KU Leuven

Research Professor in Environmental and Occupational Toxicology (BOFZAP)

2024-09-03 (Europe/Brussels)
Save job

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 Department of Public Health and Primary Care within the Biomedical Sciences Group of KU Leuven, invites scholars to apply for a full‐time research professorship in occupational and environmental toxicology. This position is funded by the Special Research Fund (BOFZAP), established by the Flemish Government.

We are looking for motivated and internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competence in the field of toxicology and health. The appointment is expected to start on September 1, 2025. Applications will be evaluated in parallel and independently by 1) the KU Leuven Research Council in a competitive process across academic domains and 2) the faculty advisory committee. During the first 10 years, the teaching obligations as a research professor will be limited. Afterwards, the position will be transformed into a regular professorship.

Within the Biomedical Sciences Group at KU Leuven, the Department of Public Health and Primary Care conducts research in societal aspects of healthcare. Its members include experts in disease prevention, health protection, health promotion, quality assurance, health care policy, bioethics, health law, health economics, health communication, biostatistics, epidemiology, geriatrics and gerontology, nursing and midwifery, emergency medicine and general practice medicine.

Members of the Department conduct interdisciplinary research with a major impact at a national and international level. They also provide high-quality education in various educational areas. In addition, they provide healthcare professionals and institutions with insights, concepts and techniques that enable them to respond optimally to the needs and expectations of the patient and society in the area of healthcare. Moreover, they seek to improve collaboration with clinical medicine and research, and they are closely involved in national and international partnerships. The Department of Public Health and Primary Care offers a dynamic research context that stimulates interdisciplinary collaboration.

Website unit



It is part of the assignment of the appointed candidate to develop, within the domain of environmental and occupational toxicology an international, competitive research program, to pursue excellent scientific results at an international level and to support and promote national and international research partnerships. The candidate must meet a strong research profile or have the potential to do so. 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, such as Environment & Health, Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, BREATHE,...

The candidate:

  • Is an excellent, internationally oriented researcher and develops a research program at the forefront in the field of environmental and occupational toxicology in preventive health, including lab based experimental work, epidemiological observational and interventional studies. The candidate has relevant experience, with research methods to investigate the health outcomes of chemical pollutants in the general environment and the workplace. These methods can include in vitro, in vivo and in silico techniques, biomarker discovery, NAM’s (new approach methodologies) to study (immune)toxicological mechanisms of lung or systemic diseases (such as occupational asthma, dust lung, auto-immune diseases, cancer, etc).
  • Strengthens existing research lines and brings complementary and/or additionally new expertise by working closely with the members of the research unit. 
  • Publishes at the highest scientific level in journals in the field of toxicology, environmental sciences, lung research, immunology, such as Environment International, Environmental Health Perspectives, Particle and Fiber Toxicology, Archives of Toxicology, European Respiratory Journal, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, etc.
  • Develops an own research group.
  • Supervises master students, PhD students and postdocs at a high international level. 
  • Aims to acquire competitive research funding from national and/or international agencies and submits effective research project proposals for this purpose.
  • Establishes both within KU Leuven, 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 unit Environment and Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care and KU Leuven.
  • Has a pronounced interest in fundamental research, but also pays attention to the valorization and applications of the research, e.g. by networking with policymakers, employees and employers


Although the position regards a research professorship at the start of employment, the candidate is expected to gradually contribute to state of the art teaching. 

The assignment of the candidate to be appointed also includes a teaching assignment in the master of biomedical sciences (toxicology, exposure and risk assessment to pollutants), and ad hoc lessons in the city lab course and the continuous master Global Health. The candidate makes use of the opportunities offered by KU Leuven to further professionalize teaching. 

The candidate also contributes to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university. He/she develops teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research‐based education and makes use of the possibilities for the educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university. 


Scientific, societal  and internal services (administrative and/or institutional) are also part of the assignment.


  • You have a PhD in toxicological, (bio)medical, pharmaceutical or biological sciences, with a proven track record in toxicology. If you have recently obtained your PhD, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references (e.g. demonstrate potential through at least one top publication, academic references, promising research projects and articles in preparation).
  • You have a strong research profile in the field and an indisputable research integrity.
  • The quality of your research is proven by publications in the field of toxicology, environmental sciences/health, pulmonology, immunology, etc 
  • International research experience is considered as an important advantage.
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is a plus. 
  • You possess organizational 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 employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard. 


  • We offer full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is an 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. In principle, junior researches are appointed as assistant professor 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 and 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 family and provides practical support with regard to immigration and administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …
  • In order to facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 110.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding and appointed for at least 50%. 
  • You will have access to the full range of advantages of working in a leading university in the center of Europe, including potential to collaborate across multiple disciplines and have access to a large cohort of talented students.

More information

full application and selection procedure Research Professorships (BOFZAP)


More information on the content of the job can be obtained from the academic contact person prof. dr. Jeroen Vanoirbeek, tel +32 16 330196, e-mail: jeroen.vanoirbeek@kuleuven.be. 

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) or Ms. Martine van Nierop (martine.vannierop@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 32 76 98).

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Job details

Research Professor in Environmental and Occupational Toxicology (BOFZAP)
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-09-03 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-09-03 23:59 (CET)
Save job

More jobs from this employer