The Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (RBINS) is looking for a researcher with a master's degree for a fixed-term contract.


The successful candidate will work in the framework of the FWO-V research project "Identifying reservoir species for insect-borne viruses through large-scale analysis of serostatus in African wildlife".

Arboviruses are transmitted to vertebrate hosts by blood-sucking insects. This project will test whether animal species with large numbers of offspring and in close proximity to humans play a significant role as hosts. To test this hypothesis, seroprevalence studies will be conducted in the laboratories of our partners on more than 30,000 samples of African rodents, bats, birds and primates. The animal species for which the positive findings are made will be identified in the KBIN by molecular method. Therefore, we are looking for a scientific collaborator to identify the host species via DNA barcoding and to phylogenetically frame the host species with additional nuclear genes. This project is carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITG) and the Institut de Recherche pour le dévelopement (IRD Montpellier).


  • Molecular identification of mammals (DNA extractions, PCR, DNA sequencing, ...)
  • Management of tissue collections used
  • Contribute to the interim and final reporting of the project
  • Contribute to the publication of the results obtained
  • Supervising the laboratory work of (foreign) student


  • Diploma : Master of science, biology, genomics, biotechnology, ...
  • Experience : maximum 5 years after graduation

Technical competence

  • Experience working in a molecular genetics laboratory
  • Experience with processing and reporting DNA data in GenBank
  • Knowledge of languages: Dutch and/or French, English

Generic competence

  • Independence, initiative
  • Collaboration, good interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to travel at home and abroad (e.g. foreign laboratories)

We offer

  • Full-time position of fixed duration (18 months from 01/11/2022)
  • Remuneration according to the legal pay scales for an Assistant (depending on seniority)
  • The possibility of developing a doctoral project as part of this project, or through a separate grant.
  • Free public transport between home and the Institute

How to apply

Please send your motivation and CV including the contact details of two referees by 26 September 2022 to


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences recruits a doctor in science or engineering

in the field of Marine Biogeochemistry and Sediment Dynamics for the Belspo Project 2022-2025 (3 years) RV/21/PiNS Particles in the North Sea


Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) dynamics are primarily controlled by tidal and meteorological forcing, by biological activity, and are dependent of the particles’ physical and chemical properties. Measurements of SPM, particulate organic carbon (POC), nitrogen (PON) and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) concentrations can be used  for the calibration of a mathematical model that yields valuable complementary information, such as the fresh and mineral-associated fractions of the particulate organic matter (POM). Once calibrated, the mathematical model can be applied to upgrade SPM concentration measurements derived from optical or acoustic sensors or from remote sensing, thereby obtaining secondary data products that cover scales beyond those of discrete in-situ measurements. The aim of the proposal is to change the scope of in-situ observations from merely a collection of local data towards the improvement and confirmation of dynamical models that describe fundamental aspects of SPM composition and its fluxes in the whole North Sea and the English Channel. 


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, is one of the ten federal scientific institutions in Belgium that are governed by Belspo. The institute aims to provide the scientific world, public authorities and civil society with good and relevant science, appropriate advice, opening up avenues of discovery in nature, its long history and its sustainable management. The scientific personnel includes biologists, oceanographers, geologists, engineers, geographers, physicists, bioengineers and mathematicians, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. The RBINS has three scientific operational directorates. The OD Operational Natural Environment envisages being a centre of excellence in fundamental and applied research of biodiversity and ecosystems in support of the protection and sustainable management of the natural environment. Around 100 collaborators are spread over 2 locations in Brussels and Ostend. They have a large and diverse expertise and a strong reputation in their fields that include oceanography, modelling, ecology, sedimentology, nature conservation and protection, biodiversity, chemistry, molecular biology, databases and image processing.


You will be responsible for:

  • the execution of four measuring campaigns in the North Sea and the English Channel on board of the RV Belgica, each about 14 days;

  • the analysis of the obtained data using statistical modelling approaches;

  • the publication of the results in scientific reports and in peer-reviewed papers.

These tasks will be executed in close collaboration with collegues from the RBINS (BE), GEOMAR (GE), IFREMER (FR) and HEREON (GE).


  • PhD in Science or Engineering in domains that matches the vacancy.

Technical competence

  • You have demonstrated scientific output in one of the following domains: biogeochemistry, sediment dynamics, ecology  and/or physical oceanography),

  • You have participated in marine expeditions on research vessels as participant or chief scientist,

  • You have experience with marine data analysis and statistical modelling,

  • You are networked in biogeochemical and/or SPM research communities,

  • You have excellent communicational skills,

  • You have done research in an international framework or you have international work experience.

