Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven)

Professor in Molecular Biochemistry

KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the Division of Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology of the Department of Chemistry. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competence within the field of biochemistry and more specifically chemical biology. The successful candidate will be appointed in the Department of Chemistry and the faculty of Sciences of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven.

The Department of Chemistry can build upon a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international network and high international visibility. The Department has 32 senior academic staff members and is structured into 5 divisions, covering quantum chemistry and physical chemistry, molecular design and synthesis, molecular imaging and photonics, polymer chemistry and materials, and biochemistry, molecular and structural biology. The mission of the Division of Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology is the study of biomolecular interactions in vitro and in living systems. The division has a highly international profile and has acquired the expertise in molecular biology, functional fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, structure determination by crystallography, and molecular modeling. The division interacts strongly with other groups within the department, other research groups within the Science, Engineering & Technology Group and beyond.

The department has an extensive national and international network and actively participates in European networks. It also has a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and postdocs and a supportive work environment.



  • You have proven expertise in protein chemistry, enzymology and/or molecular(directed) evolution;
  • You develop a research programme at an international level in the area of molecular biochemistry focusing on interactions and modifications at the molecular scale with the aim of understanding and enhancing existing functionality or introducing new functionality;
  • Your focus is on in vitro experiments that translates to in cellulo and/or in vivo experiments. Your work can benefit from computational and experimental structural biology, and fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy;
  • Your research is complementary to that of the research groups within the Department of Chemistry;
  • You build a research group of international level and collaborate with research groups of the Departments of Chemistry and Biology, the Group Science and Technology and/or the Group of Biomedical Sciences, and internationally;
  • You supervise PhD students, acquire resources for research and publish at the highest scientific level.


You ensure high-quality education in educational programmes at the bachelor and master level in science and engineering, in particular in biochemistry and biotechnology, with a clear commitment for the quality of the programme as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university through the supervision of bachelor and mastertheses and as a promoter of PhD students.

You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.


Besides the research and the teaching assignment, you are expected to be willing to provide services to the community, at the level of the department, the faculty, and beyond, in function of the needs and your personal interests.


  • You have a PhD in Science or equivalent.
  • You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals. International research experience is an important advantage.
  • If you have recently been admitted to the degree of doctor, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references.
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organizational 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.
  • Proficiency in English isrequired.
  • 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, respectively English, 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 multidisciplinary 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 in a diverse and collaborative environment.

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.

KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching,… To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.


We will start the application term for this position from June 23th via our online application tool that will become available on our jobsite.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Eric Nies, tel.: +32 16 32 74 81, mail:

As part of your application, we expect:

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a biosketch;
  • a full CV, including list of publications;
  • a research plan with proper attention to the development of your own research activities and research team, specifying relevant collaborations with other researchers and identifying its position and added value with respect to the ongoing research in the KU Leuven Divison of Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology of the Department of Chemistry (max 4 pages);
  • a personal statement regarding your vision and perspective on academic teaching and education organisation (max 2 pages);
  • a demonstrable proof of your organisational skills, leadership quality/potential, and outreach and societal service in an academic context (max 2 pages).

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


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Professor in Molecular Biochemistry