Research Professor in Computational Cancer Biology

Expiring today

Leuven, Louvain (BE)
15 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
17 Sep 2021
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

(ref. BZP-2021-16)

Last modification : Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Biomedical Sciences Group, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Oncology of KU Leuven, invites scholars to apply for a full‐time research  professorship in computational cancer biology. 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 focused on computational biology and artificial intelligence in the field of basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. The appointment is expected to start on October 1, 2022. 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.

The Department of Oncology consists of basic, translational, and clinical cancer research groups that are strongly integrated within the University (KU Leuven), University Hospitals (UZ Leuven), Leuven Cancer Institute (LKI), and Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).The Department of Oncology wishes to expand the breadth and depth of data science and build on several recent advances in biomedical sciences, including technologies that are driving generation of massive datasets, exponential growth of publicly available data, and revolutionary approaches in statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence that are changing data analysis.

It is part of the assignment of the appointed candidate to develop, within the domain of computational cancer biology 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, University Hospitals (UZ Leuven), Leuven Cancer Institute (LKI), Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Leuven AI Institute, and the Department of Engineering and Mathematics (ESAT).

The candidate:

  • Is an excellent, internationally oriented researcher and develops a research program at the forefront in the field of AI-based methods, deep learning, machine learning, graph-based and data integration approaches on single-cell multi-omics datasets to uncover the dynamic and spatial context of carcinogenesis, tumor progression and metastasis in various cancer types, and relate it to treatment outcomes.
  • 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.
  • 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 program.
  • Strives for excellence in research and provides a contribution to the international research reputation of the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Group of Biomedical,Sciences, and KU Leuven.
  • Has a pronounced interest in translational cancer.

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 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.

The assignment of the candidate to be appointed also includes a teaching assignment that will be determined at the time of the appointment.

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


  • You have a PhD degree in (Bio-) Medical Sciences or another field that provides excellent preparation for the requested research and education program. If you have recently obtained your PhD, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references.
  • You have a strong research profile in the field and an indisputable research integrity.
  • The quality of your research is proven by publications.
  • 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 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding and appointed for at least 50%.

More information on the content of the job can be obtained from baki.topal@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. Christelle Maeyaert (christelle.maeyaert@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 31 41 94). 

More detailed information is available on following website
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