PhD in Computational Chemistry

Faculteit/Dienst:  Faculteit der Natuurw., Wiskunde & Informatica
Opleidingsniveau:  Master
Functie type:  Promotieplaats
Sluitingsdatum:  30.06.2024
Vacaturenummer:  12758



PRONTO (PROperty prediction by Network TOpology modelling of polymer films) is a 3-PhD project concerning ‘drying’  of paints or coating solutions, a solidification process where multifunctional monomers in the liquid polymerize into a polymer network: a single large molecule spanning the entire volume. Rates of reactions and diffusion define the network formation, but are dramatically influenced by the density of the growing network. To address this complexity, the PRONTO researchers will develop multiscale computational models connecting atomic-level molecular simulations, mesoscopic reaction kinetics and network modelling, and macroscopic continuum modelling. PRONTO is a collaboration between Universiteit van Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Canon Production Printing (Venlo), AkzoNobel Performance Coatings (Sassenheim), Reden (Engineering and simulation, Hengelo OV) and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The project is financed by NWO and Canon.

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 and essentially permitting 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 (Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics) 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 an 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. 


Your experience and profile:

•    A recent MSc degree in science, 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


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 €2,770 - €3,539. This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile name profile and level is applicable. Select situation depending on WP/OBP position. 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 Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. Research is organized into four themes: Analytical ChemistryComputational ChemistrySynthesis & Catalysis and Molecular Photonics.


Computational Chemistry is one of the research groups within the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Our research focuses on the development and application of advanced molecular simulation and multiscale modelling methodology to obtain novel and improved understanding of the behaviour of (bio)materials, and of complex (bio)chemical and physical processes that are of technological and scientific importance.


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.  

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.




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


Job application


Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by July 1, 2024 at latest. You may apply online by using the link below.


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.


We will recruit until the positions are filled. The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found, even if this is prior to the final date of the application window.  
Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.


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.