PhD Position in Chemistry

Ghent University Department of Chemistry


PhD Student

Last application date
Nov 01, 2020 12:48
WE06 - Department of Chemistry
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

This PhD position will be funded by the recently obtained ERC Starting Grant – Nanothermometers for theranostics. It will be carried out in the NanoSensing group lead by Prof. Anna M. Kaczmarek. NanoSensing group ( is a newly funded research group at the Department of Chemistry of Ghent University, Belgium, which focuses on studying the use of nano-sized materials for sensing applications – especially nanothermometry and ion sensing, employing luminescence phenomena for this purpose. These sensors are based on a various range of host materials (inorganic phosphors, organosilica materials, etc.) and primarily lanthanide ions.

Temperature measurements in the field of biomedicine are extremely important as temperature plays an essential role in biological systems. Although it is possible to detect temperature employing robust and already commercially available techniques (e.g. infrared cameras), optical thermometry at the nanoscale allows studying phenomena otherwise inaccessible to so-called traditional thermometers. Theranostics is a recently emerging field, which integrates diagnostics with therapy. It is a very interesting concept to combine nanothermometry for diagnostics with therapy. However, the currently proposed nanothermometer materials leave little room to expand towards the topic of theranostics.

You will carry out research in the field of lanthanide nanothermometry based on hybrid nanomaterials operating in the physiological range. Your PhD work will mostly involve synthesis lab work, spectroscopy measurements at varying temperature and thermometry calculations. Collaborations with other groups on the biological aspects of the project are foreseen.

We can offer a funded PhD position for a period of four years in total, subject to meeting the requirements and deadlines set out by the supervisors and the doctoral school, with expected starting date of 01/01/2021 (can be postponed in necessary).

Profile of the candidate

  • Master degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or equivalent. For diplomas awarded outside the European Union, a certificate of equivalence (NARIC) must be submitted. The degree requirements need to be fulfilled at the start of your appointment.
  • Background or prior experience with nanomaterials, lanthanide materials, luminescence and/or thermometry is highly recommended.
  • Higlhy interested in academic research.
  • Participation in extra trainings, schools,... is beneficial.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written).
  • Ability to perform in-depth and critical data analysis.
  • Willingness to work at interdisciplinary boundaries, in close collaboration with the other project members.
  • Team player with a strong sense of autonomy and responsibility.

How to apply

Please submit the following documents no later than November 15th 2020:

  • Motivation letter describing why you should be considered for this position (max 1 page)
  • Detailed CV, including information about academic achievements and results
  • Copies of diploma’s and educational certificates
  • Transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. courses and grades
  • Name and contact details of two references who have supervised you in your B.Sc. and/or M.Sc. research project and who are willing to provide a letter of recommendation.

All documents should be in PDF format and written in English. From all applications, a short-list of candidates will be made, who will be contacted for a (Skype) interview.


In your application, please refer to


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