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Research scientist in Neuroscience (LIFE-LATITUDE) M/W/X

Ref 3467416

Geactualiseerd op 18 maart 2023 via ECOLE ROYALE MILITAIRE

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Beschrijving van de onderneming

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 funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, we are looking for a research scientist with a MSc in either Medical Sciences, Movement Sciences, Neuroscience or Psychology.

The research aims at investigating the effect of seasonality and latitude on sleep/wake regulation. We plan to compare the impact of latitude and seasonality on sleep health and circadian rhythms in Antarctic expeditioners (who have a limited lived experience with habiting in isolated regions) versus Arctic inhabitants (who have a life-long or intergenerational lived experience). Hence, examining the question whether residing in similar higher latitudes has the same impact on the sleep and circadian rhythms of expeditioners than inhabitants. For this purpose, we will re-use existing data of male and female expeditioners that we collected (and are still collecting) during campaigns in Halley and Dumont d'Urville (two Antarctic stations at sea-level, but with very different landscape) and match them in terms of latitude, age, landscape, and psychosocial background to new data that we will collect of male and female Arctic inhabitants.

The research is conducted in collaboration with research teams from other countries in a NATO framework. This position will thus require extensive stays abroad, mostly in Canada. The contract will cover two years of employment by the RMA, as from the start of employment.

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 center for LIFE sciences, which encompasses all biomedical research within Defense. The research project is a joint initiative between the Royal Military Academy and the Université de Montréal (Centre d'études avancées en médecine du sommeil).

Main tasks

  • Recruitment and communication of the participants on the designed protocols.
  • Data collection in the field.
  • Data analysis.
  • Scientific writing.

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


Technical skills


  • The applicant shall have a Master's degree in Medicine, Movement Sciences, Neuroscience or Psychology.
  • Experience with polysomnography, either ambulatory or in a sleep laboratory.
  • Ability to score sleep recordings according to the current international guidelines..
  • IT literacy is a must.

Personal skills

  • Ability and autonomy to manage data collection campaigns, including the coordination between all relevant stakeholders.
  • Organization and project management at an executing level.
  • Excellent social skills, to motivate participants and ensure attrition stays low.
  • Good written communication skills.

Other skills

  • Cultural awareness of Indigenous Arctic people issues.
  • Oral communication skills in both French and English are an added asset.

Specific requirements

The researcher might be exposed to classified information and will therefore have to obtain the required NATO 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 NATO member states will be considered.

Voordelen van de betrekking


  • Probable date of recruitment: to be agreed with the applicant. Target is as soon as possible.
  • Status: Full-time employment based on an open-ended contract with the Patrimony of the Royal Military Academy (you will not be a civil servant).
  • Wage scale: NA11 (holders of a Master's degree)
  • Holiday pay.

Extra-legal benefits

  • Possibility to benefit from a bilingualism allowance (Dutch/French) following a SELOR test;
  • End-of-year bonus;
  • Free DKV hospitalization insurance. Possibility of additional affiliation for one or more persons living under the same roof: spouse, child(ren) (50% of the price per additional member);
  • Bike allowance / Free public transport (home-work commute);
  • Free access to campus sports facilities outside working hours;
  • On-campus restaurant and cafeteria with democratic prices (discount on the daily menu);
  • Flexible working hours within the 38-hour week;
  • Teleworking possible with allowance ;
  • Holidays:
    • 26 days holiday / year from the 1st year of contract (then from 45 years: +1 day holiday every 5 years)
    • + 3 extra days-off / year of ¿service dispensation¿ offered by the department
    • + 1 week OFF every year between Christmas and New year's Eve (independent of the annual balance of holidays).
  • Advantages and interesting offers thanks to the Benefits@work card (discounts, vouchers...);
  • Entitlement to services offered by the `Office Central d'Action Sociale et Culturelle de la Défense' (OCASC): among others holiday centres, discount on travel organised by the tour operator...;
  • Possibility of benefiting from the nursery funded by Belgian Defence (subject to availability).

Extra informatie
Werkplek Brussel, België
Soort overeenkomst : Werk
Andere informatie :



The work is to be performed in a military context. It implies that the candidate will undergo a background check. The application must be accompanied by the filled in document that can be downloaded at


Applicants shall send:

  • a motivation letter
  • a complete CV
  • a copy of their personal identification document (ID card or passport -front and back-)
  • the request for background check (see above link)

referring the subject ¿LIFE-LATITUDE¿ to Prof. Nathalie Pattyn ( and Prof. Xavier Neyt ( ) and to Mrs Helena Bruyninckx ( ).

The application deadline is April 15th 2023.

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.


  • Royal Military Academy - Avenue de la Renaissance 30, 1000 Bruxelles;
  • Frequent travels abroad: field measurement campaigns and work at the Centre d'études avancées en médecine du sommeil (Montréal).

Points of contact

  • Bruxelles
  • Studies, onderzoek en ontwikkeling
  • Voltijds
  • Met

Hoe solliciteren?

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