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Junior Professor in Chemistry: Nano(Structured) Materials for Sensing and Photonics - KU Leuven

The Department of Chemistry has an excellent research infrastructure, an extensive international network and international visibility. The Department of Chemistry, with in total 27 senior academic staff members, 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 and Molecular and Structural Biology.

You will be member of the Division of Molecular Imaging and Photonics. Its mission is to develop and implement new spectroscopic and imaging techniques elucidating the link between on the one hand molecular structure and properties and on the other hand structure and properties of (bio)materials on the nano and mesoscale. The division has a very international membership and has extensive experience in different aspects in nanomaterials research, with a focus on the use of state-of-the-art microscopies and spectroscopies. Members of the division collaborate intensively with other groups within the department, the Group of Science, Engineering & Technology and beyond, and have a strong international profile. The division actively participates in European networks. The Group of Science, Engineering & Technology has a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and postdocs and a supportive work environment.

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We expect you to 1) characterize optical properties of nanomaterials and link them to their structure, and or 2) explore the use of nano-materials in sensing in a broad sense, eventually in combination with the development and synthesis of novel nanomaterials or nanostructured materials.
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 Department of Chemistry, the Group of Science, Engineering & 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 chemistry teaching in educational programmes at the bachelor and master level in science and engineering, in particular in chemistry, with a clear commitment for the quality of the programme as a whole.
For this position, it is expected that you are able to teach courses in English or Dutch from the start (native or C1 level CEFR). In time, it is expected that you reach the required standard to teach in both languages.
You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university through the supervision of bachelor and master theses 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 responsabilities for research and teaching, you are expected to be willing to provide services to the community, at the level of the departement, the Faculty and beyond, depending on requirements and your personal interests.


Successful candidates should have:

- a PhD in chemistry, physics, materials science, or equivalent;
- a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals. If you were awarded the PhD degree only recently, it is important that you provide support for your research and growth potential by giving the names of possible academic references;
- substantial work experience outside KU Leuven. Extended periods of international scientific mobility are an asset;
- organizational skills and a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context;
- demonstrable skills for teaching at academic level.

Proficiency in English is required.
The official 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 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.
You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes of Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a periode of 5 years; after this periode 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%."


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Eric Nies, tel.: +32 16 32 74 81, mail: problems with online applying, please contact

Applicants are asked to add the following components to their candidacy:
- a bio sketch in which they demonstrate their added value as an academic researcher for the core tasks of research, education and services in their past career and for their future activities (maximum 2 pages);
- a file about their five most important publications or realizations;
- an extensive CV (including a complete publication list);
- a research plan with attention to the development of a research line and associated research team with an eye for collaboration with fellow researchers within the employment entity (maximum 4 pages);
- their vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
- their contribution to service activities (internal representation through membership in councils and administrative bodies, contributions to society through education and research, outreach and science communication) (maximum 1 page);
- their vision of leadership (maximum 1 page).

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

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

You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 2020 via the online application tool

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

On-line vacancy here.

PDF version here.