Junior Scientific Staff (Research Position #1)

Fluctuating asymmetry as a welfare indicator of broiler chickens.

Developmental instability refers to the inability of developmental pathways to resist accidents and perturbations during growth processes such that the intended phenotype is not realized. It is most commonly measured as fluctuating asymmetry (i.e. small, randomly directed deviations from perfect symmetrical development in bilateral traits, resulting from the inability of individuals to undergo identical development on both sides of the plane of symmetry). It has been suggested that fluctuating asymmetry reflects an animal's ability to cope with the sum of challenges during its growing period and, thus, is a promising objective and integrated welfare indicator. The aim of this project is to further validate fluctuating asymmetry as a general indicator of animal welfare by investigating its sensitivity to a wide variety of conditions that affect broiler welfare both negatively and positively.


  • Junior Researcher will be employed by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University

  • We offer you a contract of definite duration for a period of 24 months full-time, possibility to continue towards a PhD can be explored.

  • Working in a pleasant environment with a young and dynamic team of Ghent University in close collaboration with the Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO)

  • Working in close collaboration with industrial partners

  • The opportunity to obtain a PhD and take the next step in your research career


  • Holds a university degree (Master’s or a degree of minimum 4 years of study considered equivalent by Ghent University) in a biological science, including animal science, veterinary medicine, zoology, bio-engineering, and related disciplines

  • Has a strong interest in poultry health and welfare with a drive to learn and adopt a variety of new techniques.

  • Has good IT (MS Word/MS Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook), numeracy and statistical skills

  • Has (or are willing to obtain) a FELASA Category C certificate to work with laboratory animals.

  • Has a European driving license (category B)

  • Is ambitious, practically skillful, able to work in a team setting, and has strong analytical problem-solving skills (creative, critical, and open-minded).

  • Has excellent oral and written communication skills, and is proficient in English.

  • Is driven to explore research questions independently and in depth


Apply online through the e-recruitment system (https://www.ugent.be/en/work) before the application deadline (January 28, 2022). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)

  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format

  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.

  • In the field “other documents”: two references or reference contacts, an overview of your study results.

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.


For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. dr. Gunther Antonissen (gunther.antonissen@ugent.be). Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.

9 views0 comments