The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry are looking for a:

PhD candidate || Biohybrid systems for semi-artificial photosynthesis (1.0 fte)
Vacancy number: 22-406

Project description
In this PhD project you will aim to develop microreactors for semi-artificial photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis aims to use (in)organic chemistry to synthesize fuels from sunlight. In semi-artificial photosynthesis we aim to combine the benefits of chemistry and biotechnology in ‘biohybrid’ microreactors systems, with enzymes for the biocatalysis of redox reactions and semi-conducting nanoparticles for the harvesting of light. The microreactors will compartmentalise the oxidative and reductive half-reactions, mimicking natural photosynthesis in the thylakoid membranes. Lessons learned from these microreactor systems will then be applied to the engineering of bacterial ‘biohybrid’ system. In bacterial biohybrid systems, light is harvested by semi-conducting nanoparticles and converted by the bacteria to solar fuels. 

Selection criteria
•    MSc degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biophysics or related discipline with focus on and passion for biotechnology for sustainable energy solutions;
•    Excellent proficiency in English;
•    Experience with protein purification, preferably membrane proteins;
•    Other desirable skills: 
o    Experience in with lipids and liposomes;
o    Experience with nanoparticles or photocatalysis.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Science 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 is 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 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 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.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.540 to € 3.245 gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers 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.

All our PhD candidates are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. 

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

If you have any questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Thomas Kalkman, (management assistant). Enquiries related to the project can be made to Prof. Lars Jeuken,

Please send your application to Thomas Kalkman, including the following documents:
•    A letter of motivation;
•    An updated CV;
•    The transcripts of your MSc studies and copy of your degree;
•    Written letters of recommendation by at least two former supervisors.

Application deadline is August 8, 2022. Interviews are planned to take place between August 12 and 19, 2022.

Apply now

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