We offer

The position consists of a commitment for a period of 3 years as Werkleider/Chef de travaux (scientific staff, grade SW2) at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (rue Vautier, 1000 Brussels, Belgium). Gross monthly salary (full time) ranging from € 4,534.66 to € 6,877.39 (with full reimbursement for commuting by public transport, or a bicycle allowance). The start of the contract is scheduled for November 1st, 2022. 

How to apply

Candidates must submit their application file no later than 30 September 2022 by email to Dr. Michael Fettweis ( and Dr. Xavier Desmit (


The scientific program officer will work half-time within the ECOMOD team on the CLIMDIS project in the framework of marine modelling in cooperation with a Vietnamese institute, and half-time in the context of  capacity building in Africa within the CEBioS Program.


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) ( is one of the ten federal scientific institutes. It executes multidisciplinary scientific research, offers services of public interest and is open for the public through its museum.

The candidate will be working within the ECOMOD team (ecosystem modelling), and within the CEBioS team (Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, ). All teams are part of the Operational Directorate ‘Natural Environment’ within RBINS.


The candidate will perform the following tasks:

Halftime-1 within ECOMOD

  • CLIMDIS (Climate and Disaster Resilience) project financed by BELSPO: validate a coupled biological-hydrodynamical model (based on COHERENS) implemented in the coastal waters of Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) and make this model operational for water quality management, in close collaboration with and according to the needs of our Vietnamese  partners.

Halftime-2, within CEBioS

  • Manage the capacity building project with IRHOB (Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin), Benin on: ‘The effect of hydrodynamics on dispersal of shrimp larvae and its consequences for fisheries in lake Nokoué, Benin’ in cooperation with the Beninese partners. This implies providing training about COHERENS in Benin and coaching of Beninese grantees in Belgium. It also implies being responsible for the logistics of the mutual visits, together with the CEBioS secretariat.
  • Integrate into the Monitoring-Reporting-Verification (MRV) team of CEBioS by  pro-actively contributing to the incorporation of land use / land cover (including lakes) principles into projects, participating in  workshops and provide training in mainly francophone and (less) English speaking Africa.
  • Be of general and mutual support to other program officers of the CEBioS team in terms of administration, logistics (e.g. symposia, events), juries, communication etc.


Interested candidates own at least a Master degree in natural sciences, with at least 5 years of professional experience since the Master diploma.

Technical competence

  • Good analytical and writing skills, both scientific writing and vulgarization
  • Good programming skills (ex. Python, R)
  • At least some knowledge and interest into ecological or hydrodynamic modelling and willingness to learn and implement in a short time
  • Good knowledge of scientific methodology
  • Basic knowledge of the biodiversity governance and development cooperation
  • Experience with project budgets, planning, reporting and administration

Generic competence

  • Mature and confident enough to proactively search for new project opportunities with partners and implement them in an independent way
  • Team spirit
  • Excellent communication skills, as this is an interdisciplinary programme. The candidate should be able to bring together people from different disciplines and with different backgrounds, promote their enthusiasm for learning complex matters
  • Excellent knowledge (writing, oral) of French (is an obligation) and good knowledge of English
  • Willingness to travel autonomously to our partner countries
  • The candidate should have a strong interest in transferring his/her knowledge and possess the skills to facilitate this transfer to professionals in our partner  countries in order to strengthen their capacities. This demands not only pedagogic skills, but also sociability, flexibility, empathy, patience, adaptability, openness and willingness to work in a multi-cultural context and challenging conditions.
  • A positive and flexible  'can-do' attitude;
  • Excellent organizational and diplomatic skills;
  • Structured and result-oriented;
  • Respecting deadlines and ready to work under pressure.


  • Understanding  geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques
  • Knowledge of project management (Theory of Change, logframe or other)
  • Experience with capacity building or teaching
  • Having worked in Africa or Asia
  • Experience with development cooperation
  • Experience with numerical modelling
  • Experience with High Performance Computing
  • Experience with management of big files
  • Basic knowledge of Dutch

We offer

  • A fixed term full-time contract of 1 year, preferably from 1/12/2022 or 01/01/2023, The contract could be extended providing funding opportunities and a good evaluation.
  • Remuneration according to the scale for a grade SW1 scientific staff at the federal government.
  • The work place is the Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences, 29 Rue Vautier, 1000 Brussels, within the Operational Directorate ‘Natural Environment’.
  • Free public transport or a bike allowance between home/work
  • Telework with minimal 2 days a week at the institute

How to apply

The candidates should send their motivation letter and CV at the latest 30/09/2022, by e-mail to and (reference: Application “SCI-OFF”).

Interviews will take place in October 2022.

For more information on this job offer you can contact Ms. Geneviève Lacroix (ECOMOD) or Mr. Luc Janssens de Bisthoven (CEBioS).

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