Post-doctoral and career opportunities

Postdoctoral and groupleader positions are available for highly motivated individuals with strong interest in integrated approaches to solve the structure and study the function of the most challenging targets including membrane proteins. Candidates should have a strong background in structural biology. Experience with (membrane) protein structure determination is desirable but not necessary. Current grant opportunities include the Odysseus starting grants and the Pegasus Marie Curie Fellowships:

Odysseus call 2011-2012

The Odysseus programme offers start-up funding to a number of outstanding researchers who have built up a career outside Flanders, in order to develop a research group within a Flemish university, or to set up a research line and become progressively more involved in the Flemish research establishment. The subsidy is used for two types of start-up financing:

  • Odysseus Group I – International leading research. Researchers who are internationally acclaimed as pioneers in their field and who already have a position at a foreign university. It is expected that these researchers already lead their own research group within the institute to which they are affiliated, and this research group will consist of permanent staff, several post-docs and a number of PhD students. The support for this set-up ranges from 400.000 to 1.500.000 EUR per year (for a 5- year period).
  • Odysseus Group II – Researchers with the potential to develop a leading international status. Researchers who have at least 3 years’ post-doctoral experience abroad and whose work has convinced leading colleagues in the field that they have potential to develop a leading international position. These researchers are expected to be leading a small team within a research group, consisting of one or more PhD students and possibly one or more post-docs. They have some experience applying for external research funding. Within a few years they will be able to mature to the level required for a position in the autonomous academic staff. The support for this set-up ranges from 100.000 to 200.000 EUR per year (for a 5-year period).

Candidates must:

  • have a key position in a foreign institution no later than one year before the submission date of the application,
  • have been affiliated to a foreign institution for at least three years in the last five years,
  • comply with the criteria of excellence, as demonstrated in the CV and bibliography,
  • submit a research plan, containing a budget with an indicative distribution of the planned expenditure over a 5-year period.


These start-up grants are sponsored by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Application deadlines:

  • Call open: 15 December 2011
  • Deadline for submission at VUB: 6 February 2012
  • FWO closing date for submission: 1 April 2012
  • Jury meeting: October 2012
  • Decision by Board of Trustees FWO: November 2012 


If you think you qualify for this type of start-up financing and you are interested to apply, please send your motivation and CV to Jan Steyaert.


Pegasus Marie Curie Fellowships

The goals of PEGASUS are:

  • to attract excellent postdoctoral researchers to Flanders in order to contribute to the advancement of Flemish science
  • to provide the selected fellows with optimal conditions to further develop their research career in Flanders or abroad.

Within PEGASUS two options are possible:

  • Pegasus-long: postdoctoral fellowships of 3 years at a Flemish university. These fellowships are renewable once in open competition with the regular FWO postdoctoral fellows. 30 Pegasus-long fellowships are available, to be granted in a single call.
  • Pegasus-short: Postdoctoral fellowships of 1 year at a Flemish university. These fellowships are not renewable, but candidates can apply afterwards in the open competition for a regular postdoctoral fellowship of three years. This short fellowship is available under the form of an employment contract (standard option) or a stipend (at request).

Who can apply? On the start date of the fellowship, the candidate must have obtained a PhD. The PhD must have been obtained by June 1 prior to the start of the fellowship (for those fellowships starting on October 1), or by November 1 prior to the start of the fellowship (for the short fellowships starting on January 1 of the next year). This means that candidates may apply prior to the actual defence of the PhD thesis. Research will be carried out under the guidance and supervision of a Flemish University. The candidate must have research experience at an outstanding level, demonstrated with an extensive CV and list of publications. Mastery of academic English at an advanced level is required.

These grants are sponsored by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). There are 6 calls in total, distributed over 3 years:

Call deadline


Available fellowships


Long + short

30 long + 10 short



10 short



10 short



10 short



10 short



9 short


If you think you qualify for such a post-doc position at the Steyaert Lab and you are interested to apply, please send your motivation and CV to Jan Steyaert.