Principal Investigator Neuroscience

Belgium (BE)
Commensurate with experience
September 20 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

Lead a lab at a leading institute:

The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research (Belgium) is searching for a Principal Investigator to join their faculty. The center currently hosts 17 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 and pluripotent human cell systems. This position comes with full salary and core funding (internationally competitive > 1 million EUR package depending on experience) that is renewable for multiple additional 5-year periods. Research groups in the center also have access to state-of-the-art research and top-notch support core facilities, and attract talented PhD students and postdocs from across the world.

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). We now seek a Principal Investigator to join our ranks and establish a new research group. 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, creating synergies and opportunities for collaboration. Furthermore, we aim to identify a new colleague who adds to the demographic diversity of our faculty.

Leuven and the surrounding area of Northern Belgium (Flanders) represent one of the top research destinations in Europe. We are part of the VIB Life Sciences institute (with colleagues in cancer, biotechnology, immunology amongst others) and an extensive set of core facilities. We are also 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 psychiatry and neurology clinics. Leuven is also home to NeuroElectronics Research Flanders (NERF), the stem cell institute, imec (a leading microelectronics institute) and the Leuven University Hospital, one of the largest in Europe.

Your profile:

  • A PhD and experience as a postdoctoral researcher or junior faculty member
  • Research goals in Neuroscience, neuronal disease and/or technology related to Neuroscience
  • Researchers with an applied background, for example in Neuroscience therapy development are also welcomed
  • Published impactful research, demonstrating creativity and scientific quality
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary mindset
  • Goal to become a great coach and mentor of junior trainees
  • Interest in outreach and broadly contributing to a top scientific environment
  • Studied or worked in different regions / countries

We offer:

  • Substantial core research funding that is renewable every 5 years
  • An attractive employment package including 100% of your salary and excellent health benefits
  • Access to excellent and staffed core facilities at our Center and at VIB
  • An internationally recognized, vibrant and very collaborative research environment
  • A New-PI mentoring program
  • 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 and promotes an inclusive environment
  • 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. English is very widely spoken in the city and surrounding area.

Leuven offers an affordable high standard of living and has an international school. 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, including that 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 Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Start date: in the course of 2019

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 letter

Application deadline: We begin reviewing candidates on December 1 2018; reviewing will continue until position is filled. Short listed applicants will be invited in January - March 2019 for an interview.

For more information:

Contact Rose Goodchild, chair of the search committee or Patrik Verstreken, Scientific Director.