Research associate to support the Single Cell & Microfluidics Expertise unit

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

06 May 2023


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research


30 May 2023

The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research is part of the VIB life sciences institute and is embedded within the University of Leuven which ranks among the world’s top 50 universities. At our center, researchers study the cellular mechanisms of neuronal function in health and disease.

The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research hosts several top-notch research facilities, one of which is the Single Cell & Microfluidics Expertise unit. To remain at the forefront of single-cell research, the unit works with two core components: 1. The unit facilitates support and provides expertise to departmental researchers and industrial partners with state-of-the-art single-cell and spatial workflows. 2. the unit actively collaborates with departmental investigators to develop novel cutting edge single cell and spatial technologies to accelerate single-cell research. For smooth and consistent service operations, the unit actively collaborates with other stakeholders in Leuven: the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research Single Cell Bioinformatics unit, VIB Flow Core (Leuven), VIB Single Cell Core, VIB Techwatch, and UZ Leuven Genomics Core. More details:

To support the work in our Single Cell & Microfluidics expertise unit we are looking for an energetic, highly-motivated, and ambitious research associate to join the team.


The successful candidate will play a central role in supporting the daily activities of the unit. Some of the key responsibilities include:

  • You will be involved in the daily operations of droplet microfluidics-based single-cell assays (e.g., 10x Genomics, HyDrop); plate-based assays (e.g., Smart-Seq3xpress, BD Rhapsody), and spatial omics techniques (e.g., Visium, Resolve, VizGen, Stereo-seq, Seqscope).
  • Independently assist in performing single-cell and spatial multi-omics experiments for different labs on a daily basis.
  • Writing and keeping up-to-date documentation such as Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), ELN maintenance & update, and keeping track of experimental and time logs.
  • You will support the implementation of novel single-cell and spatial techniques and the optimization of techniques for robust service workflows.
  • You will assist the unit leader with the single cell expertise unit organization, such as lab maintenance, assurance of consumable stocks, and concomitant orderings.



  • Bachelor's or Master's Degree in bio-engineering or other life science programs including biochemistry, biology, biomedical sciences, or related fields.
  • Wetlab experience preferably in a genomics/genetics lab.
  • Strong expertise in molecular biology (PCR, qPCR, and other DNA/RNA library preparation and purification methods).
  • You are flexible and willing to learn new technologies and you are eager to expand your skills and are not easily discouraged during the process.
  • You must be meticulous, detail-oriented, independent, self-motivated, proactive, and have a sense of responsibility. You are a team player and able to interact well with other members/users of the research unit. A service-oriented mindset is an absolute requirement.
  • Effective communication skills. Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential.
  • You have basic computer skills, and you are familiar with the standard MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Not required, but useful

  • Background in single-cell sequencing techniques (RNAseq and ATACseq)
  • Experience/knowledge of next-generation sequencing (Illumina platform).
  • Experience with (droplet) microfluidics.
  • Experience with liquid automation
  • Experience with cell/tissue culture, immunohistochemistry, cryostat

We offer

  • Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research.
  • An opportunity to develop strong expertise in the field of single-cell technologies working in close collaboration with Stein Aerts lab.
  • You will be trained in a wide spectrum of state-of-the-art single-cell and spatial sequencing techniques: including 10X Genomics workflows, SMART seq 2, SMART seq 3xpress, Visium, BGI Stereomics, SlideSeq, etc, and other in-house developed techniques such as HyDrop, SeqScope, etc.
  • An exciting opportunity to work in the interface of technology and biology, apply a diverse methodological skillset, explore state-of-the-art technologies and work with a large variety of experimental systems.
  • A stimulating international research environment, working in a field with high translational potential
  • An open-ended contract
  • Competitive salary and benefits

Starting Date: the position is immediately available

How to apply?

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV, a motivation letter describing your previous research experience, and the contact information of (preferably) several references.

For more information: please contact

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.