PhD Position in Computational Chemistry

University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science


PhD in Computational Chemistry

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science
Educational level:  University
Function type:  PhD position
Closing date:  31.07.2023
Vacancy number:  11431

Do you enjoy working in an interdisciplinary research setting where computational chemistry and industrial-application oriented research are joining forces? The Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, in collaboration with Canon Production Printing Netherlands BV, is looking for an ambitious PhD student to develop and apply novel multiscale models for fast photopolymerization of thin acrylate films, from liquid monomer to solid polymer network through gelation, for optimizing the industrial printing equipment.

Photopolymerization of multifunctional acrylates is an intriguing and complex process. When initiated by light, this process solidifies a monomer liquid in a course of a ‘topological’ phase transition, resulting in a formation of a single large molecule that spans the entire volume -- a polymer network. Although qualitatively well-understood, accurate quantitative predictions of this process is a major modelling challenge -- the rates of reactions and diffusion define the network formation and, alongside this, the rates are dramatically influenced by the density of the growing network.

What are you going to do?

This project is focusing on several issues for atomistic simulations with acrylate: establishing more realistic conditions, inferring kinetic information (complementary to experiments) and prediction of thermo-mechanical properties. In atomic simulations, the positions of all molecules and atoms are known, which essentially permits computation of any microscopically defined quantity, providing understanding at the atomic level. Atomic simulations will reveal gaps in property predictions by Random Graph modeling and means to improve upon Random Graphs. You will develop and apply computational models as practical aid for predicting, controlling, and improving visual appearance and mechanical properties of thin (10 μm) acrylate films used in large-scale industrial printing.

Tasks and responsibilities: 

  • Perform research in the computational chemistry theme of the van t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences;
  • Be and active member of the computational chemistry theme;
  • Take part actively in the collaboration with Canon Production Printing Netherlands BV;
  • Contribute to the teaching of BSc/MSc students;
  • Publish and present your work within the project and on international scientific platforms;
  • Contribute to the teaching activities of the department.

What do you have to offer?

Your experience and profile:

  • A recent MSc degree in science, preferably chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, materials science, or computational science with a specialization in natural science;
  • A strong background in chemistry, physics or computational science;
  • Affinity and/or experience with continuum modelling with kinetic modeling, Random Graph modeling, and partial differential equations (PDEs) is preferred;
  • Affinity and/or experience with molecular simulations is preferred;
  • Good programming skills preferred;
  • Good communication skills in oral and written English;
  • Strong initiative and good time management skills;
  • Interest in collaborating with students PhDs and postdoctoral researchers in related projects and research groups within and outside the Netherlands.

Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is a soon as possible. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between E 2,541.- - E 3,247.- (scale P). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • a complete educational program for PhD students;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad. 

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain. 


The Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavor & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organized into four themes: Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Synthesis & Catalysis and Molecular Photonics.

The Computational Chemistry group is expert in the field of the modelling of molecules, materials and biological processes.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

  • dr. D.Dubbeldam, associate professor of Computational Chemistry
  • T: +31 20 5255054

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We will recruit until the position is filled and close the position when a suitable candidate is found.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • the names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

new south wales uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni