• Full Time
  • Scholarships
  • Netherlands

Wageningen University & Research

PhD in Nanotechnology and Quantum Chemistry, Develop and characterize nanoparticle MRI sensors for environmental sensing applications experimentally

Are you fascinated by research on the interface of experiment and modelling? Do you want to contribute to the improvement of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) sensor molecules for environmental sensing? Are you holding an MSc degree in either chemistry or physics? A PhD student position on the interface of quantum chemistry and experimental MRI contrast agent design is available.

The position is shared by the Laboratory of BioNanoTechnology (Dr. Julia Krug) and the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry (Dr. Guanna Li).

To develop efficient and biocompatible MRI sensor molecules, an interdisciplinary approach is required. By combining quantum chemical modelling with experiment, we aim to develop new first-row transition metal-based molecular sensor and elucidate the complex contrast-generating mechanisms of nanoparticles. The synergy between experiment and modelling will be essential to maximize our understanding of the physicochemical aspects in relation to the contrast generating efficiency towards environmental sensing. Approximately half of your time will be dedicated to design and test the sensor experimentally and the other half to understand the contrast-generating mechanisms at the atomic level by quantum modeling. Such a biphasic approach will lead to unique expertise in both the experimental domain as well as the theoretical domain.

As a PhD candidate, your project entails the following elements:

  • Develop and characterize nanoparticle MRI sensors for environmental sensing applications experimentally (MRI, relaxometry);
  • rationalize theoretic models to account for physicochemical properties and their influence on the contrast efficiency of the MRI sensor;
  • develop a methodological approach for an efficient contrast agent design by experimental optimization integrated with computer-aided rational design.

We ask

We are looking for a highly-motivated, academically curious and result-driven team player with:

  • responsibility for the progress and quality of projects;
  • independent working skills;
  • strong communication skills to work on an interdisciplinary project between two groups;
  • good-to-excellent communication skills in both spoken and written English (either proven Higher education certificate or TOEFL/IELTS certificate.

Specific expertise profile, or the interest and drive to become proficeint in these areas:

  • Education of physical chemistry or chemical physics;
  • a background in NMR or MRI or related spectroscopy;
  • experience with NMR or MRI experiments or experience in computational/theoretical modelling of spectroscopies;
  • basic programming skills (e.g. Python, Matlab).

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • Sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.395,- per month rising to € 3.061,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the Best University in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s
International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

Do you want more information?
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Julia Krug by e-mail: julia.krug@wur.nl or Dr. Guanne Li: guanna.li@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor by mail: marjolijn.steffens@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

Equal opportunities 
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusive webpage. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.500 employees and 12.500 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

General information about the Laboratory of BioNanoTechnology can be found on www.wur.nl/biont
and general information about the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry can be found on www.wur.nl/orc.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR.

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

To apply for this job please visit www.wur.nl.