4 Postdoctoral Researchers in AI for Sustainable Molecules and Materials programme

4 Postdoctoral Researchers in AI for Sustainable Molecules and Materials programme

Published Deadline Location
22 May 10 Jun Amsterdam

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Job description

Would you enjoy working in a multidisciplinary research team to discover new molecules and materials that contribute to a more sustainable society? The Faculty of Science is looking for four ambitious postdoctoral researchers for its recently launched Research Priority Area "Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Molecules and Materials". This new RPA AI4SMM combines several core strengths of the Faculty, including pioneering molecular and material science, broad knowhow and expertise in sustainability and circular economy development, and world-leading competence in data science and artificial intelligence.

The urgent need for humanity to transition our society into a circular sustainable economy requires interdisciplinary collaborative efforts to investigate and develop new molecules and materials that are not dependent on fossil fuels, are safe and sustainable by design, and help us quickly forward towards a sustainable society. In the new AI4SMM laboratory, we develop and apply artificial intelligence to design sustainable molecules, materials, and the processes to make them, in a team with physicists, chemists, biologists, ecologists, and informatics scientists. You will work on one of four starting projects on the topics of
  1. Metamaterials for sustainable steel or;
  2. Salt hydrates for thermal energy storage or;
  3. Chemical additives in plastics or;
  4. Plant protein mixtures for sustainable food design.

What are you going to do?
Four ambitious interdisciplinary projects have been set to kick-start the RPA. You can choose the project that fits your experience and personal drive most, but all have in common the combination of computational theory, modelling, and experimental data at the molecular scale. Project descriptions can be downloaded here.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Conducting independent research in this project, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals, conference proceedings, and/or books;
  • Actively contributing to the research activities of the Research Priority Area Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Molecules and Materials;
  • Contributing to outreach activities of the AI4SMM laboratory;
  • Supervising Bachelor and Master projects and tutoring students.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


You enjoy learning about new molecular systems and AI algorithms. You are able to explain your work to both scientists with experimental as well as with theoretical and informatics background. You work independently and can reflect on your own results and conclusions.

Your experience and profile:
  • PhD in science, preferably in domains of physics, chemistry, biology or computational science with a specialization in natural sciences / related to the project of your choice;
  • Good programming skills (e.g. in C, C++ or Python);
  • Experience with either machine learning or molecular dynamics simulations is required. High-calibre candidates with experience in both fronts are preferred;
  • Motivated to closely collaborate with experimentalists, and possibly perform experiments. Experience with lab work or collaboration with experimentalist is preferred;
  • Flexible, readiness to participate in interdisciplinary cooperation and multidisciplinary development (verifiably focused on collaboration with other disciplines);
  • Committed researcher, demonstrated by publications in international refereed academic journals and academic publishers;
  • Strong initiative and good time management skills;
  • Professional communication skills in oral and written English.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary employment contract for 38,00 hours per week for a period of 12 months. After an assessment this can be extended by 12 months. The preferred starting date is ultimately September 1, 2023, but can be discussed. The appointment is full time (38 hours per week), but part-time employment (0,8 FTE) implicating a longer extension as compensation is negotiable.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,960.- to € 4,670.- (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the '30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park, we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you're moving from abroad.
Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


Faculty of Science

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The following Institutes are involved in the programme:

The Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular 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: Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Synthesis & Catalysis and Molecular Photonics.

The Institute of Physics (IoP) of the University of Amsterdam is located in the center of the Amsterdam Science Park. The IoP - as part of the Faculty of Science -is housed in a modern building with excellent labs and technical facilities. Surrounded by several national research institutes and with our partners at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, the institute is part of a strong physics center of international standing.

The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic and biotic factors, and the interplay between those. The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale. The University of Amsterdam has excellent high performance computing facilities. Furthermore, IBED has a dedicated computational support team with specialized knowledge of bioinformatics, (geo)database management and scientific programming. IBED also works with non-academic partners to deliver transdisciplinary science for society.

The Swammerdam Institute of Life Sciences (SILS) is one of the Faculty of Science's largest institutes. Its approximately 240 scientists and staff members work in 17 research groups that perform excellent research centered on four Themes: Cell & Sytems Biology, Neurosciences, Microbiology and Green Life Sciences.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2960 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 11422


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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