PhD Candidate in Molecular Information Processing in Self-organising Dynamic Networks

PhD Candidate in Molecular Information Processing in Self-organising Dynamic Networks

Published Deadline Location
8 Aug 31 Aug Nijmegen

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Job description

Are you an aspiring researcher with a chemistry-related degree? Then start your academic career off right as a PhD candidate in the Institute of Molecules and Materials at Radboud University. Join an interdisciplinary project where you can use state-of-the-art instruments to conduct top research on self-organising dynamic networks, while developing your skills and learning new things. 
Synthetic materials are typically limited to just one pre-determined function, and rely on electronics for control. One of the largest challenges in the fields of systems chemistry and soft matter is to develop 'intelligent' materials that can directly 'compute' based on molecular input signals and self-organise themselves as a response. Such systems will open fundamentally new modes of material-based function, and enable matter to operate in contexts that cannot be controlled through traditional electronics.

This project establishes an ambitious new step in a chemical system that self-organises to guide molecular inputs along dynamic wires and concomitantly generate functional structures. To this end, we will use self-assembled amphiphilic filaments that grow connections between sender and receiver droplets, and thereby form a network of connections in response to the chemical input that is applied to the system. A recent example of our philosophy - demonstrated by amphiphiles that organise themselves through self-assembly into wire-like networks - can be found in our recent publication. By implementing new feedback and control mechanisms (based on chemical reactions and physicochemical effects), we aim to arrive at a controlled self-organisation of the connections in the network. Ultimately, such a demonstration of molecular information processing in self-organising sender-receiver networks opens potential in neuromorphic systems operative in electronics-free computation.

This research combines experiments and simulations, and varies from molecular self-assembly to reaction networks, Marangoni flow, hydrogels, microfluidics, dedicated microscopy techniques and building dynamic models in programs like Python or Matlab, depending on your personal preferences and the development of the project. You will communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences, and also be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.


Radboud University


  • You hold an MSc degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or a related discipline - affinity with physical chemistry is a strong plus. 
  • You have a strong motivation and interest to work in an interdisciplinary research centre in a highly collaborative environment.
  • You have an independent mind, good communication skills and team spirit.
  • You have excellent skills in written and spoken English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will be part of the Physical-Organic Chemistry department at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands) and work with Dr Peter Korevaar in the Life-like Materials group. Our research is part of the research centre for Functional Molecular Systems of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) at Radboud University. The group is housed in the Huygens building and equipped with state-of-the-art instruments to conduct top-notch research in the field of active matter, molecular self-assembly and dynamic materials. IMM is an interdisciplinary research institute in chemistry and physics at the Faculty of Science (FNWI) of Radboud University. IMM focuses on fundamental research to understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials. You will have the opportunity to interact with researchers at IMM and participate in institute-wide activities to enhance your own research and contribute to that of your peers.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1194294



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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