The National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology is looking for a: Researcher / Software Developer Digital Forensics & Cybercrime

JOB: Researcher / Software Developer
DEADLINE: 17.09.2021
TYPE: Full-time
LOCATION: National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology / Belgium


As a researcher in the Digital Information lab, you will participate in the European research project “UNCOVER” on the concealment of digital information (steganography).

The goal of this project is to develop and implement new techniques and associated software tools that can be used by police services, forensic experts and magistrates to detect hidden information as efficiently as possible.

A major problem for digital forensics today is that the amount of information that needs to be processed is constantly increasing. Therefore, it is important to have efficient techniques for triage and “big data” reduction of irrelevant information. Also the tracing and recuperation of “erased” or damaged residual data remains an important issue. Within this project, for example, software will be developed to search for (remains of) so-called “stegotools” (software for hiding information) and photo and video files that are very similar (“robust hashing”). Finally, it should be examined how the new techniques and methods can be integrated in existing forensic workflows.

More information on the “UNCOVER” project : leaflet –


As a researcher and software developer:

  • You will conduct research and develop software within the field of forensic digital information processing in collaboration with other European forensic laboratories and researchers,
  • You will collect and synthesise the existing state-of-the-art, and the available academic, open source or commercial software, and the expertise present in external partners,
  • You improve, develop and validate new software and methods.

As a knowledge manager, you share your knowledge and experience with internal and external colleagues in order to maintain and increase the organisation’s knowledge level. Possible tasks are:

  • Representing the NICC at international institutions and scientific conferences (a few times a year, or via participation in teleconferences), in Belgium or abroad,
  • Representing the NICC at project meetings, in Belgium or other Member States of the European Union,
  • Giving presentations at these meetings, and synthesising other information obtained there.

As an employee you will carry out the necessary tasks to ensure that the rules for quality and safety (procedures, methods, standards) are applied. Possible tasks are:

  • Developing and maintaining the necessary hardware and software environment of the Digital Information laboratory (Windows and Linux),
  • Taking note of and complying with the norms and quality procedures of the accreditation system
  • Reporting findings to the QA responsible or a QA assistant,

National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC) 100, Vilvoordsesteenweg 1120 NEDER-OVER-HEEMBEEK (BRUSSELS-CITY)

The Digital Information Laboratory is part of the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology in Neder-Over-Heembeek, and has in the past successfully developed a number of state-of-the-art techniques for the recovery and analysis of digital information.


This vacancy is bound to the duration of the European research project UNCOVER. Consequently, the duration of this contract is limited to a maximum of 2,5 years and candidates can start working at the earliest on 01/11/2021.
A possible extension of 1,5 years thereafter would be possible based on another European project related to artificial intelligence/machine learning; this project has an end date of 30/09/2025.

Interested candidates may also consider to work on the submission of a doctoral thesis in collaboration with one of the Belgian universities.


Technical skills : knowledge of the techniques of the Digital Information lab:

  • You have a decent knowledge of digital multimedia and information standards, and ICT hardware and software,
  • You are able to develop your own algorithms and software in one or more programming languages,
  • You are able to analyse and improve existing software source code,
  • You are able to synthesise, present and report the results of your work in a correct and understandable way in English (Dutch or French speaking and/or writing skills will be considered a plus).

Not required, but an asset :

  • Knowledge of IT systems composed of (micro) service components,
  • Experience with software-based recovery of digital information,
  • Knowledge of the steganography research domain or related domains,
  • Knowledge of encryption techniques and/or cryptanalysis,
  • Knowledge of artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques and tools.

Personal competences : 

  • Result-oriented attitude: show the commitment, the will and the ambition to achieve results by taking all necessary actions and initiatives within the set deadlines in a goal- and solution-oriented and most efficient way, and always taking full responsibility for them,
  • Perfecting oneself: being open to and flexible in adapting to changes and continuously acquiring new insights, skills and knowledge according to professional needs and within the framework of actively planning one’s own growth,
  • Demonstrate stress-resistance : Have the self-confidence and self-control to deal with stress and to handle criticism,
  • Working together : Identifying with the team, sharing knowledge and information in a transparent way and promoting team spirit in order to contribute to achieving agreed team results
  • Communicating : possessing communication skills both orally and in writing,
  • Integrity: be able to handle sensitive information with integrity and discretion.
  • Assistant – scientific status : salary scale SW1
  • Salary: starting at €3,174.40 gross per month (according to the current index). This salary increases with increasing scientific and/or financial seniority of the candidate (e.g. from 2 years of recognised financial seniority: €3754.70 gross per month).
  • Scientific experience useful for the job, other than that described in Article 7§2, 1° and 2° of the Royal Decree establishing the status of scientific personnel of the federal scientific institutions, can be taken into account as scientific seniority for this job.

