Carbon-neutral hydrogen production is a priority for both the energy transition and the chemical sector. One strategy to produce ultralow-carbon, low-cost hydrogen is to adapt the existing steam reforming process to accept waste feedstocks such as biogas, biomass derivatives and off-streams hydrocarbons. This calls for the discovery of better catalysts, more resistant against poisoning, by rational catalyst design.

In this project, you as a Postdoc will work on bridging the existing knowledge gap in understanding deactivation mechanisms using advanced operando spectroscopic techniques to study the catalyst at work. You will develop and test new sintering- and poisoning-resistant bimetallic catalysts based on nickel, for the production of hydrogen via steam, dry or tri-reforming of simulated waste streams. Your project will provide fundamental understanding of reforming reactions and lead to the discovery of better performing catalysts with direct practical application for the valorisation of carbon dioxide, methane, and other low-value feedstocks.


We are looking for a candidate with one or multiple of the following aspects. You are an enthusiastic and proactive researcher. You like to collaborate and establish new contacts. You are independent in your work and involved with the team you work in. Additionally, we are looking for an ambitious, skilled candidate who has:

  • a PhD in heterogeneous catalysis;
  • expertise in material syntheses, surface chemistry, and analytical characterisation;
  • experience in methane steam/dry/tri reforming chemistry (considered an advantage);
  • experience in supervision of MSc and possibly PhD students.


We offer:

  • the opportunity to work in and with a team of leading experts;
  • a full-time position for 2 years;
  • a full-time gross salary, depending on previous qualifications and work experience, that ranges between €2,960 and €4,670 per month (scale 10) Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions external linkbased on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow. More information about working at the Faculty of Science. 

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About the organisation

The Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis (ICC) 

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 research group is part of the Department of Chemistry 

external link and the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science external link. The ICC group focuses on characterisation, performance, and synthesis of inorganic functional materials with special emphasis on well-defined heterogeneous catalysts for energy storage and sustainable physicochemical conversion processes in the fields of thermal catalysis, photocatalysis and electrocatalysis. The ICC group specialises in the development of operando and in-situ (time-resolved) spectroscopy and microscopy techniques to develop structure-performance relationships and understand, for example, the function and deactivation of solid catalysts. The group includes 2 full professors, 1 associate professor, 5 assistant professors, 10 technicians and about 60 PhD candidates and/or Postdoctoral fellows.

At the Faculty of Science 

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, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Get to know our faculty 

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Utrecht University 

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 is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts researchers, professors, and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

In the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium  (ARC CBBC), founded in 2016, the companies AkzoNobel, BASF, Nouryon and Shell and the universities of Eindhoven, Groningen and Utrecht are working with the support of the Dutch government and scientists from other academic institutions on far-reaching research to find solutions to counteract greenhouse gas emissions and create a sustainable society. Sharing a common vision of sustainability, our new generation of scientific talent aims to build the chemistry for the future.

Additional information

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Dr. Matteo Monai 

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 ( Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to

The selection of candidates will be exclusively based on qualification without regard to gender, religion, or national origin. Candidates should be able to demonstrate motivation and a strong eagerness to learn and have the ability to both work independently and as part of a team.


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, than simply respond via the ‘apply now’ button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this link to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 8 August 2022.


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