PhD student enzymology in Tungsten BioCatlysis

PhD student enzymology in Tungsten BioCatlysis

Published Deadline Location
30 Oct 1 Dec Delft

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Challenge: Using a synthetic pathway to optimise metal co-factors in industrial workhorse microorganisms.
Change: Finding new types of tungsten enzymes for industrial applications. Impact: Creating greener alternatives for the chemical industry.

Job description

Europe’s chemical industry must become more sustainable – and it must do so quickly. Breakthrough technologies can help to accelerate this goal. At the moment, chemical manufacturing is held back by the limited number of enzyme classes in industrial use even though some enzymes are known to offer greener, safer and less energy demanding benefits. For this reason, the European Innovation Council has funded a new Pathfinder Open project W-BioCat [add link]. The W-BioCat project targets an important enzyme class of tungsten-containing enzymes (W-enzymes), which catalyse amazing chemical reactions involving challenging low redox potential reduction reactions that are currently impossible to obtain economically at an industrial scale. Its goal? To functionally express W-enzymes in an industrial workhorse microorganism. This would be a major breakthrough for science and the applications of this enzyme class in fragrance- and flavour compounds and cosmetic ingredients.


As a PhD student in Enzymology in Tungsten Biocatalysis, you will perform fundamental, application-inspired research in the area of enzymology with enzyme engineering as a key experimental approach. Specifically, you will heterologously express W-cofactor biosynthetic enzymes and proteins, analyse the W-cofactor biosynthesis pathways and ultimately build a new host organism for the functional expression of W-enzymes.


You will join the Hagedoorn Group in Delft [add link:], which specializes in the elucidation of reaction mechanisms of metalloenzymes using advanced kinetic and spectroscopic techniques. The group’s research on the fundamental understanding of enzymes and the application thereof forms the basis for the application of enzymes in industrial processes. With access to world-class facilities, you will be working alongside leading scientists in the field of biocatalysis who are as passionate about green chemistry and sustainability as you.      


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


[insert requirements from form here, please make sure to make sure that the text below about language requirements is NOT removed]

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,100 employees, including 150 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,600 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we educate innovative students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD04607


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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