Hiring foreign directors and PIs: on track, but challenging

29 September 2017

Although numbers clearly indicate that the internationalization level of our postdoc population is stabilizing around 60%, and about 45% of our PhD students are from foreign descent, the share of directors, team leaders and experts from other countries is ‘only’ 38%. However, we’ve come a long way: when VIB first saw the light of day, barely 6% of this group were non-Belgians.


For all director and PI positions, we keep doing our very best to attract foreign talent. Through international job postings, for instance, but primarily through networking and active scouting of potential candidates. In the (recent) past, we’ve sent proposals to multiple foreign directors and team leaders. In many cases, however, these efforts unfortunately did not result into the candidate coming on board. This is especially the case with directors. Most often, our offer interferes with their family situation: their children don’t want to move and/or their partner is not prepared to give up their career for the uncertainty that comes with having to find a new job in Belgium. Sometimes, but certainly not in every case, the salary package turns out to be the second reason.

Go back to the overview 'Stronger through diversity'


Marijke Lein, HR Director VIB