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Ghent University
Professor in Computational Biopharmaceutical Design (11924) - Interdisciplinary Consortium
Ghent University
After decades of uninterrupted growth, Ghent University is one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in the Low Countries with 36,000 students and more than 8,000 staff members.
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JOB DETAILS
Published: 30 days ago
Application deadline: Apr 01
Location: Gent, Belgium
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Professor in Computational Biopharmaceutical Design (11924) - Interdisciplinary Consortium

    →   Apply until 01/04/2019 23:59 CET
    →   Discipline: Computational Biopharmaceutical Design
    →   100% Associate professor / Full professor / Senior full professor
    →   Reference number: 201811/WE/ZAP-21/60-03

ABOUT GHENT UNIVERSITY

Ghent University is one of the most important education and research institutions in the Low Countries. On a daily basis, over 9,000 staff members and 41,000 students implement its motto "Dare to Think". Ghent University's mission statement is characterised by qualitative education, internationally renowned research and a pluralistic social responsibility.

As part of its further scientific development, Ghent University plans to recruit:

  • 3 full-time posts as associate professor, full professor or senior full professor
  • Research domains: Biopharmaceuticals in the lung/gut; Biopharmaceutical Production Technology; Computational Biopharmaceutical Design.
  • In the Faculty of Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Faculty of Engineering and Architecture.

These positions are part of the university's strategic plan to group and strengthen its biopharmaceutical research into an R&D hub as a European integrated center of excellence for biopharmaceutical R&D and training. It is the intention that the new research professors will intensely interact with UGent’s strong molecular life sciences and pharmaceuticals research community on the design and production of protein-based drugs.

Ghent University has a long and successful history in molecular biotechnology that underpins the biopharmaceutical sector. The University has built substantial research capacity in biopharmaceutical basic research, which has enabled the design of improved cellular systems for producing biopharmaceutical proteins as well as new protein biopharmaceutical formats. Regularly, new molecular biotechnological drug technology arises from this research, as well as new drug candidates.

Ghent University wants to further strengthen its biopharmaceutical discovery/development capabilities. Looking forward, we furthermore have the ambition to be able to develop such novel technologies and drug candidates to the standards that can then be smoothly transferred to industry for advanced preclinical and clinical studies.

We are therefore looking for 3 new professors to

  1. Focus on discovery and development of protein biopharmaceuticals that act on targets in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts (two key organ systems for UGent basic disease research)
  2. Focus on implementation and innovation of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
  3. Focus on computationally guided protein biopharmaceutical modelling and design.

The new professors will be embedded in the existing facilities and research organizations within Ghent University, including the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology (http://mbc.vib-ugent.be/), the Center for Molecular Modelling (https://molmod.ugent.be/) and the Department of Pharmaceutics (https://www.ugent.be/fw/pharmaceutics/en).

Apart from a dynamic multi-disciplinary biopharmaceutical and disease research environment, Ghent hosts the most vibrant cluster of biopharmaceutical biotechnology companies in the wide region (Sanofi-Ablynx, ArGenX, Complix, Oxyrane, Orionis Biosciences, MyCartis, Inbiose, Amatsi-Q-Biologicals etc.). Moreover, several very large biopharmaceutical corporations have key global R&D and manufacturing sites in our region (UCB, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme-Sanofi, Glaxo Smithkline Biologicals etc.). This environment provides for unique opportunities also for the new professors to collaborate and to make their discoveries and inventions have a real impact. It also provides for excellent professional opportunities for the graduates from the UGent biopharmaceutical R&D programmes.

ASSIGNMENT
 

This position is part of a unique strategic investment by Ghent University: 21 new professorships are embedded in interdisciplinary consortia, designed to generate a significant societal impact with their research. For more information, see: www.ugent.be/21zap

Academic education

These cross-faculty professorships will involve teaching responsibilities to support UGent’s programmes in life sciences, pharmaceutical sciences and/or engineering. We will expect you to show leadership in designing new advanced educational programs in biopharmaceutical science. The teaching and lecturing will be evaluated on actuality, connection with the educational program and interaction with the students.

Academic research

You engage in research at an internationally competitive level. You seek funding to realize projects and to hire PhD students, and you act as their supervisor.

Academic service

You take part in the internal and external service provision of the academic centers to which you will be affiliated. In particular, scientific-technological service and consulting to the local and international biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry is intended.

During your career you are willing to engage in your share of administrative duties or leadership positions.


PROFILE

Experience

  • You have already conducted eminent academic research in the given discipline, which is clearly reflected in publications in high-quality academic journals and peer-reviewed books; a well-documented portfolio of achievements in the biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industry will be evaluated on an equivalent basis as academic output, as we wish to encourage applicants who are presently in a senior research position in industry.
  • You are expected to set up research that is focused on the development and use of computational modelling methods for improvements in the design of therapeutic proteins. The computational research skills of the new research professor should encompass several of the following topics:
    • computational design of proteins, ideally therapeutic proteins;
    • understanding of the interactions between biological macromolecules;
    • understanding of the dynamics and interaction phenomena of proteins with their environment;
    • understanding of the phenomena of protein complex formation, protein aggregation and misfolding and protein-ligand docking;
    • quantitative structure-activity relationships of proteinsiteitsrelaties (QSAR);
    • understanding of the biophysics of the interface between (nano-)materials, proteins, cells and tissues;
    • free-energy methods for complex systems.
  • You have experience in leading scientific research and/or coaching PhD students and in collecting the necessary funds for this purpose;
  • You are didactically skilled to teach university students to develop academic competences;
  • You are preferably in a (junior) professorship or industrial/academic group leader position at the time of applying.
  • Recommended are:
    • International mobility, among other things thanks to research stays at institutions external to the one where you acquired your highest academic degree;
    • Positively evaluated experience in provided or organised academic lecturing;
    • Professionalisation of education;
    • A good professional network in both academia and biotechnological/biopharmaceutical industry.

