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Scientific Software Developer

  • Mol, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
R&D & Engineering

Job description

VITO is an independent Flemish research organization in cleantech and sustainable development. Our goal? To accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We do this by conducting innovating applied research into the fields of renewable energy, circular materials, bio-based chemistry, personalized health and monitoring of our living environment.

To champion our commitment to a robust data driven research organization, we are in search of a dedicated Software Developer with a passion for scientific prototyping and operations (DevOps) to contribute to application development, data manipulation, integration, and interoperability within the realm of health research data management.

Your Working Environment:

The Digital Precision Health Group (DPH) at VITO is committed to pioneering a new era in healthcare and clinical environments through the innovative application of Digital Twin technologies, enhanced by artificial intelligence and data-driven strategies. Our mission is to advance the development of data-centric applications that bridge the gap between translational healthcare and clinical practice. We prioritize the holistic integration of personal health data across multiple dimensions, including genomics, proteomics, clinical biochemistry, electronic health records, and real-world evidence. This approach is foundational to our goal of facilitating precision health solutions tailored to individual needs.

Our research towards creating personal health data vaults for hosting various sources of personal health data is geared towards enabling Digital Twins at the national as well as at the European level.

We are highly committed to making translational research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), while developing tools and resources to ensure the transparency, robustness, FAIRness and accountability of proposed methodologies and applications.

DPH at VITO Environmental Intelligence Unit, is working with an international and multi-disciplinary team supporting personal health data sharing initiatives, diagnostic research and related clinical & healthcare translation.

We are a highly collaborative group with active collaboration across various projects with KU Leuven, University of Hasselt, Jessa Hospital, University College London (UCL), Maastricht University and various industrial partners.

Core Responsibilities:

Prototyping and Development: The development of prototypes for health applications, transitioning them from research-grade proofs of concept to fully functional tools which can be evaluated in healthcare and clinical practice. Your role involves iterative development, testing, and refinement of applications in collaboration with researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders.

Data Engineering and Management: Architect and maintain secure repositories for the management of sensitive personal data, including but not limited to Electronic Health Records (EHR), genomics data, and clinical imagery. Ensure these repositories adhere to stringent data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR, and facilitate secure data exchange between healthcare entities.

ETL Pipeline Design and Implementation: Design, implement, and manage data pipelines for the efficient extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) of medical data from diverse sources. Your expertise will ensure data integrity, facilitate advanced analytics, and support the operational needs of health applications.

Web Application Development: Develop web applications that serve as the interface for the innovative health solutions being prototyped. These applications will make the innovations accessible to healthcare professionals and patients, integrating seamlessly into clinical workflows.

Stakeholder Collaboration: Engage directly with researchers, clinicians, and medical practitioners to understand clinical needs and align the development of health applications with the latest research innovations. Your role is to translate these needs into practical, technological solutions that enhance clinical practice.

Team and Interdepartmental Synergy: Actively collaborate with members of the Digital Precision Health team and establish strong liaisons with the VITO Data Science Hub and the Informatics Department. Your role involves seeking out synergies, leveraging collective expertise, and contributing to a culture of innovation and excellence within VITO.

Job requirements

  • You hold a MSc (or PhD) in, Software Engineering, Bioinformatics, Data/Knowledge Engineering or related field.
  • You have programming skills in Python and/or R
  • You are familiar with a Web development technology like JavaScript, and a linked data technology like RDF, OWL, SPARQL or others.
  • You have experience with at least one health data type (f.i. genomics, proteomics, imaging data &/ e-health) and management platforms (SQL, MongoDB and/or Solid).
  • You have expertise in server-side development and database management.
  • You have familiarity with Clinical & Health Data Ontologies (HL7, FHIR, OMOP…)
  • Next to that you are capable of motivating and connecting with/to people in different research domains and have the ability to see the “bigger picture” as well as not missing crucial “details” in implementation.
  • You show ambition, are capable of independent thinking and show a proactive attitude.
  • Not sure if you meet ALL the qualifications ? Please don't hesitate to apply.

It is a plus if you have experience with;

  • Clinical trials or translational research studies
  • Biobank systems and data models
  • Information security and privacy aspects
  • Backend development (Django, Flask…) along with Object-Relation Mapping (ORM) systems (SQL Alchemy)
  • Interest in Generative AI (ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot…)


  • A competitive salary with a range of benefits, including allowances, insurance and a modular package of vacation days.
  • You will join a dynamic and highly international research group (6+ nationalities).
  • You will collaborate with scientists, statisticians, bioinformaticians, modelers and clinical experts with expertise in different disciplines.
  • You will have the opportunity to follow high quality courses offered by both Belgian and Dutch Universities as well as VITO Career Development Centre.
  • VITO is committed to Activity Based Working (ABW) which means our activities take us to the location and not the other way around. You can work from home, work remotely at one of our satellite offices (Antwerp-Berchem, Genk, Ghent or Ostend) or work on site at the Health Campus in Mol. You are expected to work at least 2 days per week on-site, with face-to-face contact with the rest of the PHG.
  • The chance to be part of an organization with an international reputation, known for its advanced technological research and scientific consultancy.
  • The possibility to actively contribute towards sustainable developments at local, national and global level.