Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks

BRAIN-be is a research framework programme funded by the Belgian federal government. BRAIN-be supports 2- or 4-year network projects, and pioneering projects lasting a maximum of 2 years.

These are the ULB research projects currently supported by the BRAIN-be programme:
Current projects
BAMM: studying meteorites

Project BAMM (Belgian Antarctic Meteorites and Micrometeorites to document solar system) proposes to study meteorites collected in Antarctica to determine their origins. Summary.


Belgian Art on Paper in a European Perspective. 1918-1950. Summary


The Paradox of Belgian Inequality Studies: Belgium Less unequal than others? Summary

CHASE: pollution in Antarctica

Through several sampling campaigns, this project will evaluate the presence of anthropogenic pollutants in Antarctica, considered as the best-preserved region on Earth. Summary.


Bridging knowledge to the field: an evaluation of the agronomic and socio-economic potential of Robusta coffee genetic resources as a cash crop in the Congo Basin. Summary


Tracing differentiation processes through siderophile elements, from meteorites to giant ore deposits. Summary

DIABASE: rock under the ice

Project DIABASE (Disclosing the Antarctic Basement by Sampling ice field moraines) proposes to study rock samples collected in moraines. Moraines are accumulations of rock debris carried by ice, found at the foot of glaciers. They indicate geological formations that are normally covered in kilometres of ice. Summary.


Colonial Violence, Subaltern Agency and Shared Archival Heritage: A Digital Platform of Colonial Judiciary Sources. Summary


To monitor and reduce environmental health inequalities in Belgium. Summary

FAR: the process of terrorism and radicalization in Belgium

The main objective of this project is to provide a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the process of terrorism and radicalization in Belgium. Summary.


Human Remains Origin(s) Multidisciplinary Evaluation. Summary


Geothermal Energy Potential in Cambrian rocks focusing on public buildings

IMMIGBEL: employment rate of people with a migration background

The IMMIGBEL research project (Improving the Labour Market Position of People with a Migration background in Belgium) aims to understand the causes behind the employment rate of people with a migration background. Summary.

IMPRESS: Belgian medical press

The project "IMPRESS: Beyond ideological conflict: religion and free-thought in the Belgian medical press" will work towards two integrated aims to highlight the scientific potential of 19th-century medical heritage and stimulate future (digital) research. Summary.


Insect Service and Biodiversity in Agroecological Farming. Summary

MASS2ANT: Antarctica and global climate dynamics

The project will also allow a better understanding global climate dynamics and improve the future projections for Antarctica and its impact on sea level changes, which will refine assessments available to policy makers. Summary.

MIGRADAPT: Environmental changes and migration journeys

Projet MIGRADAPT (“Making Migration Work for Adaptation to Environmental Changes. A Belgian Appraisal”) will analyse the role of environmental factors influencing traditional migration drivers throughout migrants’ fragmented journeys. Summary.

OCTAVE: atmospheric chemistry impacted

Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds (OVOCs), such as methanol and formaldehyde, have a significant impact on the atmospheric chemistry and climate. The project aims at better understanding and quantifying the impact of OVOCs on tropical regions and over oceans. Summary.

PAStECA: african natural lands, altered by humans

The conversion of natural lands into human-dominated landscapes has dramatically accelerated during the last decades. The project will study the dynamics of land use and land cover in Central Africa. Summary.


Reconstructing four decades of spatio-temporal airborne pollen levels for Belgium to assess the health impact. Summary.


The main aim of the SEAD project is to assess the potential for sustainable work and employment in the digital age. Summary

Completed projects
PUMOMIG: asylum, refugees and public opinion’s polarisation

The current migratory context and political difficulties to face it has led to an increase of the public opinion’s polarisation regarding asylum and refugees. ‘PUMOMIG’ project will analyse this polarisation and its links to policies. Summary.

NEANDERTHAL-3D: a 3D skeleton

Researchers will focus on how to showcase the reconstructed Spy II Neanderthal, one of the skeletons discovered in the Spy cave and one of the most complete Neanderthal skeletons available. Summary.

IM²MEDIATE: migrations, media and politics

This project aims to investigate the dynamic interplay between media representations of the current non-EU immigrant situation and the governmental and societal (re)actions. Summary.

UGESCO: exploit metadata

UGESCO project (Upscaling the Geo-temporal Enrichment, Exploitation and Exploitation of Scientific Collections) aims to work on spatio-temporal metadata from digital collections at the Federal Scientific Institutions. Summary.

GRESP-HEALTH: impact of green and blue space on health

The aim of this project is to study the effects that living close to a green space - parks, gardens - or water - a lake or river - have on morbidity and health in Belgium. Summary.

IMMIBEL: the history of migration phenomena between 1840 and 1890

This project will map the history of migration phenomena on the basis of 150,000 individual case files of foreigners drawn up by Belgium's Sûreté Publique between 1840 and 1890. Summary.

JUSINBELLGIUM: judicial archives pertaining to war crimes

This project will be developing a digital database allowing Belgian judicial archives pertaining to war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity to be identified, described and digitised. Summary.

RECTO: Antarctic ecosystems challenged

RECTO project (Refugia and Ecosystem Tolerance in the Southern Ocean) will strive at understanding how past climatic events, such as glaciation, have driven diversification and adaptation in different animal groups in the Southern Ocean. Summary.

STARLAB: a laboratory amongs the stars

The aim of the STARLAB project is to gain a better understanding of the key physical and chemical processes used in the evolution of low to medium mass stars. Summary.

SUSPENS: towards a low-carbon society

In this project, researchers intend to contribute to the debate on how society should move towards becoming a low-/zero-carbon society, reconciling environmental and social objectives. Summary.

If you are a researcher and would like to set a BRAIN-be project, please contact the Research Department:
Updated on June 7, 2021