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Principal Investigator Molecular Biomedical Technology (wet lab/computational)

Vib Institute

VIB is a life sciences research institute, based in Flanders, Belgium. VIB scientists perform basic research with a strong focus on translating scientific results into pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications. VIB is a core funded, independent research institute of the government, with 1570 scientists from more than 70 countries working at UGent, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Hasselt University.

VIB encourages and supports highly innovative research in molecular life sciences and enables collaborations with top scientists and institutes worldwide. VIB research is facilitated by top-notch core facilities across the spectrum of cutting-edge life sciences technologies as well as by a dedicated Innovation and Business team to facilitate productive contacts with the industry. This allows VIB scientists to take risks in launching ambitious, often collaborative, research programs and enables and encourages them to translate their results into novel therapeutics, diagnostics, applications, and technologies.

The VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology (CMB) focuses on the development of innovative wet-lab as well as computational technologies for molecular and cellular life sciences research, which are applied to address challenging human health problems. Our Center translates these novel technologies and insights to widely applicable research tools, vaccines, diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals. Moreover, CMB educates and trains the next generation of medical biotechnology researchers, and informs the public on the impact of biotechnology on human health.

Ghent and the surrounding area of Belgium represents one of the top research destinations in Europe, at the heart of a vibrant and rapidly expanding cluster of academic and private research organisations. We have a strong link to Ghent University Hospital, facilitating collaborations with excellent clinicians in most fields of human medicine.


The VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology is searching for a Principal Investigator to join its faculty. The Center currently hosts seven groups focusing on biomolecular analytics, bioinformatics and biopharmaceutical engineering research, with a strong focus on protein technology.

We are looking for a candidate with a research plan that strengthens and complements our Center’s current research domains. Because of our vision, we are particularly interested in candidates with an innovative spirit to expand CMB’s methodological reach to innovate biomedical research.

This position comes with full salary and institutional core (internationally competitive > 1 million EUR package for five years, depending on experience) that is renewable every five years, pending positive evaluation from an external reviewing board. You will be expected to apply for additional research funding from international and national funding bodies (e.g. ERC, Fund for Scientific Research Flanders etc.) and VIB provides help to starting PIs to integrate in the local research funding system. VIB is a joint venture with the Flemish universities, there will be opportunities for the candidate to contribute to education at Ghent University (Faculty of Sciences or Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences).


  • You present an exciting research plan for a group of 5 to 10 Ph.D. students and postdocs with research goals matching CMB’s mission.
  • You hold a Ph.D. degree and are ready to transition to an independent position or you already are a junior faculty member. Your readiness for this VIB PI position is clear from a combination of 1) published impactful research, 2) a track record in fundraising for your research, and 3) an ambitious plan to make a tangible impact for society through technology transfer to life sciences industry, particularly in the clinical environment.
  • You are a team player with a collaborative and interdisciplinary mindset.
  • You feel capable and comfortable coaching and mentoring junior researchers.
  • You contribute to VIB’s public outreach.
  • You preferably have demonstrated mobility in your career; relevant research experience in the molecular life sciences industry will be considered.
  • You preferably have teaching experience at an academic level.


  • We offer a unique opportunity to start a research team in a stimulating, highly collaborative and international research environment with a group of ambitious, enthusiastic peers that will coach and mentor the new Group Leader.
  • An attractive employment package including 100% of your salary and excellent health insurance and pension benefits.
  • Access to excellent and fully staffed core facilities at our Center, and at VIB in general.
  • State-of-the-art laboratory space and equipment.
  • Administrative support in terms of finance, HR, and technology transfer.
  • Coaching and support in applying for international and national research grants and fellowships (e.g. ERC).
  • Opportunities for professional leadership training.
  • 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.

VIB is an equal opportunity employer promoting an inclusive and diverse environment and aims at a balanced gender distribution across all levels in the organization

About the city of Ghent and Flanders

Ghent, the second largest city of Flanders, is a university city and cultural hub. Only half an hour away from Antwerp and Brussels by train, and centrally located in Europe, Ghent has a scenic yet cosy, well-preserved historical center and a lively multi-cultural atmosphere. Ghent and the greater region of Flanders is internationally-oriented and tech-minded with a strong biotechnology sector with spin-offs and start-ups, creating a natural home for researchers and their families. English is very widely spoken in the city and surrounding area.

Ghent is home to Ghent University, a top 100 university, founded in 1817 and one of the major universities in Belgium. The university credo is ‘Dare to Think’, challenging everyone to question conventional views and to dare to take a nuanced stand. Ghent University is a pluralistic university, which means it is open to all, regardless of ideological, political, cultural, or social background. Ghent and its surrounding area is a great place for young people and families to live and to raise children. There are many excellent day care centers and schools, including an international school.

Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students to Work and Study Abroad

How to apply?

Please use the VIB HR application tool and upload:

  • your full CV
  • a cover letter
  • a 1-page statement of your research interests and research goals
  • a list of your 3 most important achievements including specifications of your contribution (specific publications, patents, research, valorization or outreach initiatives, …)
  • contact details of 3 referees

Application deadline: reviewing will continue until the position is filled.

For more information Contact Nico Callewaert, scientific director and chair of the search committee.

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