KU Leuven

Professor in interactive and immersive animation (100%)

2024-01-02 (Europe/Brussels)
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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.

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LUCA School of Arts is a creative hub for nearly 5,000 people: more than 4,000 students and 800 colleagues. To them, LUCA offers an educational and research environment to further develop their creative talent. We do this through higher education programmes in the broad field of the arts, and through artistic research. LUCA has campuses in four cities: Ghent, Brussels, Leuven and Genk. For LUCA, KU Leuven is the research environment in which artistic research is embedded. An associated Faculty of Arts was established within the Human Sciences group, of which the researchers in the arts are members. Almost 150 lecturers, postdocs, doctoral students and project staff have been appointed with artistic research assignments in audiovisual arts, visual arts, design, music, drama, etc.

Among the responsibilities of this position are developing, implementing, and coordinating practice-based artistic research, and educational tasks. You operate in a changing Animation context, wherein the arts education must be infused with innovative visions. Sustainability, technology, and diversity are the basis for an education that trains for game changers. In the virtual and online age, the Animation set is for and of everyone. This demands a novel position of an educational program and research in Animation.
You will work with a strong research and education team and a diverse group of external and internal stakeholders in interactive and immersive Animation. A plethora of stakeholders (artists, professional animators, researchers) will benefit from education and the research outcomes and process which will contribute to the further development of expertise and research in Animation.

The Animation industry and art education are urgently in need of new, future-proof ways of working, reflecting, and creating to inspire, guide and support the further development of research in animation and their industry. 3D Animation, XR, interactive and immersive experiences, streaming services demand a strong response from education and research. Globalization forces us to rethink what it is to work as ‘independent’ researchers and artists in animation or how we as storytellers and makers act globally with local impact: different forms of collaboration and the renewed foregrounding of ethical and societal aspects of making and storytelling have a strong and growing impact. Responsible Design, Critical Making, Art-Science collaborations, and Transdisciplinary approaches will help to conceptualize, develop and research alternatives to the yet dominant systems in Animation; to shape and disseminate the new narratives that are called for; to explore and experiment with alternative (hybrid) formats (2D, 3D, Stop Motion, Motion capture technology, computer graphics, and visual effects) and materials; etc. with the aim to explore innovative paths in creating and making of spatial animation and stop motion to educate the ‘makers of the future who will further develop the Animation domain.

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The research being carried out (50% of the job) supports the much-needed transitions in the current Animation sector. One or more of the following topics must be at the core of your research and consequently, your educational practice (bachelor and master):
  • The animation industry is likely to become even more globalized in the years to come. With more and more studios and creators working across borders, we are likely to see a greater diversity of styles, themes, and perspectives in animated content. 
  • As XR technology continues to develop, we are likely to see more sophisticated AI tools that can help animators create more realistic and complex animated content. 
  • Creative technologies have the potential to create more immersive and interactive experiences for viewers, allowing them to explore and interact with animated worlds in new ways. This could lead to a new era of storytelling that blends elements of traditional filmmaking, video games, and other interactive media.
As an assistant professor you lead the research within a specific research cluster:
  • You build and supervise a team of doctoral students and post-doc researchers and you coordinate the cluster’s joint activities. 
  • You seek actively project funding.
  • You publish in relevant academic-artistic channels.
  • You create, display and exhibit material relevant to your focus in research and teaching.


The educational assignment comprises 50% of the workload:
  • Designing educational activities, tutoring or educational concepts to provide education tailored to the student audience within the domain of Animation;
  • Developing educational activities in accordance with the vision of LUCA on active and research based education and you use the professionalization opportunities on education within LUCA.
  • Mentoring students in the conception of both the artistic and the reflective aspects of final tests and interim research assignments;
  • Being a course unit holder and coordinator of a group of course units;
  • Managing assistants within a course unit or cluster of course units;
  • Incorporating teaching assignments within the domain of Animation, with a clear engagement for the quality of the education unit as a whole.


  • You are prepared to provide scientific, social and internal services.


  • You have a solid background in animation having knowledge of and experience in amongst others stop-motion, spatial animation, VR/XR, animation production.
  • You are well versed in artistic research animation innovation and/or making with affinity for an animation context.
  • You hold a PhD in a field relevant to digital and spatial animation has a strong vision of value-based transitions related to animation and technology. 
  • You have practice-based research experience supported by a proven academic and professional track record. 
  • You have personally and successfully developed practice-based research projects. 
  • You have a relevant (inter-)national network including knowledge institutions and the animation industry. 
  • You are a team player and an experienced leader, capable of supporting a diverse group of lecturer/researchers.
  • You will work closely with the other Inter-Actions researchers, the coordinator, and the lecturers from Animation and other educational departments. You actively participate in linking education and research and curriculum development, daily operational activities and develops and disseminates state-of-the-art knowledge, and helps students to gain research skills. 
  • You are able to communicate fluently in Dutch and English in line with the language requirements applicable to Flemish higher education. At the start of the teaching commitment, you have to master the language of instruction at ECFR level B1. The official administrative language used at LUCA is Dutch. If you do not speak (enough) Dutch when you are hired, LUCA will provide an integration programme with the goal of mastering Dutch at ECFR level B2 within 5 years of employment. 
  • You are loyal to the institution's assignment, mission, vision and policy plan.


At LUCA you will be part of an environment where respect and integrity define our basic attitude, where we see sustainability and diversity as an asset and quality is our motivation. In the coming years, we want to give LUCA an identity as an actor in society, let our education institute become part of a laboratory, complement our offer with demand-driven initiatives, and open up our multicampus reality to a network. This will put you in a stimulating environment in which we offer numerous opportunities to give your own interpretation on your main campus in Genk or on one of the other campuses of LUCA School of Arts.
LUCA wants to create an environment in which all talents can develop to their full potential, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or disability. That is why we welcome all talented people who recognize the added value of diversity and want to help shape an inclusive organisation.
LUCA School of Arts offers a 100% appointment for an indefinite term. The appointment at LUCA School of Arts is at the level of assistant professor (salary scale 528) and tenure at a later stage is possible according to the existing rules and procedures. You will also acquire the status of special guest profesor in the arts. With this status you will be able to supervise doctorates and apply for internal funding at the KU Leuven.
More information on the salary scales can be found on the website of the Education Department (www.ond.vlaanderen.be).
The estimated starting date is september 2024.


More information can be obtained from head of research Inter-Actions Niels Hendriks (niels.hendriks@luca-arts.be) and head of Audiovisual Arts Genk Dirk Reynders (dirk.reynders@luca-arts.be).


Please apply by January 2, 2024. In case of problems with the application tool, please send a mail to solliciteren@kuleuven.be. We want to highlight that candidates can apply for multiple job offers.


Your application must contain a file(1 PDF) consisting of:

1. A motivation letter;

2. A resume;

3. A portfolio;

4. An attestation of diploma (or declaration of equivalence of the requested diploma, if applicable).

5. A biosketch: an open text of up to two pages in which you summarize the essence of your past career and your future plans. Following elements need to be addressed:

·       The crucial elements of your past career and their importance;

·       The headlines of your vision on developing your future activities (with emphasis on the next 5 years);

·       The added value of your activities for LUCA / KU Leuven and the faculty/department/campus.


Only complete files will be accepted.


A first selection interview will take place with candidates withheld after a preselection based on the submitted dossiers.


Before the interview, there will be an interactive workshop that lasts for maximum 30 minutes. The workshop is public, which means that staff from LUCA School of Arts can attend the workshop.

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

Professor in interactive and immersive animation (100%)
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-01-02 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-01-02 23:59 (CET)
Save job

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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