Business Development Intern

Ghent VIB Headquarters

28 Jun 2024


VIB Headquarters



VIB is an entrepreneurial research institute in life sciences that focuses on basic science and translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications. VIB’s Innovation & Business team manages a portfolio of +250 patent families and looks for partnering deals with the industry in a pro-active and creative way.  VIB is also firmly rooted in a long-standing tradition of setting up start-up companies. Since its foundation in 1996, VIB has created >25 start-up companies. VIB is funded by the Flemish government and works in close partnership with five Flemish universities – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University. The link between basic research and valorization has made VIB a catalyst for the ever-growing biotech hotspot in Flanders.

VIB’s Innovation & Business (I&B) team consists of IP, business development, new venture and discovery sciences professionals supported by a skilled administrative and paralegal team. The team is highly complementary and works closely together to create value out of the scientific inventions from the institute.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated internship candidate who is eager to obtain practical experience in business development, with an emphasis on contract drafting, negotiation of terms and conditions and follow-up. The candidate will be trained by a dynamic and multidisciplinary experienced team and apply the acquired knowledge in a multitude of real-life contract cases across a wide range of scientific topics. In addition, one will be able to attend general TT events and meetings, contribute to specific activities in the team.

Job Description

This one-year internship will immerse you in some activities of the VIB Business Development unit, with a strong focus on contract drafting for academic collaborations as well as contract follow up. We are looking for a pro-active and enthusiastic professional, with experience in multi partner and/or interdisciplinary academic research and a strong scientific background in life science research, and a strong interest in the valorisation aspects of scientific innovation.


VIB scientists engage in many collaborative projects with their fellow scientists at other research institutions and universities. For many of these collaborations, different types of agreements are negotiated and executed: research collaboration agreements, inter-institutional joint ownership agreements for inventions, inventor-sharing agreements, consortium agreements, etc.   

You will support the contract manager and business development managers in drafting, negotiating and executing of academic agreements:

  • You will work out agreements with academic institutions (such as material transfer agreements, research collaboration agreements, joint ownership agreements, consortia agreements for EU-funded projects, etc.) based on either template available in the team or based on a draft agreement received by the counterparty and in consultation with a BD manager, contract manager or contract officer;
  • To review (in consultation with a BD manager or the contract manager) draft agreement received by third parties;
  • You will follow up on the communication with the counterparty and will ensure timely execution of the agreements. You will communicate on the status of agreements to the relevant stakeholders (colleagues from BD unit, VIB’s scientists)
  • You will escalate any issues coming up in the negotiation process to the relevant I&B manager and/or contract manager.
  • Follow up on the execution of existing historical agreements with regards to practical aspects/specific questions.
  • Administrative follow-up of contracts (obtaining signatures, entry into the contract database, status updates, etc).


We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a high level of independence, willingness to learn, and openness to new experiences.

Who you are:

  • Postgraduate degree in life sciences
  • Hands-on experience in life sciences research projects is an asset
  • Broad scientific background, with general interest in scientific research and the ability to understand and interpret scientific contents
  • Strong interest in technology transfer and preferably attended a tech transfer course or equivalent in the past.
  • Experience in technology transfer, translational projects, or contract negotiations is an asset, although not mandatory  
  • Good, open communication skills and are fluent in English, both oral and written
  • Well organised, a good communicator and pragmatic
  • Strong analytical skills
  • You are a team player who can also work independently and in a flexible way  

We offer

  • A one-year internship in tech transfer
  • A creative and dynamic scientific culture with a great drive towards innovation.
  • A professional and stimulating work environment where colleagues take full ownership of projects and guide them to success in a creative way
  • Support and training from BD managers and the contract manager
  • Various opportunities to broaden your expertise and develop your career
  • A compensation package based on expertise and experience

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online. Deadline for application: 15 August 2024.

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.