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First steps

Have a look at the arrangements to make before travelling to (KU) Leuven.

The website "First steps upon arrival" covers these topics:

  • Your contact person when arriving at KU Leuven
  • For PhD students: registration as a doctoral student at the Student Administration of KU Leuven
  • Accommodation
  • Registration at city hall
  • Opening a Belgian bank account
  • Arranging insurances
  • Applying for maternity allowance and child benefits

Concerning health care take a look here. More info on the "European Health Insurance Card" can be found here.

You can read about the experiences of other IvS'ers here.


Where to stay in Leuven? This website has information on​ guesthouses, types of student housing available in Leuven, and contains many more tipps on how to find permanent accommodation.

Be advised not to sign any contract or send money before you have been to the actual place you want to rent!


How to get around in Leuven? You can find all information on the transportation website of KU Leuven.

The preferred mode of transportation in Leuven is the bicycle:

  • KU Leuven employees are eligible for a 2WD bicycle.
  • You can rent a bike at VELO.

new arrivals


We welcome to the IvS:

  • 01/02/2017: Dominic Bowman, a post doc from the UK, who starts in the team of Conny to work on her ERC topic.
  • 01/05/2017: David Gobrecht will start as a post doc in the team of Leen to work on her ERC topic.
  • 01/05/2017: Miguel Montarges obtained a Pegasus Marie-Curie fellowship and will work in the team of Leen.


On Redmine you can find information about the inner workings of the institute, our system, the IvS python repository, and much more:

  • Previous IvS Newsletters
  • Minutes to institute and staff meetings
  • E-mail, your personal calendar, telephones
  • Software

The system group uses Redmine as a ticketing system for tracking all system related issues. When you have a question for the system group you can take a ticket: Redmine's home. The login and password is your Linux login.

e-mail and calendar

You can access your KU Leuven webmail and calendar here. The login is your u-number and password.

  • Your e-mail address is
  • On your calendar you can fill in when you are abroad, working from home or ill. You can also reserve the Van Hoof meeting room (3rd floor).
  • Most IvS'ers share their calendars for easy scheduling.

Language courses

Many different language courses are organised in Leuven, for example


Taxpayers in Belgium can order "opleidingscheques" on the website of the VDAB which you can use to pay for your licensed language course. The Flemish government will pay half of the cheques, you the other half.

KU Loket

Your personal KU Leuven Internal Pages:
  • Your personal details; HR-consultant and file administrator
  • Your "functional chef"
  • Requesting leave; First consult your functional chef!
  • Declare professional expeses
  • Missions: insurrance.
  • Your HSE: Rik Huygen will give you a HSE tour when you arrive at IvS.
  • As KU Leuven staff you can get a discount on your yearly pass.

Log in using your u-number and corresponding password. You will recieve this from our system group when starting at IvS.

Python repository

IvS encourages every new python programmer to follow the standards defined in the context of the IvS-python repository.

Tax forms

This webpage provides some information on how to complete your tax form and where you can get help.



Seminars are regularly organized at IvS. All IvS'ers should attend these seminars. The whereabouts can be found here.


There is a loot to learn from the experiences of your IvS colleagues. Read more about it here.



The internal phone number is somewhere written on the telephone (5 digits). The external number of your telephone is 016 3 [ 5 digits ].

  • To call internal numbers, simply press the 5 digits of your correspondent
  • To call external numbers, press 0 and enter the national phone number, press 00 and enter the international phone number (note: it's not possible to call international numbers with all telephones)

Technical problems

Reporting technical problems: (lighting|lift|toilet) broken, moving posters,...



  • Building number is 493-21
  • Urgent? Call 22000
  • Less urgent:
    • Log on to K.U.Loket , click on 'general' -> 'reporting technical defects' -> 'new notification', follow the instructions
    • The response time is (generally) between 1 day and 1 week.
    • Alternatively you can also email

Performance Interview

Every year you will have a perfromance interview with your functional supervisor. More information can be found here.

Leaves of absence

On this webpage you can find all about what to do in different cases of leave of absence.

  • requesting holidays
  • What to do in case of illness
  • What to do when you our pregnent (e.g. you have a duty to immediatly inform the Occupational Medicine Service)
  • ...

Read this information carefully!!! The rules depend on the type of contract you have.