The Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven and the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering invite applications for a full-time academic position in the area of Digital Agriculture with a focus on plant production in Leuven (Arenberg) at its Department of Biosystems (Division MeBioS) and its Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (FBSE). We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent [interdisciplinary] research record and with educational competence within this field.

The multi-disciplinary research team of the MeBioS division has built-up a worldwide reputation in the domain of measuring, modeling and control of biological systems. The division is a pioneer in precision agriculture and has built an extensive national and international network, both in academia and industry. FBSE organises Dutch and English language study programmes at bachelor, master and PhD-level in Bioscience Engineering at large and in Biosystems engineering, Agronomy and Crop production systems in particular.


To feed the growing world population in a sustainable way, we will have to produce more food, fibre and other biobased products with minimal inputs while safeguarding the environment. Digital agriculture aims to bridge this gap by creating new digital technologies for effective, real-time decision-making on farms and at many points throughout agricultural systems. This involves the integration of mathematical models and data analytics with smart farming technologies (including sensors, robotics and communication networks)  to support informed farming operations and to enhance farm productivity and profitability in a sustainable way.

  • You combine knowledge on crop production systems with mathematical modelling and data analytics to predict plant responses to changing management and environmental conditions, and to develop application-oriented technologies to support farmers in their decision making.
  • You strengthen existing research on digital agriculture by setting up collaborations within and outside the department which is already active in precision horticulture.
  • You strive for excellence in your research and thus provide a contribution to the continued development of the MeBioS division.
  • You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources for research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhD students at an international level.
  • You also give the necessary attention to the exploitation of your research results in support of governments and businesses.
  • You ensure high-quality education within Bioscience Engineering, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty through the supervision of bachelor and master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching materials and practice 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.
  • Your teaching assignments are established in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the department and faculty pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.
  • You enthusiastically participate in the activities of various committees and workgroups in the Department of Biosystems and the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, and represent the university in external commissions.
  • You are able to identify and pursue potential exploitation of your research results in collaboration with our industrial exploitation managers and the technology transfer unit Leuven Research and Development of KU Leuven.
  • You have a PhD in Agricultural, Biosystems or Bioscience Engineering, Data Science, or any other field that prepares equally well for the research program and teaching activities.
  • You have a strong research profile with expertise in data analytics for digital agriculture.
  • You have published in leading international journals. 
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess demonstrable organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude.
  • You possess demonstrable leadership capabilities within an academic context.
  • A good command of English is required. 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 or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required level.

We are offering full-time employment in an intellectually inspiring environment. You will be embedded in a department with specialists in agriculture, crop biotechnology, sustainability assessment, sensor technology, mechanistic modelling and statistics. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinary and strives for international excellence. In this regard, we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our 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 by train 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.

You will be supported by a PhD student scholarship and have access to the unique research facilities of the MeBioS Division.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Jean-Marie Aerts, chair of the Department of Biosystems (+32 16 32 14 34,

For problems with online applying, please contact

Add to your application following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):

  • your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
  • a file on your five most important publications or realizations;
  • an extensive cv including a full publication list and if applicable a portfolio of your architectural projects;
  • your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 5 pages);
  • your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
  • your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);
  • your vision on 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.

You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2022 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

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