Skills / Attitude

  • You are quality-oriented;
  • You take initiative;
  • You have strong interpersonal skills, making you a team player and an effective communicator wilt colleagues, employees, students and other stakeholders.

Admission requirements

  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate or a diploma or certificate that is recognised as equivalent (article V.20 Codex Higher Education).

Upon evaluation of a foreign (non-EU) diploma, a certificate of equivalence may still have to be requested at NARIC. If this is the case, we advise you to initiate this recognition procedure as soon as possible. You are required to have the recognition no later than on the date of your appointment.

  • You have at least two years of postdoctoral experience on October 1st, 2019. This term of two years is determined by the date written on the above-mentioned required diploma.

OUR OFFER

APPOINTMENT INFORMATION

Depending on the specific profile of the selected candidate, the degree of associate professor, full professor or senior full professor is awarded. This will be decided by the University Board as proposed by the Faculty Board.

We offer you a permanent appointment in the starting grade of associate or full professor, without prejudice to the possibility of a temporary appointment offered in article V.28 of the Codex of Higher Education.

The recruitment is possible no sooner than October 1st, 2019.

Startup funding

Apart from the embedding in and use of the existing excellent research facilities of the UGent Centers that are involved in this recruitment, Ghent University reserves a budget of € 200.000 in its Special Research Fund for each of the newly appointed professors under the strategic “21ZAP” scheme, equaling the value of 1 PhD student for 4 years. This research budget is allocated out of competition but is subject to approval of the applicant’s research proposal by Ghent University’s Research Council. More information about the research funding system in Flanders, Belgium can be obtained from Prof. Nico Callewaert (see contact details below). Applications at all funding organisations in our region can be (and typically are) submitted and evaluated in English. Most research groups achieve a size of 10-20 people within about 5 years after startup.

Ghent University is committed to properly welcoming new professorial staff members and offering them appropriate guidance. The basic teacher training and courses of 'Dutch' and 'English' for foreign-speaking lecturers are only a few examples of our wide range of training and education opportunities. Furthermore, each Ghent University staff member can count on a number of benefits such as a bike allowance, reimbursement of public transport commuting costs, daycare, a wide range of sports facilities and EcoCheques. A complete overview of all our employee benefits (in Dutch).

Ghent University also invests in welcoming international professorial staff. It offers various housing options, a relocation bonus, the International School for school-aged children (with a discount on the tuition fee), support when registering at the City of Ghent, support with the procedure of family reunification and other administrative matters in connection with moving to Ghent. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/en/living and  www.ugent.be/en/staff.

GENDER AND DIVERSITY

Ghent University conducts an equal opportunities policy and encourages everyone to apply. Ghent University also strives for a gender balance. Applications from women are thus especially welcomed.

SELECTION PROCEDURE

After the final application date, all received applications will be sent to the assessment committee assembled for this vacancy. This committee will first evaluate the application files. Therefore it will match all elements of the file against the required expertise for the position in terms of education, research and scientific service. Based on this deliberation, relevant candidates will be shortlisted to be invited for further selection (interview, possible presentation or test lecture …). Afterwards, the committee will rank the suitable candidates and present this ranking to the Faculty Board. The advice of the Faculty Board will then be presented to the University Board for approval.

Please list your 5 key achievements (research papers, patents, technology transfer accomplishments, industrial research & development achievements,…) in the research field of this vacancy, on 1 page, together with a short motivation as to why you wish to emphasize these contributions.. Next to academic publications, the candidate is also able to show merit of knowledge transfer by academic dissemination, social valorisation, public awareness, seminars or conference presentations. These competences are also taken into account when evaluating the candidates.

Candidates are also asked to provide an executive summary of their ongoing and future planned research (max. 2 pages). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to prepare a research proposal. This proposal can be taken into account by the selection committee in order to assess the candidate’s potential contribution to the consortium.

The evaluation of the required international mobility is broad and partly takes the gender perspective into account, thus not only considering longer stays abroad by also other forms of internationalisation.

Pregnancy leave, prolonged sick leave, parental leave, filial leave or other forms of absence are taken into account when evaluating the available time for the realisation of academic output.

HOW TO APPLY

Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not sent through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘Cv’: the professorial staff application form (+ all annexes mentioned in the form) + 5 key achievements (1 page) + executive summary of the current research and the research vision for the next few years (max. 2 pages), merged into one pdf file.
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of your doctoral degree. If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field ‘Certificate of equivalence’: only for diplomas awarded outside the European Union: certificate of equivalence (NARIC) (if already in you possession)

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

MORE INFORMATION

The strategic goals of this vacancy.

For further information regarding this vacancy, please contact Professor Nico Callewaert (nico.callewaert@vib-ugent.be , +32 (0)9 331 36 30) at the Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiologie (WE10) and Center for Medical Biotechnology (VIB), Biochemie en Microbiologie (WE10) en het Center for Medical Biotechnology (VIB), or with Professor Veronique Van Speybroeck (veronique.vanspeybroeck@ugent.be) at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences and Architecture, Center for Molecular Modelling.

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