PhD Student Physical/Analytical Chemistry

Published on
September 9, 2019
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Are you that physical or analytical chemist who wants to do a PhD in a young and multidisciplinary group? Do you like making new organic materials and actually do something useful with them? Are you not afraid of messing around with electrical connectors and cables?
Then we are looking for you!
The research group Advanced Materials for Chemical Selectivity (currently six PhD students and one postdoc), part of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student.
You will work on an NWO START-UP project to explore the use of new polymer networks for gas sensing purposes. In collaboration with a recently started PhD student you will synthesise and characterise polymer-based porous frameworks and integrate these new materials with electrical sensor devices, before characterizing them thoroughly under controlled environmental conditions.

We ask

  • You have an MSc degree in Chemistry, Molecular (Life) Sciences or comparable curriculum;
  • A strong background in organic chemistry (physical organic, synthetic organic, organic materials) as well as strong analytical and problem-solving abilities are essential;
  • Hands-on experience with electrical sensor technology and/or polymer or surface chemistry is desired;
  • Your ability to perform independent lab work, affinity for the collaborative nature of this project, and good written and oral communication skills in English are crucial for their successful development.

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2325,-.  in the first year rising up to € 2972,-  per month in the fourth year. 

In addition, we offer:

  • 8% holiday allowance;
  • a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
  • flexible working hours and holidays;
  • excellent pension plan through ABP;
  • 232 vacation hours based on a working week of 38 hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
  • a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
  • a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
  • use the sports facilities on campus against reduced fee.
We stimulate internal growth opportunities and mobility with an active and internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a creative learning environment.

More information

For more information about this function, please contact dr. Louis de Smet, telephone +31317481268 or by e-mail:
For more information about the procedure, please contact Nicole de Vries, HR advisor, e-mail: or telephone: +31317485677.

This vacancy is open until Monday 30th September 2019. You can apply online at

We are

The Organic Chemistry group (, chaired by Prof Zuilhof, constitutes a large, interdisciplinary research team involved in teaching and research on organic chemistry, with an emphasis on surface-based reactivity. Our group excels in the field, and aims to continue to do so. The team consists of around 20 PhD students and postdocs, a permanent staff of 7 technical employees and 8 scientific staff members (many of whom have received highly competitive national and ERC personal grants). The laboratory is extremely well-equipped with a unique set of analysis instruments for bio-organic materials and surfaces.
In our sub-group chemical selectivity is key: selectivity to ions or molecules is achieved by synthesizing molecules with functional groups that allow for specific interactions with the species of interest. To integrate these organic materials with membranes, electrodes or sensor platforms we employ different surface chemistry strategies, including covalent attachment or deposition as a thin coating. Various electrochemical, (surface) spectrometric and imaging tools are used to characterize the as-prepared molecules and coated surfaces. While our research is primarily focused on understanding the fundamentals of separation and detection schemes, we direct it towards topics that are of contemporary interest, mainly in the field of environmental challenges. Examples include the recovery of phosphate, the selective sodium removal from irrigation water and the detection of gases with industrial and/or environmental relevance like, e.g., COx, NH3, and volatile organic compounds.
Recent developments in the design and synthesis of polymer-based porous materials and their excellent performance in gas separation studies indicate that such materials are very promising for sensing applications. Porous organic frameworks are of special interest: they do not only have a large surface area, they are also highly stable and have large chemical and structural possibilities. The focus of this project is on the integration of new functional coatings with sensors, on tuning their on-device selectivity and on understanding the detection mechanisms involved.

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialized research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 5,000 employees, and 10,000 students, it is one of the leading organizations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

Equal opportunities employer
We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at:

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.



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