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The Leiden Institute of Chemistry at the Leiden University Faculty of Science and the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Groningen, are looking for 2 PhD students, for the joint research project entitled: The molecular mechanism of long-range exciton transfer in chiral self-assembled supramolecular matrices.
The aim of the project is to unravel the mechanisms behind the highly efficient energy transport in photosynthesis. Through a combination of spectroscopic techniques and theoretical modeling, the role of molecular rotational movements and quantum instabilities in asymmetric molecular self-assemblies will be investigated. This will lead to general nonadiabatic conversion by adiabatic passage principles for responsive matrices for energy conversion and photocatalysis. Two positions for the project are available immediately.
PhD position 1 (Leiden University), Vacancy number: TOP-715.018.001-1
Conformational ground state structural dynamics investigated by NMR and sample preparation
The aim of this subproject is to characterize the dynamics, static versus dynamic heterogeneity and the conformational phase space of the selfassembled bacteriochlorophyll in chlorosomes. The successful applicant will prepare 13C, 15N and 2H labelled chlorosome samples for the project and engage in Magic Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR characterization of the molecular ground state dynamics with relaxation studies, Redfield rate matrix analysis of 2D MAS NMR spin diffusion, and targeted analysis of anisotropic motion in chlorosomes for modeling ultrafast energy transfer by transient quantum conversion of exciton states.
PhD position 2 (University of Groningen), Vacancy number: TOP-715.018.001-2
Modelling the role of structure and vibrational modes in long-range exciton transfer
The aim of this project is to model the excitation transfer and thereby bridge the gap between the NMR results and the optical spectroscopy. The PhD student will develop a genuine multi-scale approach combining classical all-atom Molecular Dynamics (AA-MD) to predict structural dynamics, Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) to obtain parameters for an effective Frenkel exciton model, which in turn will be used to model the exciton energy transport and spectroscopy. This will reveal underlying mechanisms of high quantum efficiency and the role of vibrational modes in transport processes and allow us to devise new design principles for artificial light harvesting systems. Strong interactions with the Leiden and Twente groups including frequent visits should be expected.
Successful candidates will be offered a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further 3 years. The salary ranges from €2.325,- to €2.972,- gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Dutch Universities offer an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside The Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.
The PhD students are expected to contribute to teaching (ca. 10 % of the time) and are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science (www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl), or the Groningen Graduate School of Science and Engineering (https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-science-and-engineering/). The graduate schools offer PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research schools. You and your supervisors will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision.
The universities are strongly committed to diversity within their community and especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups. We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, but also stimulate interaction and discussion with colleagues.
Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.
Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.
The Faculty of Science at Leiden University is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.
The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.
The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: ‘Chemical Biology’ and ‘Energy & Sustainability’. The institute’s research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research. The research is embedded in the Solid State NMR group with access to very high and ultra high fields in the uNMR distributed national facility.