Postdoc in Biophotovoltaics and Biosensors

Postdoc in Biophotovoltaics and Biosensors

Published Deadline Location
13 Apr 29 Apr Amsterdam

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We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with a PhD degree in physics, chemistry, molecular biology or related fields, enthusiastic to work in the field of bio-nanotechnology. Keywords such as renewable energy, electrochemistry, solar cells, biosensors, biophysics, photosynthesis, light-spectroscopy and current generation are part of your interests. Would you like to work in an international research group in an academic environment? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Job description

In nature, solar energy is converted by means of the process of photosynthesis into useful energy. The photosynthetic machinery consists of proteins and complexes of proteins that can capture transfer and transform solar energy with great efficiency. Our research focuses on the supramolecular functioning of the natural process and the utilization of the proteins or artificial molecules that mimic photosynthesis within bio-metal hybrid solar cells. Such cells may operate in a two way design, where photons are used firstly to extract electrons and split water into oxygen and protons while photons of different wavelengths drive proton pumps and hydrogen producing catalysts. In all constructs, the light absorbing molecules or complexes are adhered onto conducting surfaces for electron relay.

In this project, we will investigate surface adhered photosynthetic protein-complexes, membranes and other assemblies for solar energy utilization. At the same time, electrodes are readily applicable as biosensors for pesticides and herbicides and can be optimised as such.

Within the Faculty of Science, there are unique opportunities for start-ups for science spin-offs. You are encouraged to research the possibilities. This position includes one day per week dedicated to aid in the development of an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship course on energy and sustainability, embedded within a European higher education project. Research and teaching will take place within a very diverse and transdisciplinary team of young researchers, entrepreneurs, artists and designers with whom interactions are much encouraged. The university has an active programme to further your career in science, providing active help to acquire a young investigator grant.

We are looking for a candidate with a PhD degree in physics, chemistry, molecular biology or related fields, enthusiastic to work in the field of bio-nanotechnology. Experience with any of the aforementioned keywords is desirable. Besides experimentation, you will help developing a course on renewable energy for one day a week.Your duties
  • together with the team responsible for the research investigation on surface adhered photosynthetic protein-complexes, membranes and other assemblies for solar energy utilization.
  • one day per week participating in the development of an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship course on energy and sustainability


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a PhD degree in physics, chemistry, molecular biology or related fields
  • enthusiastic to work in the field of bio-nanotechnology
  • experience in photosynthesis, biophysics or chemistry and techniques like electrochemistry, light spectroscopy or similar techniques are appreciated
  • willingness to spend one day a week on course development
  • enthusiasm to work in multi and transdisciplinary teams of scientist, entrepreneurs, artists and designers

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10) depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The employment contract will affect a period of 22 months. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalised benefits package


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.
About the department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (i) high-energy and gravitational physics, (ii) quantum metrology and laser applications, (iii) physics of life and health, and (iv) physics of photosynthesis and energy. The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (together with University of Twente). Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (on campus) and location AMC), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), and a thriving startup scene.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2790—€4402 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 7189


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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