At the VUB, we want to focus on research that is both excellent and has a broad societal relevance. There are many societal challenges faced by Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world. Universities can play a significant role in searching for solutions, helping make policy decisions,…

Much of this research requires an interdisciplinary approach. The great challenge here is not only bringing experts from different disciplines together, but also understanding one another’s language. Our presence in Brussels city gives us a unique opportunity to use Brussels as a living lab for challenges that have an urban context. Furthermore, much research requires a technological approach. We will therefore attempt to make an inventory of existing infrastructure, and where possible group this infrastructure into core facilities available to a large group of researchers. In this way, we will optimise the use of this infrastructure.




Prof. dr. Karin Vanderkerken

Vicerector Research




The research policy at VUB is the responsibility of vicerector Prof. dr. Karin Vanderkerken and the department of Research & Data Management.

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"Approaching the VUB as a collective project where people are important, where investments are made in quality." Prof.dr. Karin Vanderkerken, Vicerector Research


The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a university that aims to make an active contribution to a better society through research freedom, critical thinking, and an international orientation. In terms of research, the VUB aims to deliver high quality research that is both locally grounded and has strong international recognition.

Vision & Strategy

In the coming years, the VUB aims to work on building an optimal and future-proof research environment within a broader open research data and open science policy, with attention to pioneering research, core facilities, and research management support. The goals of this research policy are focused on guaranteeing a healthy research culture and a human resources policy that recognises the value of personnel.

The four key goals of our research policy:

  • An optimal research environment
  • An international and interdisciplinary research culture
  • Participative and community-based research
  • An inclusive, open & networking researchers' community


Download our policy statement here (Dutch only - English version coming soon)




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The research policy at VUB is the responsibility of vicerector Prof. dr. Karin Vanderkerken and the department of Research & Data Management.

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Quality and quality assurance are key concepts for scientific research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Take a look at our researchers' scientific high impact publications and peak performances.


Current Strategic Research Programs

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Strategic Research Program: growth finance

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Current Interdisciplinary Research Programs

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VUB Multidisciplinary Program on Food and Biomass Systems

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Current European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants:

  • Rouslan Efremov, Methodological developments for time-resolved single particle cryo-EMs (Ti-EM) (Granted via VIB)
  • Han Remaut, Bacterial Amyloid Secretion: Structural Biology and Biotechnology (BAS-SBBT) (Granted via VIB)

Current European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants:

  • Mireille Hildebrandt, Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law (CoHuBiCoL)
  • Gert Desmet, Arranging the Particles: Step Changing Chemical Measurement Technology (PRINTPACK)

Current European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants:

  • Krijn De Vries, Radio detection of the PeV - EeV cosmic-neutrino flux (RadNu)
  • Luc Baeyens, Neogenesis of new functional Beta Cells through Modulation of Neurogenin-3 Expression to provide Regenerative Therapy for Diabetes Patients (Neobetacell)
  • Wim De Malsche, Exploiting vortices to suppress dispersion and reach new separation power boudaries (EVODIS)
  • Stijn Buitink, Searching for the Origin of Cosmic Rays and Neutrinos with LOFAR (LOFAR)

Current Methusalem fellows:

Current Odysseus fellows - type I:

  • Ilse Rooman, De-convolution of tumour biology in the post-genomic era: focus on pancreatic cancer

Current Odysseus fellows - type II:

  • Luc Baeyens, Regenerative Therapy for Diabetes through Cytokine Treatment and Modulation of Gmnn/Neurog3 signalling
  • Carole Bernard, Quantitative Risk Management under Scenario Constraints: Risk aggregation, Dependence, and Systemic risk

Current Senior Research Fellowships:

  • Jeroen Van Schependom, Restoring normal brain functioning in neurodegenerative diseases: towards a neurocomputationally informed neurostimulation approach
  • Elke De Bruyne, Specific targeting of epiplayers driving drug resistance in cancer: paving the way to personalized treatment?
  • Steven Goderis, Planetary archives to study Earth’s origin and continuous evolution
  • Peter Schelkens, Advanced Algorithms for Interference based Imaging and Visualization Systems
  • Bram Vanderborght, Novel actuation principles for improved human-robot interaction in health and manufacturing
  • Nathalie Vermeulen, Nonlinear optics in 2D-material-covered photonic chips at ultra-short timescales and wavelengths
  • Steven Lowette, Hidden Valleys in the Landscape of New Physics at the LHC
  • Bart de Boer, Advanced computer modelling for studying evolution of speech
  • Peter Tompa, Exploring the mechanism of action of intrinsically disordered chaperones
  • Mathieu Vinken, Connexins and pannexins as drug targets and biomarkers of liver disease
  • Eline Menu, Overcoming micro-environment induced drug resistance in MM by targeting exosomes and NKT cells
  • Mireille Hildebrandt, Interfacing Law and Technology Under the Rule of Law
  • Nick van Eijndhoven, Astroparticle Physics with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and beyond
  • Sebastiaan Eeltink, Highly-ordered three-dimensional nanostructures to support post-genomic biotechnology in health and nutrition
  • Franky Bossuyt, The evolution of courtship behavior in salamandrid newts: from ecology to molecules
  • Han Remaut, Structural biology of bacterial cell surfaces
  • Kim Roelants, Tracing the evolution of antimicrobial activity in amphibian peptide families using ancient peptide resurrection
  • Dimitrios Angelis, Development of innovative methodology for advanced characterization of damage status of structures based on acoustic methods
  • Ivan Markovsky, Structured low-rank approximation: theory, algorithms, and applications
  • Karen Celis, Substantive Representation of Social Groups: Normative Theory, Empirical Research and Methods
  • Steffen Ducheyne, Revisiting Eighteenth-Century Scientific Methodology: Historical cum Systematic Study of Scientific Methodology after Newton
  • Freya Blekman, Search for new physics in events with leptons, jets and missing transverse energy at the Large Hadron Collider
  • Marinee Chuah, Development of novel gene and cell therapy approaches based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) and adult stem cells
  • Erik Franckx, The transformation of actors in the international law of the sea
  • Patrick Vanderheyden, Experimental models to study angiotensin receptors in the renin-angiotensin system
  • Remy Loris, Structural biology and biophysics of persistence: Bacterial TA modules

(last update 05.11.2019)


Recent publications in NATURE

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Recent publications in SCIENCE

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Selections for this page are based on quality recognised via peer review. Used sources are the Web of Science publication- en citation databases of Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters) and the VUB research projects database (PURE). 

More information - nadine.rons@vub.ac.be