PhD position in the synthesis and study of responsive polymers (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 31,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, with the aim of synthesizing and studying responsive polymers as part of a larger collaboration on out-of-equilibrium systems and materials.

Job description

The projection is part of a collaborative effort between Profs. Ben Feringa and Ryan Chiechi to investigate the properties of molecular materials and systems that are out of equilibrium. This project focuses on the materials aspect and seeks to leverage chemo- and light-responsive functional groups and molecular switches that can held in a dissipative, out-of-equilibrium state by constant irradiation and or exposure to chemical stimuli.

The successful candidate will perform the following tasks:

- designing and synthesizing small functional molecules (and polymers) bearing responsive functional groups, e.g., as pendant groups on conjugated and non-conjugated polymers
- fully characterize and measure the responsive properties of the new compounds synthesized
- via collaboration, incorporate these materials and molecules into thin-films to determine their ionic and electronic conductivity.


● a master degree in chemistry or a related field
● experience in organic synthesis
● a willingness to help build a new project from the ground up
● the ability to work in a collaborative environment and across disciplinary boundaries.

An ideal candidate will also have:

● experience synthesizing and characterizing organic materials
● knowledge of polymer chemistry
● experience working with organic materials in the solid state (e.g., thin films).

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,325 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,972 gross per month in the fourth and final year, based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a position for four years; you will get a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years; prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.
• a PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

● letter of motivation
● CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
● transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The applications can be submitted until 1 December 2019 23:59 h / before 2 December 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 2 December 2019 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. We have adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Renate Hekkema (please do not send applications directly to this address)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219546

Digital application form