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.

Human Resources Strategy for Researchers quality label

In 2011 VUB was awarded with the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers quality label (HRS4R). With this "HR Excellence in Research award” the European commission gives public recognition to research institutions that have made progress in aligning their human resource policies with the principles set out in the "Charter & Code", based on a customized action plan and HR strategy for researchers.




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)

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: (last update January 14, 2021)

  • Christophe Snoeck, LUMIERE (Landscape Use and Mobility In EuRopE – Bridging the gap between cremation and inhumation)
  • Kevin Smets, REEL BORDERS (Fiction Film and Borderlands)
  • Martin Virte, COLOR’UP (All-optical sub-THz signal filtering with multiCOLOR lasers)
  • Liliana Lizarazo, CURIAE VIRIDES (How the third wave of global judicial (and social) activism is filling ecological governance gaps and challenging the liability-remedy paradigm)
  • Krijn De Vries, Radio detection of the PeV - EeV cosmic-neutrino flux (RadNu)
  • Wim De Malsche, Exploiting vortices to suppress dispersion and reach new separation power boudaries (EVODIS)

Current Methusalem fellows: (last update January 5, 2021)

  • Gert Desmet, BruChrom: Breaking Boundaries in Chromatography
  • Mathieu Vinken, Cellular communication as target and biomarker in liver disease and toxicity: from basic research towards clinical application
  • Herman Terryn, Design and Prediction of Nanostructured Metal Surfaces -NANOMET-
  • Karen Sermon, Centre for Reproduction and Genetics
  • Hugo Thienpont, International Photonics Access and Research Centre 'iPARC@VUB'

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:

  • Carole Bernard, Quantitative Risk Management under Scenario Constraints: Risk aggregation, Dependence, and Systemic risk


Recent publications in NATURE

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Recent publications in SCIENCE

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- Web of Science publication- en citation databases of Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters)

- VUB Current Research Information System (PURE)