PhD in Microscopy and Nanospectroscopy of Biomolecular Systems

Published on
September 29, 2022
Location Wageningen
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We are looking for

We are looking for a PhD student (AIO) with great interest in applied physics, chemistry and in pushing the boundaries and capabilities of modern microscopy, nanoscale chemical imaging and spectroscopy in order to allow new discoveries on biomolecular phenomena at the base of life and disease.

Are you a highly driven and an extremely curious person loving interdisciplinary Science? Do you have an MSc degree in Physics, Chemistry or Molecular Life Science with focus on Biosciences? That makes a match! We have a vacancy for a PhD in Microscopy and Nanospectroscopy of Biomolecular Systems?

What will you do?
During this Project, you will work two-folds on:

  1. the development and advanced application of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) based mechanical and spectroscopic modes;
  2. the interdisciplinary application of these methods to answer unsolved and puzzling questions in biosciences, such as unraveling the physical chemical determinants of protein condensation and aggregation in food, cell function and malfunction.

As PhD, you will work in the laboratory of Nanoscale Microscopy and Spectroscopy (NMS) lead by Dr. Ruggeri, which is part of the chair groups of Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. You will have access to a unique, cutting-edge and world-leading laboratory of scanning probe microscopy, including several high-resolution AFMs and AFM-IR systems. As well as to state-of-the-art chemical laboratories.

This PhD position opening is also placed in the frame of the collaboration between Dr. Ruggeri, Wageningen University and Bruker Nano Surface (USA), which will provide fundamental engineering support to develop nanoscale infrared spectroscopy. You will have thus the opportunity to work at the interface between Research and Technology Development in Industry.

We ask

You are highly driven and extremely curious. “Why?” is a question you often ask, both inside and outside of Science.

  • You have an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Chemistry or Molecular Life Sciences with focus in Bioscience and/or Bio-Nanotechnology.
  • You have a strong background and solid hands-on experience in experimental physics, signal and data processing, statistical analysis, and a strong interest (or preferentially experience) in scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy.
  • You must have a deep understanding of Physics and interest in behaviour of biological molecules in order to be able to study their structure-activities relationship.
  • You have a deep interest in applying physical methods to complex systems and enjoy working in a highly multidisciplinary, dynamic and collaborative environment and open to communicate to a language that is comprehensible to broad public and scientific audience.
  • You aim to excel, and your biggest talents are creativity, persistence and being inquisitive. Your affinity for the collaborative nature of the project, and good written and oral communication skills in English (minimally IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90) are crucial for the successful development of this study.

Only applications that clearly show these facets will be considered.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • study leave and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2541,-. per month rising to € 3247,-. in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “ Best University ” in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


More information

Do you want more information?
More details about the role can be obtained by contacting Dr. F.S. Ruggeri, by email: For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. Emma Langelaan (HR advisor), by e-mail:, or telephone number +31618869066

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including Wednesday September 28th 2022. 

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.


We are

The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7.200 employees and 13.200 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named the best university of the Netherlands by students for the 17th time in a row.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!


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