Research at the ULB has a resolutely European and international outlook.

The university has always proven able to attract high quality researchers, won over by the university's forward looking attitude. To name but a few: Elisée Reclus (1830-1905), the French geographer; the Swiss engineer Auguste Piccard (1884-1962), famous for his flights up in the stratosphere and descents to the bottom of the ocean in a deep diving submersible; or the American doctor Robert Brout (1928-2011) who won the Wolff Prize in 2004 and who, along with François Englert and Peter Higgs, together Nobel Prize in Physics 2013, invented the mechanism that gives mass to elementary particles.

Today, 33% of all ULB scientists come from abroad, as well as 63% of post-doctorate researchers and 46% of PhD students.

ULB has a long tradition of participating in international research networks. The former ULB Secretary and also Secretary General of the FNRS was instrumental in founding CERN, which has enjoyed the contribution of ULB teams since the very beginning, and where a ULB alumnus, Léon Van Hove, served as the Director of Research. Jean Brachet and his colleagues in molecular biology played an important role in founding EMBO, while Paul Bourgeois is people behind the European Southern Observatory (ESO). These are just a few examples.

Today, ULB research forms part of numerous European and international networks: European Framework Programmes, Marie Curie, COST, ESF, CERN, ESO, EMBO, etc. European funding awarded to ULB stands at €7m.

The university is a founding member of the UNICA network of leading European universities, and has developed an outstanding network of privileged partners.

PhD students and post-doctorate researchers at the ULB are supported by the International Welcome Desk.