Professor in UAV-based Applications

Professor in UAV-based Applications
Req ID 11848 - Posted 28/11/2018 - Professorial staff - 100% - Interdisciplinary Consortium

→ Apply until 31/01/2019 23:59 CET
→ Discipline: Professor in UAV-based Applications
→ 100% Assistant professor tenure track
→ Reference number: 2018/ZAP-21/78-02


Ghent University is one of the most important education and research institutions in the Low Countries. On a daily basis, over 9,000 staff members and 41,000 students implement its motto "Dare to Think". Ghent University's mission statement is characterised by qualitative education, internationally renowned research and a pluralistic social responsibility.


This position is part of a unique strategic investment by Ghent University: 21 new professorships are embedded in interdisciplinary consortia, designed to generate a significant societal impact with their research. For more information, see:

A full-time position of assistant professor (Tenure Track system) is available at the Department of Plants and Crops at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering from 01/10/2019. This position is part of an interfaculty project in the framework of the ZAP21 call that deals with the establishment of UAV expertise centre at the university. This is a close collaboration between the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture and the Faculty of Sciences. The assistant professor is responsible for co-establishing this expertise centre and will perform research on the application of UAV technology in terrestrial ecosystems, including agricultural (precision agriculture) and natural (ecology) ecosystems.

Academic education

The candidate will be expected to contribute to the education provided by the Department of Plants and Crops by teaching course units in the discipline of applied UAV remote sensing.

Academic Research

You will contribute in the establishment of an interdisciplinary expertise centre in the domain of this application, working in close collaboration with the other researchers in this consortium.

Academic services

You will contribute to both the internal and external service provision of the Department of Plants and Crops, and the interdisciplinary research centre.



You have expertise in the planning, execution of scientific-oriented UAV flights and with UAV data processing and interpretation;
You have expertise in hyperspectral, thermal and/or microwave remote sensing and in plant physiology.
Good knowledge of precision agriculture and natural ecosystems, and of the functioning (and evaluation) hereof are recommended.
You have already conducted eminent academic research in these given disciplines, which is clearly reflected in publications in high-quality academic journals and peer-reviewed books;
You have good English communication and presentation skills;
You are capable of initiating, supervising and acquiring the necessary funding for academic research.
Recommended are:
Experience with initiating, supervising and acquiring interdisciplinary and applied research projects;
Knowledge of current legislation on UAVs;
International mobility, among other things thanks to research stays at institutions external to the one where you acquired your highest academic degree;
Didactic skills to teach university students to develop academic competences

Skills / Attitude

You are quality-oriented;
You take initiative;
You have strong interpersonal skills, making you a team player and an effective communicator with colleagues, employees, students and other stakeholders.

Admission requirements

You hold a thesis-based doctorate in the Applied Biological Sciences or Engineering Sciences or Sciences or a related domain or a diploma or certificate that is recognised as equivalent (article V.20 Codex Higher Education).

Upon evaluation of a foreign (non-EU) diploma, a certificate of equivalence may still have to be requested at NARIC. If this is the case, we advise you to initiate this recognition procedure as soon as possible. You are required to have the recognition no later than on the date of your appointment.

You have at least two years of postdoctoral experience on 1 October 2019. This term of two years is determined by the date written on the above-mentioned required diploma.


The selected candidate is awarded the degree of assistant professor (tenure track). This will be decided by the University Board as proposed by the Faculty Board.

We offer you a temporary appointment in a tenure track system for a term of five years. If positively evaluated by the University Board, the term of office will be transferred into a permanent appointment as an associate professor.
Should you already be a member of the professorial staff or hold an equal post at another university or research institution, you can immediately be appointed as an assistant professor, without prejudice to the possibility of a temporary appointment offered in article V.28 of the Codex of Higher Education.

The recruitment is possible no sooner than 1 October 2019.


Ghent University reserves a budget of 200.000 € in its Special Research Fund for each of the newly appointed professors under the strategic "21ZAP" scheme, equaling the value of 1 PhD student for 4 years. This research budget is allocated out of competition but is subject to approval of the applicant's research proposal by Ghent University's Research Council.

Ghent University is committed to properly welcoming new professorial staff members and offering them appropriate guidance. The basic teacher training and courses of 'Dutch' and 'English' for foreign-speaking lecturers are only a few examples of our wide range of training and education opportunities. Furthermore, each Ghent University staff member can count on a number of benefits such as a bike allowance, reimbursement of public transport commuting costs, daycare, a wide range of sports facilities and EcoCheques. A complete overview of all our employee benefits (in Dutch).

Ghent University also invests in welcoming international professorial staff. It offers various housing options, a relocation bonus, the International School for school-aged children (with a discount on the tuition fee), support when registering at the City of Ghent, support with the procedure of family reunification and other administrative matters in connection with moving to Ghent. More information can be found on and


Ghent University conducts an equal opportunities policy and encourages everyone to apply. Ghent University also strives for a gender balance. Female applications are thus especially welcomed.


After the final application date, all received applications will be sent to the assessment committee assembled for this vacancy. This committee will first evaluate the application files. Therefore it will match all elements of the file against the required expertise for the position in terms of education, research and scientific service. Based on this deliberation, relevant candidates will be shortlisted to be invited for further selection (interview, possible presentation or test lecture ...). Afterwards, the committee will rank the suitable candidates and present this ranking to the Faculty Board. The advice of the Faculty Board will then be presented to the University Board for approval.

Candidates are asked to further discuss their top 5 most important publications or other academic achievements with the highest impact. Next to academic publications, the candidate is thus also able to show merit of knowledge transfer by academic dissemination, social valorisation, public awareness, seminars or conference presentations. These competences are also taken into account when evaluating the candidates.

Candidates are also asked to prepare a research proposal. The research proposal can be taken into account by the selection committee in order to assess the candidate's potential contribution to the consortium; nevertheless, the evaluation of the proposal itself by the Research Council will not be initiated until after the professorship appointment in order to award the 200,000 € research budget.

The evaluation of the required international mobility is broad and partly takes the gender perspective into account, thus not only considering longer stays abroad by also other forms of internationalisation.

Pregnancy leave, prolonged sick leave, parental leave, filial leave or other forms of absence are taken into account when evaluating the available time for the realisation of academic output.


Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not sent through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

In the field 'Cv': the professorial staff application form (+ all annexes mentioned in the form), merged into one pdf file.
In the field 'Cover letter': your application letter in pdf format
In the field 'Diploma': a transcript of your doctoral degree. If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
In the field 'Certificate of equivalence': only for diplomas awarded outside the European Union: certificate of equivalence (NARIC) (if already in you possession)

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.


The strategic goals of this vacancy.

For further information regarding this vacancy, please contact Professor Kathy Steppe (, +32 (0)9 264 61 12) at the Faculty of Bio-science Engineering, Department of Plants and Crops.

UAV technology
remote sensing
Ghent (Belgium)