Postdoctoral research scientist (M/F) Department LIFE, Research Unit VIPER

Job description and associated tasks

The Royal Military Academy of Belgium (RMA) is a military institution responsible for the basic academic, military and physical training of future officers and for the continuing advanced training of officers during their active career in the Belgian Defense department. It is fully recognized as a university, fulfilling the same criteria as civilian universities. The Royal Military Academy is also conducting scientific research at university level for projects funded by the Belgian Defense department or external sources.
In the framework of a research project financed by the Belgian Defence, we are looking for a postdoctoral research scientist with a PhD in either Medical Sciences, Movement Sciences or Psychology. The candidate should hold a master's degree in the related fields.
The research aims at studying the relationship between sleep and performance in operational populations, with a specific focus on an individual differences approach. Performance will be considered as a holistic concept, encompassing both physical performance in tactical athletes and mental performance in elite populations. The research consists in a conceptual part, to model fatigue in operational environments, and practical data collection and analysis. The research is conducted in collaboration with research teams from other countries in a NATO framework. This position may thus require short stays abroad.
The exact starting date is to be confirmed (probably January 2021): the current announcement aims at establishing a recruitment reserve.
The researcher will be integrated in the « VIPER » research unit led by Prof. Dr Nathalie Pattyn and Prof Dr Ir Xavier Neyt. This research unit is part of the centre for LIFE sciences, which encompasses all biomedical research within Defense.

Main tasks

  • Conceptualizing new approaches to sleep and individual differences
  • Data collection, both in laboratory settings as in the field (might require short stays abroad)
  • Data analysis
  • Reporting and scientific publication

More information about the project: Prof Nathalie Pattyn and Prof. Xavier Neyt.

Required skills

Technical skills
  • The applicant shall have a Master's degree in Movement Sciences, Psychology, Medicine, Engineering or Biomedical sciences.
  • The applicant shall have a PhD in Movement Sciences, Psychology or Biomedical Sciences.
  • Strong knowledge of basic sleep physiology is required.
  • Training and experience in multidisciplinary in vivo psychophysiological investigations in human participants is required.
  • Excellent computer literacy is a must.
  • Technical knowledge of performance assessment methodologies (e.g. psychometrics, cognitive testing, exercise testing…) is an asset.
Specific requirements The researcher might be exposed to classified information and will therefore have to obtain the required security clearance. The candidate must consent with the background check required to obtain this clearance, which will be executed by the Belgian Defence. Only applicants from within the EU will be considered.
Personal skills
  • Ability to conduct scientific research at postdoctoral level
  • Ability to work independently and in a multidisciplinary, multilingual research team
  • Excellent written communication skills in English, both for scientific communications and for general public communications.
  • Good oral communication skills for scientific communications
Experience & other skills
  • The applicant shall have an excellent command of the English language (to read and write scientific publications), demonstrated by a high-level academic publications track record.
  • Oral communication skills in French or Dutch are an added asset.



Point of contacts Concerning the research project: Prof. N. Pattyn
Concerning the recruitment modalities: Mr Thierry Deprez
Others Contract
  • Probable date of recruitment: on hold, but probably January 2021.
  • Status: Open-ended contract with the Patrimony of the Royal Military Academy (you will not be a civil servant).
  • Wage scale: A11 (holders of a Master’s degree in Science) or A21 (Ir or holders of a Master’s degree in Engineering)

Extra-legal benefits

  • Possibility to obtain a bonus for bilingualism (Dutch/French);
  • Holiday allocation;
  • End-of-year bonus;
  • Hospitalization insurance;
  • Free public transport (home-work commute);
  • Free access to the on-campus sport infrastructure;
  • On-campus restaurant and cafeteria with discount on the daily menu;
  • Stimulating work environment.


  • Royal Military Academy - Avenue de la Renaissance 30, 1000 Bruxelles;
  • Occasional travels abroad, measurement campaigns off campus, meetings at partner’s premises.





  • Applicants shall send:
    • a motivation letter
    • a complete CV
    • a copy of their ID card (front and back)
    • the request for background check 

to Prof. Nathalie Pattyn and Prof. Xavier Neyt and to Mr Thierry Deprez.

  • You will be working in a military environment. That is why everyone is expected to undergo a safety verification. Please add to your application the filled out document.
  • Please mention clearly the reference of the project: HFM/17-05
  • Application deadline: November 1st 2020.
  • A first pre-selection will be conducted based on the received documents. Preselected applicants meeting the requirements will be invited to a face-to-face interview (+/-30 min) at the Royal Military Academy, rue Hobbema 8, 1000 Brussels.