KU Leuven

Group Leader/Assistant Professor in Microbiological Metabolome Analysis

Save as a favourite

About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page

The Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology has a vacancy in the domains of global metabolomics and metabolic flux modelling. We are looking for candidates with a particularly strong research record, an ambitious research plan, and a passion for education in the field of microbiology and cell biology. You will be embedded as full-time group leader & professor within the VIB KU Leuven Center for Microbiology and the Division of Molecular Biotechnology of Plants and Micro-organisms in the Biology Department. We offer a thriving research atmosphere with state-of-the-art infrastructure, an extensive international network and international visibility, a strong PhD program, and a supportive work environment. In addition, you will receive a competitive salary, generous startup package (EUR 500k-1.5M), a research endowment (EUR 220k per year), and access to several core facilities (genome sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cytometry, compound screening, microscopy, protein purification, nanobody fabrication, microfluidics fablab etc). In addition, we provide support for HR, tech transfer, science communication and grant writing.
Website unit



  • You develop a research program in prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic microbiology with specific emphasis on global analysis of metabolites and metabolomes and/or fluxes, for example with the aim of studying and manipulating microbial interactions and/or the interactions between microbes and animals, humans or plants; studying and engineering metabolic pathways or relevant enzymes, and/or the role of metabolites in signal transduction, gene regulation, physiology or systems microbiology. Candidates combining expertise in wet lab analyses and modelling and/or computational approaches are encouraged to apply. 
  • We are particularly interested in candidates who have a keen interest in combining basic science with more applied research and tech transfer in the biomedical, agro or biotech sectors, including applications for a more sustainable future.  
  • You build and supervise an international team of technicians, PhD students and postdocs, acquire additional resources to fund your research, aim to publish at the highest scientific level, and establish collaborations with other research groups of KU Leuven, VIB, and internationally.


  • You will take up teaching responsibilities within the areas of microbiology, molecular biology and/or cell biology, or directly related to your expertise. 
  • You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the university through the supervision of master theses and as a promoter of PhD students. Your teaching tasks will be determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. The teaching load will be limited in agreement with your appointment as a VIB Group Leader with emphasis on research.  
  • You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven's vision on activating and research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.


Besides the responsibilities for research and teaching, you are prepared to provide services to the community, at the level of the host institute and beyond, depending on requirements and your personal interests.


  • You have a PhD in Science, with an emphasis on Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Bio-engineering or a related degree. 
  • You have at least 3 years of experience as a postdoctoral researcher or as junior faculty member.
  • You published several impactful papers in leading journals, at least 3 as lead author.
  • A successful track record in fund raising, including ongoing grants or applications, for example for ERC funding, is a plus. 
  • Teaching experience at an academic level is a plus.
  • You possess organisational and leadership skills and are a great team player.
  • A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.  Although all communication at VIB is in English and all communication at KU Leuven is both in English and Dutch, the official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. For teaching knowledge of Dutch is required for courses thought in Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch at the start of your employment, KU Leuven provides language courses.


  • We offer a temporary full-time shared appointment KU Leuven (10% assistant professor) / VIB (90% Group leader). After a positive evaluation by both VIB and KU Leuven, a full-time permanent appointment at KU Leuven follows and promotion to associate professor is possible.
  • You will be embedded both in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology and in the Division of Molecular Biotechnology of Plants and Micro-organisms, part of the Department of Biology. The aim of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology is to combine leading microbiology and systems biology research with top applied research.  The current research focuses on microbial biology, cellular physiology, ecology and evolution, including themes like genetic and epigenetic inheritance, cellular sensing and signaling, and the intestinal ecosystem. Apart from being a leader in basic research, the Center is also an important hub for translational research, with emphasis on synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, precision fermentation, fermented foods, and use of microbial cell factories for sustainable production of biofuels, alternative food and feed, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals (antibiotics, microbiome analysis, probiotics). The KU Leuven division of Molecular Biotechnology of Plants and Micro-organisms aims to understand environmentally-induced signal transduction, biosynthetic and metabolic pathways in bacteria, yeast, pathogenic fungi and plants, and how these pathways affect phenotypes such as growth, development (plants), immune priming, stress tolerance, fermentation capacity, production of secondary metabolites, morphogenesis, subcellular organization and virulence.  
  • KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.  
  • As principle investigator of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology you will receive a generous start-up package including funding for equipment (to be negotiated), a EUR 220k yearly research endowment, and have access to VIB/KUL Core Facilities (see https://vib.be/core-facilities; https://www.kuleuven.be/english/research/core-facilities; https://www.kuleuven.be/english/research/ku-leuven-institutes).  In addition, we provide support for HR, tech transfer and grant writing (e.g. to help prepare ERC and EU applications).
  • You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic, highly international and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

More information



Please, only apply via the KU Leuven online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, solliciteren@kuleuven.be.
Add to your application following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):
- summary of your five most important publications or realizations (patents, valorization or outreach initiatives) (maximum 1 page)
- your research plan with focus on the development of 2-3 research lines for the coming 5 years, including your vision on personnel allocation (lab technicians, PhD students, postdocs working on each research line), possible interaction with the colleagues of the KU Leuven department of Biology and the VIB Center for Microbiology (maximum 5 pages)
- an extensive cv including an overview of your education and full publication list
- your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page)
- your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page)
- A biosketch in which you indicate your past and future vision/added value as an academic for research, education and service to society (maximum 2 pages)
- your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages)
- Contact details of 2-3 references
Note that candidates that are selected for the second round will be invited for an on campus interview in September 2023.
VIB and KU Leuven are committed to creating a diverse environment. We therefore explicitly encourage candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at VIB and KU Leuven to submit their applications.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Lut Arckens, tel.: +32 16 32 39 51, mail: lut.arckens@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. ir. Kevin Verstrepen, tel.: +32 16 37 91 76, mail: kevin.verstrepen@kuleuven.be. For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Job details

Group Leader/Assistant Professor in Microbiological Metabolome Analysis
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-06-15 23:59
Save as a favourite

More jobs from this employer