PhD position in gut microbial ecology

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology

05 Feb 2024


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology

Jeroen Raes Lab



About the Lab

The lab of Jeroen Raes (VIB, KU Leuven) is home to a vibrant, dynamic and international group of researchers in the field of gut microbial ecology and its clinical applications. In addition to our expertise in metagenomic analysis and clinical experience, the lab also boasts state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the cultivation and analysis of colon bacteria. This infrastructure has become increasingly essential in the field of microbiome research, enabling the elucidation of mechanistic insights from microbial interactions at the functional level.


We are looking for a driven PhD candidate researcher passionate about exploring human-associated microbial communities. The ideal candidate possesses the following qualifications:

  • MSc degree in microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, or bioengineering.
  • Proven wet lab experience.
  • Practical knowledge of microbiology techniques. Experience working with anaerobic microbes is advantageous but not a requirement to apply.
  • High-level proficiency in English (both written and spoken).
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Ability to collaborate within a team and work independently.

Your responsibilities

  • Independently drive the development of high-impact research projects, requiring a significant workload for successful project advancement.
  • Utilize cutting-edge technologies to investigate multifunctional microbial interactions.
  • Execute all aspects of the project, encompassing both experimental and computational tasks. While prior experience in computational analysis is not a requirement, a strong willingness to learn it is essential. Support from fellow lab members is available throughout the project.

We value diversity in skill sets and encourage applicants with a keen interest in contributing to groundbreaking research at the intersection of microbiome science and human health. We look for applicants with an excellent academic track record and strong scientific drive. We provide a stimulating and supportive environment to help you continue pursuing your scientific career. More info and application:

We offer

VIB-KULeuven is an exciting, interdisciplinary research institute with excellent facilities and leading research groups in e.g. gastroenterology, oncology, immunology, microbiology & virology, clinical genetics/-omics, molecular biology and translational research.  The Raes lab has a long track record in microbiota research and prides itself on excellent publication records for a majority of lab members.

We are located on the Gasthuisberg Hospital campus of the KU Leuven (Fac. of Medicine) and has on-site robotic sample processing, high-throughput computing resources as well as next-generation sequencing and anaerobic microbiology facilities. 

You can build upon significant lab resources as well as guidance from a multidisciplinary team of students and postdocs. Interested? Check out our laboratory and publications on and/or

How to apply?

Interested candidates should apply online. Additional requirements: 

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A letter stating your motivation for the current position.
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • The contact details of two references of people you collaborated with professionally in the past 12 months.

Our institute greatly values diverse standpoints and promotes an inclusive environment in which everyone is respected.

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. 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 impact in science and in 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.