Other benefits

  • automatic affiliation to the 2nd pension pillar
  • free public transport from your place of residence to your place of work
  • benefits and discounts through the offers of the Fed+ card
  • possibility of obtaining a language bonus
  • possibility of joining a hospitalisation insurance
  • possibility of obtaining a bicycle allowance
  • flexible schedule in a 38 hour week
  • teleworking
  • 26 days annual leave and max. 12 days recuperation
  • possibility to participate in sports and cultural activities during the afternoon.

Additional information – nature and duration of training courses 

  • On the job training and formal training
  • This training includes internal, external and international training.

Candidates must :

  1. A) Either: be holder of at least one of the following diplomas:

– Doctor or Master in computer science, informatics (digital information science), electrical engineering or mathematics; or
– Industrial Engineer, after at least four (4) years of study; awarded by a European university, or by one of the institutions assimilated to a Belgian university pursuant to the laws on the award of academic degrees and the programme of the university examinations or by one of the examination boards set up by the Government for the award of the academic degrees,

  1. B) or: be the holder of a Doctor or Master degree in exact sciences (degrees in alpha and gamma sciences are not eligible) and have sufficient demonstrable experience in the development of software components in one or more programming languages.

A copy of the diploma must be handed in together with the application.
You have obtained your diploma in another country than Belgium and is issued in a language that is not Dutch, French or English? You have to provide an official translation in Dutch or English!
You can also participate if you obtained your diploma earlier under another name that is equated with one of the above-mentioned diplomas, if you also meet the possible other conditions mentioned above.

You can participate under certain conditions
– You will also be admitted if you are a final-year student in the 2020-2021 academic year for obtaining the required diploma. You can only start working after you have obtained the required diploma, and, this must occur during the calendar year 2021. In this case, please upload your certificate of enrolment, which clearly states the academic year and the graduation subject at the time of enrolment.

  1. Have thetechnical skills necessary for the job.
  2. Have scientific competence and methodological baggage,both in quantitative and qualitative research.
  3. Be able to demonstrate the required personal and technical competencies.

Examination of the application on the basis of the file    
The applications will be examined on the basis of the information that the candidates provide in their application. Points will be awarded and a ranking drawn up on the basis of the information obtained. The first five candidates will be invited for the interview and the practical test.

Practical test (+/- 45 min.)   
Prior to the interview, you will be given a written test in which you will be asked to make a technical discussion or elaboration on the issues mentioned in the sections Job Description and/or Profile. To this end, during the test, in addition to the assignment, additional introductory information will be made available for analysis.
You will pass if you score at least 50 out of 100.

Interview (+/- 45 min.)      
The interview evaluates whether your behavioural and technical competencies correspond to the job requirements. Questions will also be asked about your motivation, your interests and your affinity with the field of work.

The practical test and interview will probably take place on  the 4th of October 2021 – The invitations with the exact time will be sent out from the 20th September 2021.

When you have passed this selection, you must – in order to take up employment – on the date of entry into service:

  1. Be a Belgian or a national of a Member State of the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation;
  2. Have a behaviour corresponding to the requirements of the job;
  3. Enjoy civil and political rights;
  4. For male applicants: have fulfilled any obligations imposed on them by the laws on military service
  5. Meet the special abilities and requirements that have been established:

In order for your application to be considered, it must be submitted before the closing date for registration  (17/09/2021) .  You will only be admitted to the selection if you have the required diploma and relevant professional experience.

The application must be mailed to the Personnel & Organisation department at  and must meet the following conditions:

  1. indication of the following data:
    1. Name
    2. First name
    3. Full address
    4. Date of Birth
    5. National registry number
    6. The job title of the position for which you are submitting your application
  2. be accompanied by a full and correct CV, including references to relevant publications and any scientific (final) works
  3. be accompanied by a letter of motivation
  4. be accompanied by a copy of the diploma(s) as well as any publications and scientific works; be accompanied by a recent (final) certificate of employment;
  5. be accompanied by a recent (dated less than 1 month ago) and original extract from the criminal record issued by the municipality;
  6. if necessary, be accompanied by certificates to justify your previous scientific activities in accordance with the model available on the NICC website ( ),

People with disabilities are kindly requested to state this clearly in their application and to attach a certificate of their disability so that we can make any necessary adjustments to the selection procedure.

  • For more information regarding the content of the position(with respect to the UNCOVER project as well as the possible follow-up project in the field of artificial intelligence/machine learning, see point 4) you can contact Dr. Patrick De Smet via e-mail:, or via the NICC switchboard on 02 240 05 00.
  • For more information concerning the remuneration and conditionsyou can contact the P&O department ( of the NICC at telephone number 02 240 04 74.