Junior Research Fellow in Geospatial Data, Digital Government and Digital Skills

Catholic University of Leuven Research and Development


The Spatial Applications Division Leuven (SADL) is an R&D-Division of KU Leuven. SADL was created with the aim to bundle the applied research, the professional training and the scientific consultancy of KU Leuven, in the Geographic Information Systems (GI/GIS), the Earth Observation (EO) and the Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) fields. SADL aims to transfer academic knowledge to society in the geospatial field. SADL conducts applied research, offers consultancy and provides training in geomatics at large, and GIS, SDI, EO and geo-ICT in particular. Various application and policy domains are covered, among which: agriculture and environment; forest, nature and landscape management; mobility and transport; space; urban and regional planning (smart cities) and tourism. SADL has been providing scientific support and consultancy services in the domain of geospatial information to public administrations at different levels, including various of the European Commission’s Directorates-General (DG) and services, national and regional government departments and agencies in different countries, and local governments. The Division has 10 staff members. For more information on the activities of SADL, see: http://sadl.kuleuven.be/algemeen.aspx



The researcher will be involved in a series of  - applied research, consultancy and capacity building - projects dealing with various aspects and components of geospatial data and data infrastructures and the future evolution of these data infrastructures. The functioning and sustainability of these infrastructures also depends on non-technological aspects and components, such as policies, institutional and legal frameworks, business models and human resources and their knowledge, skills and competencies. SADL currently is investigating and addressing these non-technological components, and their interactions with the technological components of data infrastructures, in several projects. 

The Erasmus+ project SPIDER  investigates the relevance and impact of trends such as open data, open government and open science to the development of SDIs, in order to develop and implement active teaching methods on traditional and new SDI–related topics. The project SEED4NA aims to improve the quality of higher education in North Africa in the fields of Spatial Data Infrastructures and Earth Observation, and to enhance its relevance for the labour market and society through the development of new and innovative curricula. As part of the Framework Contract on Copernicus Ecosystem support (Lot 2) SADL is involved in the design and implementation of several studies to support the European Commission in assessing the functioning and impacts of the EU Copernicus programme and of the EU space policy as a whole. Finally, SADL is also involved in several projects under the European Location Interoperability Solutions for e-Government (ELISE) action, aimed at enabling digital government through geospatial data and location intelligence.

The main responsibilities of the researcher in these different projects will be:
  • To execute research and consultancy projects in the field of geospatial data and data infrastructures, with a focus on non-technological components
  • To contribute to the mapping and investigation of essential skills in the geospatial domain and associated learning outcomes and to the design and implementation of relevant education and training actions
  • To contribute to the design and provision of vocational training in the field 
  • To translate research findings and results into more practical guidelines, methodologies and tools for decision makers, practitioners, researchers and other relevant stakeholders
  • To disseminate the research results via project reports, scientific publications and the attendance of international conferences and workshops


The candidate : 
  • has a master’s degree with demonstrable interest in open and/or geospatial data, digital government and technology at large
  • preferably has some experience with designing and conducting scientific research, and the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • has a high level of proficiency in English, both spoken and written
  • is keen to learn and test new environments and new methods


  • Full-time employment at KU Leuven, with a fixed term contract for one year, potentially renewable
  • A stimulating and dynamic work environment characterized by a unique mixture of independence, trust and support;
  • Travel and insurance costs, costs for meetings in Belgium and project related costs are covered


Meer informatie is te verkrijgen bij de heer Glenn Vancauwenberghe, tel.: +32 16 37 90 69, mail: glenn.vancauwenberghe@kuleuven.be.

Solliciteren voor deze vacature kan tot en met 22/03/2021 via onze
KU Leuven wil een omgeving creëren waarin alle talenten maximaal tot ontplooiing kunnen komen, ongeacht gender, leeftijd, culturele herkomst, nationaliteit of functiebeperking. Hebt u vragen in verband met toegankelijkheid of ondersteuningsmogelijkheden, dan kan u ons contacteren via diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: March 22, 2021
  • Tags: Aard- en Omgevingswetenschappen

In your application, please refer to Professorpositions.com


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