Academic Positions Europe

Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Full-time academic position in chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass

Required Qualifications:

PhD Degree (with doctoral thesis) in “Sciences” or in “Agricultural Sciences and Biological Engineering” or equivalent qualification.

Required Skills:

  • A minimum of 4-year scientific career at the time of hiring
  • Postdoctoral experience and an excellent scientific record
  • A stay abroad in an academic institution other that the one in which the doctoral studies were undertaken is a criterion that will be taken into account in the file. This can be during or after the doctoral studies.
  • Candidates will be expected to teach in English and French.  If they are not proficient (level C1 is required) in one of these two languages at the time of appointment, a three-year period may be granted following their appointment to enable them to achieve the required level of language proficiency.

The Brussels Bioengineering School is seeking to develop a strong hub in the field of bioresources (biomass) transformation and valorization with activities ranging from the laboratory to the pilot scale. Two positions are opened in parallel, one in "Bioresources transformation - downstream processing" and one in "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass". A strong collaboration between these two chairs will be highly encouraged.

The candidate for the chair “Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass” must have expertise in the development of new pathways for the transformation of biomass into chemical building blocks or high added value products. He/she must have the scientific expertise required to prospect, identify and study at the laboratory scale biomass transformation approaches based on chemical, enzymatic and/or biological pathways. A specific know-how in the valorization of urban bioresources will be considered an advantage.

The candidate will have to show his/her ability to work in close synergy with existing research teams in the Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Polytechnic School, particularly in the fields of extraction and characterization of high added value products in which important expertise is already present. A strong partnership will also be expected with the new academic in "Biomass transformation - downstream processing", appointed on the chair opened in parallel to this one, in order to develop a strong bioresources valorization hub focusing on applications from the laboratory to the pilot scale.

Vacancy n° 16/A057
Applications must be received no later than February 20th, 2017
Additional information at

  1. Description of Position :

The successful candidate will have expertise in the chemical, enzymatic and/or biological transformation of biomass, developing an activity at the laboratory scale to identify, study and develop new pathways for the production of chemical building blocks and/or high added value products. The successful candidate will have to lead research in this field at the international level, develop an autonomous research team and secure funding for his/her activities. Teaching activities will include lectures focusing on biomass valorization activities and the underlying fundamental prerequisites, but participation in the supervision of student projects, laboratory practicals and exercise sessions will also be expected. The teaching load will be progressive in the first years in order to give the successful candidate time to develop their research activities and establish their team.

The successful candidate will be invited to apply for a grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and be expected to apply for sources of outside funding (FNRS, Europe, Regional funds, etc…) enabling them to develop their research.  The ULB Research Department will assist them with these applications.

Description of Scientific and Pedagogical Objectives:

The successful candidate’s teaching activities will have to integrate the existing bioengineering teaching activities and will be expected to develop learning activities dealing with bioresources valorization in a sustainable development framework.

Research activities will have to be of international level and should lead to the development of an autonomous research team. The research activities should reinforce or favor synergies within ULB with existing teams with complementary expertise from the Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences and the Polytechnic School. Moreover, in partnership with the team of the person that will be appointed on the opening in "Bioresources transformation - downstream processing", research activities should lead to the development of bioresources valorization applications, from the laboratory to the industrial pilot scale. With existing teams with complementary interests, this should lead to a value chain going from the prospection of potential valorization pathways to final product development. These collaborations should lead to the positioning at an international level of the Bioengineering School in the field of bioresources valorization.

Field of Research: "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass"

The research should focus on transforming bioresources to obtain chemical building blocks and/or high added value products. The transformation should not be limited to compound extraction as existing research teams at the ULB already deal with this activity. The transformation could be achieved using chemical, enzymatic and/or biological routes. The research will deal with the prospection, identification, study and optimization of these transformations at the laboratory scale.

A project which takes into consideration the valorization of urban bioresources will be considered an advantage.  

The teaching duties:

New courses, dedicated to the field of expertise of the successful candidate will be opened, in due course, at the Master level.

Upon appointment the successful candidate will be invited to participate actively in existing courses in the bioengineering curriculum both at the bachelor and master levels. Depending on his/her expertise, the successful candidate could be asked to participate in one or more of the following courses:

CHIM-F101                  Chimie générale
BIOL-F101                   Biologie générale
CHIM-F102                  Chimie organique
CHIM-F202                  Biochimie métabolique et structural
BING-F301                   Microbiologie générale et environnementale
BIOL-F3001                 Biologie et génétique moléculaire
BIOL-F301                    Physiologie végétale
BIOL-F412                    Biotechnologies animales et végétales
BING-F4007                 Compléments de biochimie et de microbiologie
BING-F531                   Bioremédiation

The teaching load will be progressive in the first years in order to give the successful candidate enough time to develop their research activities and set-up their team.

  1. Teaching duties may be reviewed periodically and are subject to modification over time.
  1. For further information, please contact, Prof. Dimitri GILIS, President of the School of Bioengineering (phone: 32 2 650 3615 – fax: 32 2 650 3575  – e-mail:
  1. The application file should also include the following (incomplete files will not be considered):
  • CV, including a list of publications (cf. template downloadable at
  • a statement of around 3500 signs on the candidate’s research activities and research project, indicating also how the candidate envisions his/her integration within the ULB and his/her interaction with existing research teams
  • a statement of about 3500 signs describing previous teaching activities and also the candidate’s teaching vision during the 5 years following their appointment, which is coherent with the educational profiles of the programs in which the candidate will be teaching.
  • a note on international projects and achievements
  • please provide full names and email addresses for five referees who may be contacted by the university bodies responsible of evaluating candidate applications. We ask that you be mindful of providing a balanced gender divide between referees and ensure that they have no conflict of interest.

Candidates applying for several vacancies are required to send a separate file for each one.       

  1. The application file must be submitted electronically, via an e-mail addressed to the Rector of the Université libre de Bruxelles (, and to the Dean of the Faculty (
  2. Applications must be received no later than February 20th, 2017.
  3. Vacancy published online on:
    Starting date : 01/10/2017..
  4. Internal administrative data :
    Vacancy number : 16/A057
    University payroll position : 16-B-PRO-027 (F) (1.00 ETP)
    Administrative Board reference :


Université libre de Bruxelles

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Application details

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