PhD in Dynamic Polymer Materials

Published on
May 16, 2019
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

Are you that materials chemist that wants to create and study new dynamic polymer materials to develop novel ‘smart’ materials that can, for example, self-heal or undergo a shape transformation? Also, do you like to synthesize your own monomers, as well as to study your polymers by rheometry?

Then we are looking for you!

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a background in materials chemistry to characterize smart, dynamic polymer materials based on dynamic-covalent imine bonds, and to study their environmental responsiveness. You will work as PhD student on a NWO Vidi project entitled “4D control over smart dynamic polymers”, supervised by Dr. Maarten Smulders, and in close collaboration with a PhD student that has already started and a postdoctoral researcher.

The major theme of the Vidi program is to design dynamic polymer materials with smart properties, such as materials that are self-healing, shape-transforming or easily recyclable. To achieve this dynamic response, a relatively new class of reversible bonds will be used: the dynamic-covalent bond. This bond combines the robustness of a conventional covalent bond with the reversibility of non-covalent bonds. When integrated into polymer materials, this opens up a route towards mechanically strong, yet adaptive materials with desirable smart properties.

Your task will be to characterize new dynamic polymer materials based on dynamic-covalent imine bonds, which are currently being synthesized in our group. You will establish the relationship between molecular structure and corresponding dynamic-mechanical material properties. Also, you will study the dynamic polymer material’s responses to various environmental changes. Overall, the aim is to derive design principles from these studies. Ultimately, based on the obtained insights, you will design, synthesize and characterize new functional dynamic polymer materials, such as self-healing and shape-transforming materials.

We ask

  • You have a MSc degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or Molecular (Life) Sciences or comparable curriculum;
  • A strong background and hands-on experience in polymer chemistry and characterization, including (dynamic) mechanical analysis;
  • A keen interest (or preferably experience) in organic chemistry;
  • You to be a team player with good written and oral communication skills in English.


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 and 8.3% fixed-year allowance;
• An excellent pension scheme via ABP;
• Excellent training opportunities and secondary working conditions;
• Good supplementary leave arrangements and an individualized model to compose part of your working conditions and a bicycle plan;
• Sports facilities available on campus which can be used against a small fee.


More information

For more information about this function, please contact Maarten Smulders, Associate Professor, by e-mail:
For more information about the procedure, please contact Nicole de Vries, HR Advisor, e-mail

General information about Organic Chemistry can be found on or

You can apply online at The vacancy is open until June 30th  2019, but candidate selection will start from June 9 onwards on the basis of all applications received until then.

We are

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.

The Organic Chemistry group ( constitutes a large, interdisciplinary research team involved in teaching and research on organic chemistry, with an emphasis on surface-based reactivity. The group aims to excel in the research and teaching of organic chemistry. The laboratory is extremely well-equipped with a unique set of analysis instruments for (bio-)organic materials and surfaces, and the group consists of around 20 PhD students and postdocs, a permanent staff of 7 technical employees, two part-time professors with external expertise, 6 assistant and associate professors and one full-time chair. In addition to this, the embedding within Wageningen University & Research adds ample biological input into our focus on chemistry-based bionanotechnology. Currently ca. 1700 students/year take part in one or more Organic Chemistry study elements provided by our faculty.

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research, an organisation that brings together fundamental and applied scientific research. We work on creating ‘healthy food in a biobased society’ with private sector companies, research institutes and government agencies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our innovations play a crucial role in solving the major issues which affect society today. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are key in all that we do. In short, we are a major international employer offering considerable potential for your career.

Wageningen University & Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus – each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

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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