Head Operations Vaccinopolis

Department: Vaccine Trial Team & Infectious Disease Epidemiology and DiagnosticsRegime Full-time

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape.

Within the University of Antwerp, we are currently building a state-of-the art centre for vaccine trials – (“Vaccinopolis”) headed by Prof. Pierre Van Damme – to accelerate the evaluation and development of vaccine candidates and to participate in the global efforts for better pandemic preparedness. Vaccinopolis will start operations in Q2 2022. Now is the “momentum” and unique opportunity to join the Vaccinopolis team, at the very first growing and shaping steps.

The Centre for Evaluation of Vaccination of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is looking for a full-time HEAD OPERATIONS.


  • You ensure that Vaccinopolis has effective operational and financial procedures in place
  • You are responsible for daily operations and coordinate those in close collaboration with the University central services
  • You report to the Head of Vaccinopolis
  • You interact with the Head CTT (Clinical Trial Team), QA (Quality Assurance) Manager and Head BD (Business Development) to ensure that all projects are well planned and executed on time, with the required quality, according to the applicable regulations and within the foreseen budget
  • You identify issues and inefficiencies and makes recommendations for process improvements to minimize costs and enhance efficiency and compliance
  • You are responsible for building and equipment maintenance (incl. ICT). You discuss, negotiate and follow-up technical, calibration and/or engineering services provided by the university in order to maintain the Vaccinopolis building up and running
  • You coordinate and manage all logistic activities related to Vaccinopolis. You negotiate prices with suppliers. You ensure that all materials are stored according to the required conditions
  • You propose and implement strategic planning and objectives in order to align with the Vaccinopolis budget strategy and to promote revenue, profitability and growth
  • You provide the Head of Vaccinopolis with project status updates and estimates
  • You support the QA manager in 
    • the preparation of internal audits as well as audits by the sponsor
    • performing a biosafety risk assessment for each new project (including research) involving biological materials
    • maintaining and extending Vaccinopolis biosafety authorization
    • enforcing the necessary biosafety standards and working guidelines


  • You hold a Master of Science (MSc) and/or a Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • 10+ years of experience in operational management in a research driven environment
  • You show outstanding organisational and leadership skills combined with excellent people management skills and work ethics
  • You are able to maintain control of diverse operations in parallel and to plan strategically
  • You provide management and vision to help Vaccinopolis to grow
  • You have aptitude for decision-making, problem solving and proactivity
  • You are able to diagnose problems quickly and have a foresight into potential issues
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation
  • You have working knowledge of IT/MS Office
  • You are fluent in Flemish and English

Assets (desirable, but not required)

  • PhD degree (in business, science or related field)
  • International business experience
  • Competence in business development and regulatory issues
  • Expertise in vaccine clinical trials
  • Fluency in French

What we offer

  • We offer a fulltime appointment for an unlimited period. The payscale of your appointment is equivalent to that of professor (assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor) and is determined on the basis of your professional experience and academic qualifications.
  • Your gross monthly salary is calculated according to the pay scales for a visiting professor in the Contract Research Staff category (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2021 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Drie Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 21 July 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on 'apply', complete the online application form and don’t forget to include the following document(s): (1) a motivation letter, (2) your CV.
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. Please make a note of the following date: 24 August 2021, 2 pm - 5 pm.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to jobs@uantwerpen.be. If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact: Martina Bamberger, Valorization Manager, martina.bamberger@uantwerpen.be.

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.