2024 Center for Brain & Disease Research International PhD Call

Leuven VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

16 Dec 2023


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research



16 Jan 2024

The VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research is recruiting enthusiastic, creative, ambitious, and highly motivated PhD candidates to join us starting autumn 2024!

Our different research groups explore how the brain and nervous system develops, ages, and functions in health and disease by bridging disciplines, from artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and nanoscience, to microfluidics, single-cell and molecular analysis, functional genomics, and cell biology in human cells and animal models.

Research Themes

The Center focuses on five research themes: 

  • Neuronal and neurodegenerative disease;
  • Brain development and repair;
  • Synapses, connections & behavior;
  • Toxic protein assemblies;
  • The brain at single-cell resolution.

Doing a PhD at our Center

Embedded within both VIB and KU Leuven, we offer a unique PhD experience with access to state-of-the-art facilities, expertise, and training. PhD students will have the opportunity to work together with internationally recognized scientists and develop their research projects in an innovative research environment. We also have a PhD Association, which organizes social activities, networking, and upskilling events, and an annual PhD Symposium.


To be considered for a PhD position, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Appropriate master’s or equivalent higher education degree;
  • Distinction (=cum laude) based on your study results or professional realizations;
  • Proficiency in oral and written English in accordance with the criteria of KU Leuven (more information available here).

Relevant experience (e.g., molecular biology, cellular physiology, neuroscience, animal behavior, computational methods, etc.) is a plus. Candidates from non-neuroscience fields but with a keen interest in understanding the brain (e.g. physics, artificial intelligence, engineering, humanities, and medical training) are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Proof of master's or equivalent higher education degree and proof of English proficiency are not required at the time of the application but will be mandatory when starting the position in Autumn 2024. Therefore, candidates who are in the process of completing their studies can still apply.


Submit your application which includes a:

  • CV;
  • Motivation letter describing your research interests, career goals, your fit with the Center, and how doing a PhD with us will help you work towards your future professional ambitions;
  • Digital copies of university transcripts (Bachelor’s and Master’s);
  • Contact information of three referees.

Applicants are welcome to contact their specific labs of interest to inquire about potential project opportunities. You can find the list of research groups here: Labs | VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research  

All applications will be reviewed by Principal Investigators at our Center. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by February 15th, and interviews will take place in person at our Center in the week of 3-7 June 2024. We will offer a travel budget for the visit for both Belgian-based and international applicants.

Application deadline: January 15, 2024

For application inquiries, please contact hr.cbd@kuleuven.be or visit our dedicated PhD Call webpage http://www.vib.be/cbdphdcall for more information.

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.