Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Category
    Research & Science
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
    • Date Posted
      December 16,2021
    • Entrusting Package
    • JSS
    • VISA
    • IMG_6430
    • Career Consultation

    PhD Candidate: Emergent Phenomena in Life-like Active Matter (1.0 FTE)

    PhD Candidate: Emergent Phenomena in Life-like Active Matter

    • Employment: 1.0 FTE
    • Gross monthly salary: € 2,434 - € 3,111
    • Faculty of Science
    • Required background: Research University Degree
    • Application deadline: 20 January 2022

    Current synthetic materials are inactive and limited to just one pre-determined function. Living materials, however, sense what happens in their environment, adapt to changing circumstances and even reorganise themselves to perform multiple tasks, following routines that are programmed in their molecular building blocks. Unravelling the underlying rules for such emerging behaviour will allow us to implement them in synthetic matter with entirely new possibilities to "adapt themselves when the problem changes".

    In this PhD project, you will work on self-organisation of active matter that emerges from well-coordinated combinations of molecular self-assembly, chemical reactions and physicochemical phenomena such as diffusion, phase-separation, surface tension and hydrogel swelling. Using those to establish new feedback and control mechanisms, we aim to arrive at collective behaviour in active matter emerging at the mesoscale, driven by out-of-equilibrium systems that self-sustain the organisation. A good example of our philosophy - demonstrated by amphiphiles that organise themselves through self-assembly into wire-like networks that autonomously coordinate mesoscale positioning processes - can be found in our recent publication.

    This research combines experiments and simulations, and varies from molecular self-assembly to reaction networks, hydrogels, microfluidics, dedicated microscopy techniques and building dynamic models in programs such as Python or Matlab, depending on your personal preferences and the development of the project.

    You will communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at national and international conferences. Furthermore, you will be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students.


    • You hold an MSc degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or a related discipline; affinity with physical chemistry is a strong plus.
    • You have a strong motivation and interest to work in an interdisciplinary research centre in a highly collaborative environment.
    • You have an independent mind, good communication skills and team spirit.
    • You have excellent skills in written and spoken English.

    We are

    The position is in the Physical-Organic Chemistry group of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) at the Faculty of Science (FNWI). You will work with Dr Peter Korevaar in the Life-like Materials group. The group is housed in the Huygens building and equipped with state-of-the-art instruments to conduct top research in the field of active matter, molecular self-assembly and dynamic materials.

    IMM is an interdisciplinary research institute in chemistry and physics at the Faculty of Science (FNWI) of Radboud University. Its mission is to design and create functional molecules and materials to fundamentally understand their behaviour. IMM consists of 24 research groups active in fields ranging from condensed matter physics to organic chemistry and biochemistry. It focuses on fundamental research with an open eye to societal applications and trains the next generation of leaders in science and innovation. You will have the opportunity to interact with researchers at IMM and participate in institute-wide activities.

    The Faculty of Science is a complete, student-oriented science faculty where research and teaching are closely intertwined. The faculty aims to be an academic community with an international character where employees from different backgrounds combine their talents with the goal of being a leading science faculty in Europe.

    Radboud University
    We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

    We offer

    • Employment for 1.0 FTE.
    • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
    • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
    • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
    • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
    • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
    Additional employment conditions
    Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

    Would you like more information?

    For questions about the position, please contact Dr Peter Korevaar, Assistant professor at

    Practical information and applications

    You can apply until 20 January 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Dr Peter Korevaar. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
    • A motivation letter, including a description of previous research experience, and the names and contact details of at least two references.
    • Your CV, including a list of courses taken during your MSc.
    The first round of interviews will take place in week 4. You would preferably begin employment on 1 March.

    We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.

    We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

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