Postdoctoral researcher in Coarse Grained Modelling of Polymers

Faculty of Science – Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences

Publication date
19 June 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,588 to €4,084 gross per month
Closing date
30 July 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organized into four themes: Sustainable Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

The Heterogeneous Catalysis & Sustainable Chemistry group in Amsterdam, led by Prof. Gadi Rothenberg, is internationally known for its research on catalytic biomass conversion and biobased materials. Converting biomass to useful chemicals is a key research theme in the group.

The group has a strong ongoing interest in combining modelling and experiments for predicting the performance of materials and has developed several modelling and experiment workflows that are now used worldwide by academia and industry.

As part of a large public-private partnership funded by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), we are looking for a postdoctoral researcher in Computational Chemistry. The position is initially for one year, extendable for another year based on performance and results.

Project description

In 2010, we invented a new type of plastic resin, which is non-toxic, biodegradable, and 100% plant-based. This bioplastic is now being commercialized by a spin-off company, Plantics BV. Yet even as the production is being scaled up, we still don’t understand how the resin actually forms. To understand the polymer formation process, we will combine computations and experiments. You will be part of a team that will deliver an understanding of the resin properties and especially insight into its formation process and the resulting material characteristics. In our iterative workflow, models are used for predicting the properties of resin formulations, and experimental measurement of these formulations are then used as feedback for improving the models.

The computational models will be studied in collaboration with Dr Christopher Lowe, an expert in coarse-grained modelling and a member of the Amsterdam Centre for Multiscale Modelling (ACMM). Experimental data will be obtained in our labs, as well as in the labs of the project partners.


  • A PhD in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering;
  • at least four papers in peer-reviewed international journals in English;
  • experience with molecular dynamics and/or Monte Carlo methods;
  • ability to program, write original code and modify existing codes and packages;
  • an understanding of coarse grained modelling;
  • excellent communication skills in oral and written English.

A background in polymer chemistry is an advantage, as is knowledge of Dutch and/or Finnish.

Further information

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You will be employed by the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam on a fixed-term full-time position (38 hours per week) for a period of one year. We may extend the appointment by another year depending on your performance and the project's results.

Depending on experience, the gross monthly salary will range from €2,588 to €4,084 (scale 10) and will be supplemented with an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

You may apply using the link below. Your application must include a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a motivation letter explaining why you chose to apply for this position and the names and contact details of two referees. All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam