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This activity report illustrates the large variety of results obtained by the scientists at BIRA-IASB. Their activities strongly rely on the support of services such as engineering, IT, communication, administration and infrastructure. While the total number of employees has remained unchanged since 2018, the proportion of scientists has increased, while the support staff (mainly in the engineering and IT departments) has proportionally decreased.

This is easy to explain.

  • These are professions in short supply which, even if the need is great and even if we can afford it, are very difficult to fill.
  • The long SELOR procedures for these non-scientific profiles also play a role.

Workforce 2020

Workforce 2019

Workforce 2018

Workforce 2017

IT staff:

In 2020, only 47% of the IT staff is found within the IT department, which provides support to the whole institute in areas such as IT infrastructure, networking, high-performance computing, data management and storage. The remaining 53% are paid on a project basis and work within a specific department or project.

Staff on external contracts:

For the sake of completeness, we would like to mention that the workforce at BIRA-IASB was supplemented by 3 staff members with an external contract, both in 2018 and 2020. In 2018, this concerned two persons with an egov contract and one person who was employed by the Royal Observatory of Belgium but put at the disposal of the B.USOC; in 2020, this concerns one person with an egov contract and two persons with an FNRS contract. These people were not included in our graphs.

Doctor of Science:

The BIRA-IASB staff is characterised by a high percentage of doctors. At the end of 2020, no less than 81 of the 161 staff members (50%) had a PhD. The vast majority of them are scientists. Indeed, 78% of the 104 scientists have obtained a doctorate and 4% are currently preparing a doctoral thesis.


BIRA-IASB workforce 2016-2018


All statistics in this activity report are calculated on 31 December of the year concerned and are based on staff numbers, not on FTE’s (full time equivalents).