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Postdoctoral fellows within the framework of international mobility are highly-qualified researchers - mostly foreigners (see regulations - in Dutch) - holding a PhD degree (obtained abroad) or equivalent. They conduct independent (no subsidiary relation), fundamental scientific research at KU Leuven, for a maximum period of 36 months.

In order to register as a postdoctoral fellow, certain conditions must be met. Please read the regulations concerning the appointment of postdoctoral fellows carefully. If you require more information or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the HR Consultant Internationalisation at the HR Department.


Research associates are highly-qualified researchers who conduct project-bound research at KU Leuven, in a subsidiary relation.


Self-supporting researchers are highly-qualified researchers and conduct fundamental or project-bound research at KU Leuven.

Self-supporting researchers from within the EEA (except for Romanian/Bulgarian citizens) will be registered as free research associates.

Self-supporting researchers from outside the EEA + from Romania and Bulgaria will be registered as (unsalaried) visiting research associates(holding a PhD or equivalent).


Visiting professors are highly qualified academics appointed either part-time or full-time by KU Leuven to teach or conduct research. For non-EEA citizens (and Romanian/Bulgarian citizens), the appointment is limited to a maximum period of four years.

Some visiting professors receive a salary from KU Leuven, while some are self-supporting or continue to receive an income from their home university/company. If the latter is the case, a per diem allowance may be granted.