PhD Candidates in Molecular Information Processing

Radboud University


Two PhD Candidates in Chemistry: Molecular Information Processing

  • 40 hours per week
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 2,972
  • Faculty of Science
  • Job level: Research University Degree
  • Duration of the contract: 4 years
  • Application deadline: 30 November 2019


We are looking for


Recent advances in DNA-based computing have shown that digital logic can be implemented using molecules. However, living systems use enzymatic reaction networks to sense and respond to their environment, to maintain homeostasis, and to grow and divide. Each of these processes are examples of molecular systems performing analogue computing steps. Although living systems do not compete with modern silicon-based devices on speed, they are capable of highly parallelised information processing using very little energy. Harnessing the power of reaction networks could lead to a paradigm shift in sustainable solutions to information processing, using complex molecular systems capable of carrying out complex computations.

Position 1: As a PhD candidate you will synthesize and screen libraries of peptides that can act as reversible inhibitors and slow substrates for a range of proteases that are part of an enzymatic reaction network. These networks will be able to process information encoded in small peptide sequences and are operated in microfluidic reactors. You will construct such reactors and study the dynamic output of small enzymatic networks.

Position 2: As a PhD candidate, you will work on the design and construction of enzymatic reaction networks that can perform analogue computing functions. You will develop methods to encode complex functions, and combine multiple reactors to assemble multi-layer neural networks.

Both candidates will work as part of a team consisting of chemists, biochemists, microfluidics engineers and computer scientists, in which each member contributes their own expertise to the overall goal of constructing a molecular computer based on enzymatic reaction networks.

You will communicate your findings through publications in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences. You will also be involved in training and teaching BSc and MSc students.

We ask


  • MSc degree in Chemistry or a related discipline.
  • For position 2, a strong background in mathematics and an affinity for computer science is essential.
  • Strong motivation and interest to work in a highly collaborative environment at an interdisciplinary research centre.
  • Independent mindset, good communication skills and team spirit.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English.

We are


As a PhD Candidate, you will be part of the Physical-Organic Chemistry group at Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and work with Prof. Wilhelm Huck. Our group is part of Theme 2, Chemistry of Complex Systems, of the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM).

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 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • Employment: 40 hours per week.
  • A maximum gross monthly salary of € 2.972 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale P).
  • The starting salary is €2.325,-per month on a full-time basis, the salary will increase to €2.972,- per month in the fourth year (P-scale).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed 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.
  • The intended start date is 1 January 2020.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Prof. dr. Wilhelm Huck, full professor
Tel.: +31 24 3652138

Apply directly

Please address your application to Prof. dr. Wilhelm Huck and submit it, using the application button, no later than 30 November 2019, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation, including a description of previous research experience and the names and contact details of at least two references.
  • Copy of BSc and MSc academic records (subjects and marks).
  • CV.


We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

In your application, please refer to


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