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Tenure Track in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems

KU Leuven. Leuven (Belgien), 18.09.2017


(Ref. ZAP-2017-34)

Occupation: Full time
Place: Leuven
Apply no later than: October 31, 2017

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, there is a full-time academic vacancy (tenure track) in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S) in the area of food chemistry and analysis. The position is embedded in the Centre for Food and Microbial Technology.


The KU Leuven Centre for Food and Microbial Technology groups research on raw materials, constituents, micro-organisms and processes that are relevant to biological and biochemical industries in general and to the food industry in particular. An important goal is to generate scientific knowledge in that area and translate it into food products and process innovations with a focus on chemical and microbiological safety and quality of food as reflected in health, nutrition, organoleptic properties and storability. The research activities span the continuum of raw material over production of foods and ingredients to digestion and vice versa. In this research, the centre is faced with the complexity of food systems which requires a multidisciplinary and integrated approach at different structural levels, from molecular to macroscopic scale.

The research centre can build upon a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organisations, a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and a supportive work environment.
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It is your task to develop a fundamental and interdisciplinary oriented research programme at an international level in the field of food chemistry and analysis. You have experience with the development and use of state-of-the-art analytical methods for identification and/or quantification of constituents and elucidation of reaction mechanisms in complex food systems. These include for example advanced chromatographic techniques coupled with various detectors such as mass spectrometry and spectroscopic techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. You are familiar with food systems and reactions and interactions of technological, nutritional or sensory relevant chemical components in terms of processing, preserving or digestion.

The research will be embedded in the Centre for Food and Microbial Technology. Cooperation is expected with other academic staff members of the centre with expertise in food chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, technology and biophysics. In particular, you are asked to offer or develop complementary expertise, which can lead to joint project applications and synergy with colleagues from the centre, and if applicable, of the Department M2S as a whole. The research program will also be embedded in the Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), that catalyses, inter alia, co-operation between food scientists, gastroenterologists and nutritionists. A successful candidate will also initiate research collaboration outside the Department M2S with relevant research groups in the Science, Engineering and Technology Group and the Biomedical Sciences Group. You will also support the interuniversity, regional, national and international research cooperation of the Centre for Food and Microbial Technology and develop it further. The candidate is asked to formulate a research vision that incorporates such synergies and cooperation

You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources for fundamental an basic research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhDs at an international level. You succeed in obtaining competitive funding. You strive for excellence in your research and thusly provide a contribution to the international character of the KU Leuven.

You ensure high-quality education within the food science area, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. The assignment can cover both bachelor and master level education (eg. Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering: Food Technology). You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty and university through the supervision of bachelor and master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.

You develop your teachings 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.

Enthusiastic engagement and participation in working groups, commissions etc. within the Department M2S, the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the KU Leuven is expected.

  • You have a PhD in Bioscience engineering, Engineering, Science or a similarly related domain that guarantees an excellent preparation on the research programme.
  • You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in international leading journals in the domain of the application. International experience is an important advantage.
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context.
  • A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.
  • 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 meetings.
  • Before teaching courses in Dutch, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch to the required standard.

We are offering full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. It is highly inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, it actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad. It provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic 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.

Depending on your record and qualifications, 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 researchers 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 (or tenured) as an associate professor.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Dirk De Vos, tel.: +32 16 32 16 39, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Christophe Courtin, tel.: +32 16 32 19 17, mail:
For problems with online applying, please contact

Please include a research statement (no more than 4 pages), demonstrating your added value for food research at KU Leuven, in your motivation letter. In addition, please outline your vision of academic education in a teaching statement (no more than 2 pages). You can apply for this job no later than October 31, 2017 via the
online application tool

Bewerbungsschluss: 31.10.2017