Junior professor in sustainable food technology with a focus on product quality, stability and safety (ref. ZAP-2023-36) KU Leuven has a full-time (100 %) academic vacancy in the area of sustainable food technology at their Geel Campus. We are looking for internationally orientated candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research record and with educational competencies within the field of food technology, strongly focussed on sustainability and food safety.

The successful applicant will be appointed in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven. Both the faculty and the department have an extensive national and international network in the academic and business world.

The position is embedded in the Research Group for Insect Production and Processing (IP&P). As such it can build upon a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organisations, a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and a supportive work environment.

This research group has the ambition to further establish Geel Campus as an international Centre of Excellence concerning mass-produced insects as a key element in the circular economy, as feed source, food source, source of biochemicals and waste converter by solving both science- as well as industry-driven research questions.

Duties, Research:

You develop a research programme at an international level in the topic of food processing technology, with strong attention for sustainability and food safety. Your research mainly focusses on the impact of existing and novel (mild) unit operations and processing technologies on nutritional, physicochemical and microbiological quality, stability and safety of the (food) matrix. Matrices from the insect value chain will be the main subject of the research.

You engage in targeted scientific research gathering both fundamental and applied knowledge, including translation towards industrial applications. You produce scientific output that results in PhDs and publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition. You pay the required attention to the technology transfer and application of the results of your research in industry/government/society. Dissemination and valorisation of research that contributes to the development of sustainable value chains is encouraged.

You contribute to the further development and to the international reputation of the research group IP&P and acquire resources for this research. You develop international partnerships, within the academic world as well as with industrial partners. 


  • You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of food processing, food preservation and food safety, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. All professors are expected to teach basic undergraduate courses as well.
  • You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a supervisor of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
  • Your teaching duties are determined in agreement and are based on your specific profile. The scope is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty will also pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


You pay attention to the dissemination of basic knowledge on the use of sustainable food (processing) technologies throughout the food chain, with the objective to communicate on solutions for the world’s food and environmental problems by further expanding the role sustainable food technology could play in the circular economy. You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university in function of the needs and your personal interests.

You maintain close contact with the local industry. You play an active part in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology and Geel Campus towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events and fairs,…


  • You have a PhD in Engineering Technology, Bioscience Engineering, Biochemistry and biotechnology or an equivalent degree with an emphasis on food technology and safety. The subject of your doctoral thesis relates to the research and educational field.
  • You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications or by your research experience in industry. You have the ambition to contribute to the valorisation of research in industry and in society. International experience is an advantage.
  • You have verifiable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience in the field of sustainable food technology is an important advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university or industry context. A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.
  • 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 your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings and to acquire the level of Dutch that is required for tenure. 
  •  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 (100%) employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

You will work at the KU Leuven Geel Campus which is one of the operational sites of the KU Leuven multi-campus Faculty of Engineering Technology. The campus emphasises optimal guidance, support and supervision of students. Research at Geel Campus focuses, within the domain of biosciences, on food industry, plant production, animal and environmental science.

In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of five years. At the end of this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as associate professor.

To facilitate scientific integration and research in the first phase, a research position equivalent to a PhD fellowship for four years is made available. If you have no other substantial funding available, you can also apply for a start-up grant of 110,000 EUR, on the condition that you are appointed for at least 50 %. 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, …


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact: * Prof. Dr. Mik Van Der Borght, coordinator of the Research Group for Insect Production and Processing (mik.vanderborght@kuleuven.be,  +32 14 72 13 08) or * Prof. Dr. Ir. Chris Michiels, departmental chair of the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (chris.michiels@kuleuven.be , +32 16 32 15 78) or * Prof. Dr. Ir. Paul Leroux, campus chair of Geel Campus (paul.leroux@kuleuven.be,  +32 14 72 13 06) You can submit your application, only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please send an email to solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

Add to your application following documents in English (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 4 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).

To apply: 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 August 29, 2023 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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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