KU Leuven

Research professor in Hard Condensed Matter Theory (BOFZAP)

2023-09-14 (Europe/Brussels)
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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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The Department of Physics & Astronomy of the Science, Engineering & Technology Group of KU Leuven is inviting scholars to apply for a full time research professorship in Theoretical Physics. This position is funded by the Special Research Fund (BOFZAP), established by the Flemish Government. We are looking for motivated and internationally well-known candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competence in the field of hard condensed matter theory. The appointment is expected to start on 1st September 2024.
Applications will be evaluated in parallel and independently by the KU Leuven Research Council in a competitive process across academic domains and by the faculty advisory committee. During the first 10 years, the teaching obligations as a research professor will be limited. Afterwards, the position will become a regular professorship.
The ideal candidate will be a successful researcher in theoretical quantum condensed matter physics or quantum optics, with possible links to experiments, and will be able to establish fruitful interactions with members of the Institute for Theoretical Physics and with members of the experimental condensed matter group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. We are aiming to strengthen the research profile and synergies at the Institute for Theoretical Physics with a researcher with broad and diverse interests in theoretical condensed matter physics, broadly defined, that do not necessarily closely overlap with existing research expertise. Applicants should be able to seize scientific and funding opportunities arising from the increased international focus on quantum science and technology, often referred to as the "Second Quantum Revolution". The successful candidate will be encouraged to take advantage of the generous funding schemes existing in Flanders and Europe such as the FWO Odysseus Programme or the ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants.The position will be hosted at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at KU Leuven. We are the primary institute for theoretical physics research and teaching in Belgium with more than 50 researchers covering a broad range of research areas in theoretical and mathematical physics including quantum many-body theory, statistical mechanics, non-equilibrium physics, string theory, holography, cosmology, and gravitational theory.We have close ties with the imec research centre, as well as other research groups in Belgium working on theoretical quantum physics in the context of the Belgian Quantum Physics Initiative. Furthermore, we are a key player in the interdepartmental Quantum Initiative of the Science and Technology group at KU Leuven. As part of this initiative, KU Leuven is signalling its commitment to quantum science and its applications by creating 4 new research professorships, including this position in hard condensed matter theory.
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The appointed candidate will develop a successful research programme to pursue excellent scientific results at an international level and to support and promote national and international research partnerships. The candidate must have a strong research profile. In addition, the candidate is expected to have a multidisciplinary attitude and a willingness to cooperate intensively with other researchers and research units at KU Leuven.
The candidate:
  • Is an excellent, internationally oriented researcher with a clear vision for developing a research programme at the forefront in the field of theoretical condensed matter physics.
  • Is able to strengthens existing research lines and to bring complementary and/or additionally new expertise by working closely with the members of the Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Is publishing at the highest scientific level in leading international research journals.
  • Develops their own research group and explores links with experimental quantum physics programs.
  • Will supervise master students, PhD students and postdocs at a high international level.
  • Aims to acquire research funding from national and/or international agencies such as ERC and FWO and submits effective research project proposals for this purpose.
  • Can establish national and international partnerships in the context of the research programme.
  • Strives for excellence in research and provides a contribution to the international research reputation of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Department of Physics and Astronomy and KU Leuven.


Although the position will start as a research professorship, the candidate will be expected to gradually contribute to state-of-the-art teaching.
The candidate will also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty and the wider university. They will develop teaching in accordance with KU Leuven s vision for activating and research based education and will make full use of the opportunities for educational professionalisation offered by the faculty and the university.
The appointed candidate will also take on a teaching assignment at master level.


Scientific, societal and internal services (administrative and/or institutional) will also be part of the role.


  • You have a PhD in Physics.
  • You have a strong research profile in theoretical condensed matter physics and an indisputable research integrity.
  • International research experience is considered an important advantage.
  • You are passionate about teaching and have relevant teaching experience.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also have leadership skills within a university context.
  • Your spoken and written English is excellent. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. To teach in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn the language to the required standard.


  • We offer a full-time position in an intellectually stimulating environment. 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 collaborate with research partners in Belgium and abroad. We provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.
  • Depending on your qualifications and academic experience, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. Normally, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professors on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed as an associate professor.
  • You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic, and vibrant city located in the heart of Belgium, within twenty minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
  • KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their families and provides practical support regarding immigration and administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, together with other support services.
  • To facilitate the initial stages of the academic career of newly appointed professors without substantial external funding KU Leuven provides a starting grant of 110.000 euro.

More information

Full application and selection prodedure
Quantum @ KU Leuven


More information on the content of the job can be obtained from the academic contact person Prof. Dr. Wojciech De Roeck (wojciech.deroeck@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 32 72 38).

More information on the guidelines, regulations and application file is available from Ms. Kristin Vermeylen (kristin.vermeylen@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 32 09 07), Ms. Martine Van Nierop (martine.vannierop@kuleuven.be, tel. +32 16 32 76 98) or Ms. Christelle Maeyaert (christel.maeyaert@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 31 41 94).

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

Research professor in Hard Condensed Matter Theory (BOFZAP)
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-09-14 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-09-14 23:59 (CET)
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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