PhD Candidate: Materials Development for New NO2 Sensors

PhD Candidate: Materials Development for New NO2 Sensors

Published Deadline Location
16 Apr 1 May Nijmegen

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Job description

Europe’s nitrogen emissions are sky high, impacting our economy and our lives. Unfortunately, it turns out that one of the key emission gasses, nitrogen dioxide, is not so easy to detect. is funding a programme at Radboud University for the development of completely new NO2 sensors, which we intend to make highly sensitive, accurate and hand-held. Besides the Molecular Materials group and the Life Science Trace Detection Laboratory at Radboud, several private parties have joined the consortium. Will you join us in this important step to fight the nitrogen crisis?

The project is a close collaboration between the groups of Dr Paul Kouwer and Dr Simona Cristescu. The final goal of the project is to make a prototype of an NO2 sensor that can be tested in the field.

This position is embedded in the KouwerLab, where we will make new luminol-based fluorescent compounds and new hydrogel materials that act as a passive host for the detection process. The project includes new organic fluorescent dyes and polymer chemistry of passive hydrogel matrices. Besides, you will set up and carry out a range of detection experiments. A separate project in the Cristescu lab focuses on integration of the developed technology into a sensor. For the success of the programme, a close collaboration between the two projects and with the other project partners is crucial.

Besides the lab work, you will be asked to regularly share the results of your work in the consortium, at different group meetings and international conferences. You will enrol in the IMM graduate school and, in addition, you will be tasked with teaching duties (10%) that will include supervision of lab classes and supervision of internship students.


Radboud University


  • You should hold an MSc degree in chemistry or materials science.
  • You have experience with organic chemistry and, preferably, polymer chemistry.
  • You have good collaborative skills.
  • You take initiative and like to tinker with set-ups and prototypes.
  • You have a good command of spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1,5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 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.


The Molecular Materials group specialises in the design, preparation and use of soft materials. Our core business is to make hydrogels with biomedical applications. The group consists of chemists who make new materials and new features in existing hydrogels, and cell biologists who use the gels in their experiments.

The group is part of the larger department of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, wherein a number of PIs collaborate and share facilities. The SOC department and the Life Science Trace Detection Laboratory are part of the Institute for Molecules and Materials.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 62.068.24



Houtlaan 4, 6525XZ, Nijmegen

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