Doctoral scholarship holder in singlet oxygen photosensitizer dye synthesis, functionalization and characterization for biomedical applications

Updated: 8 days ago

Department: Department of Bioscience Engineering
Regime Full-time

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A-PECS  at the Department of Bioscience Engineering in the Faculty of Science is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in singlet oxygen photosensitizer dye synthesis, functionalization and characterization for biomedical applications.

In order to strive for academic excellence driven by international collaboration, this project will be a joint PhD, supervised by Prof. Karolien De Wael (A-PECS) and Prof. John Mack (Rhodes University, South Africa). The overall goal of this PhD is the rational design of novel photosensitizers with exceptional characteristics such as a high singlet oxygen quantum yield, photostability and facile synthesis. The research will focus on the synthesis, functionalization and characterization of innovative dyes such as BODIPYs, N-confused porphyrins, chlorins, aza-BODIPYs and phthalocyanines. These will be investigated for their photodynamic therapy activity and in photoelectrochemical sensing devices for cancer biomarkers.


  • You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of singlet oxygen photosensitizers for biomedical applications.
  • You develop and characterize novel photosensitizer dyes for photodynamic therapy and photoelectrochemical detection of cancer biomarkers and interact with end users to optimize the sensors.
  • You’ll perform research stays in South Africa at the institutes of the copromotors.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment.
  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences.


  • You hold a master degree in chemistry, bioscience or applied engineeringor a relevant degree for the position.
  • Fascination for analytical (organic) chemistry and (photo)electrochemistry.
  • Experience with biomarkers is a plus, but not strictly required.
  • You can submit outstanding academic results.
  • Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy .
  • You are eager and persistent to push the current scientific state-of-the-art.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A creative and analytical mind.
  • You are willing to travel to South Africa for research stays at the partner institutions (Rhodes University and University of Limpopo). One long research stay or multiple short research stays are possible.
  • In view of the international context, mastering of the English language (both oral and written) is mandatory.

What we offer

  • A doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension after positive evaluation.
  • The start date of the scholarship can be discussed, beginning from September 1st
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Groenenborger (UAntwerp) in a dynamic and stimulating working environment. Next to the work at A-PECS, you’ll perform research stays in South Africa at the labs of Prof. John Mack (Rhodes University) and Prof. Kwena Modibane (University of Limpopo).
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply?

  • You can apply through the online application platform until July 15th  2024. Click on the ‘Apply’ button, complete the application form and be sure to include the following attachments: 1) a detailed CV (including honours, grades, skills, publications, …), 2) contact info of two references together with 3) a strong motivation letter and 4) a weblink to a short video introducing yourself.
  • Applications missing a weblink to a short video introducing yourself won’t be considered.
  • A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions  or send an email to [email protected] . If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact [email protected] .

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award  for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity  and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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