03 February 2021

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For more information please contact Prof. dr. Thierry Voet, mail: or dr. Gregory Maes, mail: can apply for this job no later than March 01, 2021 via the online application tool

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(ref. BAP-2021-75)

Apply before 01 March 2021

A new project manager position is available in the team of Prof. Thierry Voet at the Center for Human Genetics, KU Leuven. Our multidisciplinary team develops and applies cutting-edge single-cell sequencing and in situ analytical methods to investigate the cell biology of human development, ageing and disease. In general, we aim to answer key biological questions with high impact and are pioneers in multi-omics measurements of the same cell.

We recently acquired an international multi-partner project to develop understanding of Parkinson’s Disease funded by Aligning Science Across Parkinson's (ASAP) and the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF). Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. It not only affects the function of our brain, but also of our gut, which are both complex tissues composed of functionally diverse types of cells that need to cooperate for organ function. Around 90 regions of the DNA that we inherit from our parents, show differences between people with and without PD. Furthermore, as we develop and age, new, non-inherited genomic alterations may also arise in part of our body cells. How such inherited and new DNA variants function in increasing the risk of developing PD remains however largely unknown.

To help the lead-PIs manage the project, coordinate the research operations and liaise with the ASAP/MJF foundation, we are looking for a Project Manager. The project manager’s (PM) role that is funded for each ASAP team will perform a broad array of tasks that promote collaborative research, in addition to project management and administrative tasks. The PM serves as a bridge between the team’s scientific work and its operations, and between members of other ASAP consortia ( Responsibilities of the PM in facilitating collaboration are particularly critical in the ASAP initiative, because of team structures that involve multiple institutions, the inclusion of core leaders who may have never worked together, and shared responsibilities for project goals. Because the PMs will have both a birds-eye view of all members and labs within their ASAP team, and a close-up view of day-to-day activities, they are in a position to prompt and facilitate shared behaviors in close association with the team. Our ASAP team consists of Professors Thierry Voet, Stein Aerts, Guy Boeckxstaens, Bernard Thienpont, and Christos Proukakis as part of the core leadership, working together with multiple collaborators in the UK and US.

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As a project manager, you help manage and coordinate our ambitious, trans-disciplinary research project. You will also perform Project coordination tasks.

  • The PM will serve as the key point-of-contact with the project consortium members. Ensure that researchers communicate about current work plans, problems, and resource needs (while minimizing unnecessary communications), and create groups and ad hoc discussions as necessary.
  • Organize and moderate project subgroup and annual meetings, report and follow up on action items, and ensure the team is on track with milestones. Assist with editing and posting presentations for easy and quick access by other teams and external associates.
  • Keep profiles of lab members up to date within the ASAP Virtual Hub, with an eye toward promoting interaction within and between teams.
  • Develop and maintain a network of all relevant stakeholders within the ASAP project.
  • Help identify innovative ideas and opportunities for scientific collaboration within the ASAP network.
  • Help managing single-cell and/or spatial(multi)omics experiments in collaboration with experienced colleagues, and ensuring a smooth project workflow from the reception of the tissue samples to the delivery of analyzed data.
  • Assisting the Lead PIs in the coordination, integration and support of innovative scientific and technological research programs.
  • Liaise with funder staff (ASAP and MJFF), including other facilitators, to report on progress and any barriers or resource needs.

You report directly to the lead-PI of the project and work within the Department of Human Genetics. You interact directly with the leaders of the different Work Packages, as well as with their technical and research staff. You will collaborate closely with the other research experts around single-cell technologies (e.g. engineers, lab technicians, bioinformaticians).



  • PhD-level training, with a background in life sciences (preferably bio-engineering, alternatively biomedical sciences,biology, pharmacy, medicine, veterinary science…), with experience in a lab setting and project management skills.
  • Experience with project management, reporting and scientific writing.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Ability to work in a team and in a fast-paced environment, and to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent social and diplomatic skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • Hands-on experience in a life sciences research laboratory.


  • Experience with complex multi-partner and international project management.
  • Experience with single-cell and/or spatial multi-omics research.
  • Experience with omics-based research in neuroscience(but also other fields are considered).
  • An opportunity to work in a unique professional environment at the KU Leuven Health Sciences Campus (Leuven, Belgium), where top researchers and top clinicians meet and collaborate.
  • A chance to contribute to breakthrough research projects and make an impact for people living with brain diseases.
  • A possibility to work independently within a professional research and management team.
  • A diversified job content.
  • A competitive salary with extra-legal benefits.
  • We offer a full time, extendable position, the initial project is 3 years.