
- A workplace that values diversity, promotes an inclusive environment and subscribed to the ALBA declaration
- Help with relocation and establishing a life in Belgium, including visa application (if necessary), housing, schooling and day care
About the City of Leuven and Flanders
Leuven is an attractive European university city with a rich history and a lively atmosphere. The area has a strong biotechnology sector with spin-offs and start-ups. This, together with presence of the University of Leuven and the University Hospital, make Leuven particularly internationally-oriented and tech-minded, and a natural home for researchers and their families; the city was even awarded the title of European capital of innovation 2020 by the European Commission. English is very widely spoken in the city and surrounding area.
Leuven offers an affordable high standard of living, has an international school and ample inexpensive daycare options. The public education system and public health care system in Flanders are world class, easily accessible, and low-cost to end users. Public transport is also excellent and widely available. Brussels, the capital of Europe, is only 20-mins away. Leuven is also only 14 minutes by train from Brussels Airport that has many daily direct flights to North America, Africa and Asia. There are also high-speed direct international rail connections to numerous cities including Paris, London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
How to apply
Please use the VIB HR application tool and upload
- your CV
- contact details of 3 referees
- a 2-5 page statement of your research interests and research goals
- a cover/motivation letter
Application deadline: December 1st 2022.
For more information
Contact Patrik Verstreken, Director VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research.