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Between 2020 and 2022 (i.e. since our previous annual report about our workforce in the period 2017-2020), the institute has continued to grow. On 31 December 2022, a total of 172 employees (or 160.95 FTE) were working at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy. We can repartition them in 4 main categories:

  1. science (65%)
  2. administration (10,5%)
  3. engineering & technique (14%)
  4. IT (10,5%)

In particular, the number of PhD candidates increased significantly, from 8 at the end of 2020 to 15 at the end of 2022.

Apart from the aforementioned 172 employees, many other people have contributed to the work performed at the institute during the period 2021-2022. It concerns people with an external contract, such as 3 IT persons with an Egov contract, 2 persons with an FNRS contract and visiting scientists, or people that have left the institute in the course of this 2-year period.



Workforce 2022

Workforce 2020

In accordance with the Institute’s mission, BIRA-IASB’s staff consists mainly of scientists and their numbers continue to grow. Between end of 2020 and 2022, the number of scientists increased from 104 to 112. To support these scientists, the institute grew by a net 2 engineers and 1 IT person since 2022.

Especially the number of PhD candidates who perform their research at BIRA-IASB has grown substantially. Some have a PhD grant from a university, others start their PhD as contractual or even statutory staff member. Over the last two years, three PhD students obtained their doctoral degree, while 10 doctoral students embarked on their PhD research. Partnering universities involve ULB (4), ULiège (2), KULeuven (2), UCLouvain (1) and UGent (1). In several cases, their subventions are financed  through the reduction on withholding taxes on wages.

In 2019, the FED-tWIN programme was launched, a federal research programme to support sustainable cooperation between the 10 Federal Scientific Institutions (FSI) under BELSPO and the 11 Belgian universities. The postdoctoral researchers employed within this programme have a 50% contract with the FSI and a 50% contract with the partner university. Every year, 2 FED-tWIN research projects can be granted at BIRA-IASB, one with a Flemish and one with a French-speaking university.

Over the past 4 years, 8 FED-tWIN profiles have been approved in this way; 4 FED-tWIN researchers are currently employed, one researcher needs to be re-hired, and 3 recruitments are ongoing. Currently we have FED-tWIN partnerships with  3 different Flemish (KULeuven, UHasselt, UAntwerpen) and 3 different French-speaking (UCLouvain, ULB, ULiège) Universities.