CTRL-F Science: your gateway to the life sciences sector from now on

Nov 24, 2023

CTRL-F does not stand still: we continuously evolve along with trends and developments in the economy and labour market. With the strong growth of the life sciences sector and the high demand for talent in this niche, we could not fail to expand our services. That is why we are launching our new specialisation CTRL-F Science, which targets people looking for work in the life sciences sector and companies in need of scientific talent. Niek D'Hondt, the driving force behind this new niche, explains what to expect.

Hi Niek, to start with, can you briefly introduce yourself?

"I obtained my professional bachelor's degree in biotechnology at HoGent, so science is in my blood. During my final year, I participated in Famelab, an international competition in which scientists had to explain a concept in 3 minutes to non-scientists in a cool and clear way. I was among the 10 Belgian finalists. So I suppose I can explain it well (laughs). In my first job, as a research associate at UGent, I did lab work and data analysis in a study on phosphorsolubilising bacteria, to incorporate them in fertilisers. At the same time, together with a friend, I founded ReaGent vzw, a DIY bio-lab where we provided tools, machines and knowledge that everyone could use and apply to do their own research and learn. Then I also founded Ekoli vzw, where I am still on the board of directors. We organise activities, projects and events around science tailored to underrepresented groups in STEM. We want to inspire them and show them that a future in STEM is also for them. By the way, in my youth I grew up in the hospitality industry, where I learned to talk and cooperate well with people."


When and why did you start working at CTRL-F? How do your experiences and skills from your previous work experiences help you in your job today?

"Four years ago, I joined CTRL-F because I was looking for more stability after the birth of my first daughter. I saw my background in sciences and communications, my people skills from the hospitality industry and my genuine interest in listening to people coming together nicely in this job. After 4 years in Engineering at CTRL-F, where I already regularly bridged the gap to Life Sciences, I am very proud to now pull the new specialisation."

"After 4 years in Engineering at CTRL-F, where I already regularly bridged the gap to Life Sciences, I am very proud to now be pulling the new specialisation."

What does CTRL-F Science stand for? Who can contact you? In which sectors are you active?

"CTRL-F Science is candidate-driven: we always start from the candidate's ambitions, interests and skills. If we see a match with one of our clients, we explain their activities, culture and open positions in detail. In turn, our clients count on us to create a complete picture of the professionals we introduce to them that goes beyond just the CV. We deliberately choose to focus on a niche, namely companies in pharma, biotech, medtech, environmental, food and chemical sectors. By specialising in life sciences, we can understand the search and needs of both sides at a deeper level. We can empathise with our clients' mission and vision and understand what talent they need to realise it."

"By specialising in life sciences, we can understand the search and needs of both candidates and clients on a deeper level."

Why the choice of the niche life sciences? What is the importance of this sector in the world today?

"You can compare the position of the life sciences sector right now to where IT was in the 1990s: on the eve of impactful developments that will have a direct influence on daily life around the world. Think lab-grown meat, individualised treatments for rare diseases and the circular and bioeconomy with sustainability as its driving force. We want to play an active role in this with our expertise: the right people in the right places in companies working on the innovations and technologies of today and tomorrow."

"The life sciences sector is on the eve of major impactful developments that will directly influence daily life around the world."

What is your goal with CTRL-F Science? What do you hope to achieve?

"The word 'impact' is quite loaded and vague, yet that is where I want to go. If in a few years' time I can say that the growth and success of professionals and companies in the life sciences sector is due in part to the collaboration with CTRL-F Science, I will have succeeded. Life sciences in Belgium is an ecosystem where exceptional people in exceptional companies all work together to make the impossible possible. CTRL-F Science wants to play an active role in that ecosystem, as a full partner with the right expertise."

Ready for an exciting career in the life sciences sector? Looking for the right scientific talent to grow your business? Contact us and find out what CTRL-F Science can do for you!