Postdoc BenignSynthesis Project

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you interested in concepts and methods how to develop safer and more sustainable chemicals, materials, processes and products in order to reduce environmental pollution and improve human health? Are you looking for a postdoc position where you can advance your academic career, while also working closely with public and private stakeholders?

Then join our interactive and interdisciplinary team of researchers on environmental chemistry and toxicology, embedded in the broader context of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics  (IBED), on a postdoc position for 26 months (when full-time).

This position is part of the NWO Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) BenignSynthesis project. Recently, the EU introduced the concept of Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD) for chemical substances, processes and products. SSbD is a crucial element in accomplishing sustainable development goals and integrates earlier work on Safe-by-Design, sustainable development assessment and circular economy.

The NWO-NWA Phase II BenignSynthesis project will contribute to this international quest by building on the three projects that were granted in Phase I of the NWA Safe-by-Design call. These three projects span the design of chemicals, materials, and products for making them safe, sustainable and circular during their entire life cycle. The Phase II BenignSynthesis project will enable cooperation, synthesis and leverage to the knowledge and tools developed by the Phase I projects and will investigate the prospects and limitations of an integrated SSbD methodology. BenignSynthesis will further generalize, integrate, evaluate and where feasible simplify the methods developed, with the aim to come to an overarching Safe, Sustainable & Circular-by-Design approach for the Chemicals-Materials-Product continuum in which the life cycle of design, production, consumption and waste is accounted for.

What are you going to do?

You will study the commonalities as well as differences in underlying concepts, definitions, approaches, criteria, models and tools for SSbD, including the ways of dealing with potential tensions in decision making. Together with stakeholders, you will reflect on context-specific requirements for a fruitful implementation of the developed approach. You will work within a cohort of young researchers (8 PhDs and 3 PDs, of which 2 PDs are from this Phase II project) from various Dutch academic research institutes.

Specifically, you will be responsible for the work package on ‘Methods and design approaches for safe, sustainable and circular design of chemicals, materials and products.’ This work package will inventorize, evaluate, generalize, integrate and, where possible, simplify methods and approaches to design and produce safe, sustainable and circular chemicals, that are subsequently turned into materials and products. You will compile and present the information as needed to the various stakeholders within the ecosystem in which safe, sustainable and circular by design is shape. You will also provide guidance to them when a method, approach and corresponding information is opportune.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • You will collaborate with partners within the Phase I and II projects, conduct independent research, resulting in academic publications in peer-reviewed international journals, in cooperation with other researchers in the NWA Safe-by-Design program;
  • Furthermore, we expect you to be an active member of our research group and to take part in teaching efforts, including assisting in practical courses and supervision of bachelor and master students.

Your experience and profile

  • A successfully completed PhD degree in environmental or sustainability sciences with a focus on data science and/or risk assessment and /or science-to-policy interface;
  • You are a committed researcher, demonstrated by publications in international refereed academic journals;
  • You are experienced in supervising BSc and MSc research;
  • You are able to work at both a conceptual and practical level;
  • You can show relevant scientific and technical skills, have preferably experience with both stakeholder interaction and model development;
  • Good analytical and statistical skills, including the use of programming languages (e.g. R, Python);
  • You have excellent English language and communication skills;
  • You are a team player and can easily link to other scientific disciplines. Working together across disciplines is essential for the success of this program.

Our offer

We offer a postdoc position with a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 26 months. The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 3,226 to € 5,090 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands  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 PD students via de PERC Graduate school;
  • 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 (max 40% of time);
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with your registration at UvA Staff Housing (application 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 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. Together, we create a vibrant, challenging and well-equipped research environment at Amsterdam Science Park. 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 systems underlying biological processes.

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics  is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic and biotic factors, and the interplay between those.  The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale.

The University of Amsterdam has excellent high performance computing facilities. Furthermore, IBED has a dedicated computational support team with specialized knowledge of bioinformatics, (geo)database management and scientific programming. IBED also works with non-academic partners to deliver transdisciplinary science for society. The University of Amsterdam has excellent high performance computing facilities . Furthermore, IBED has a dedicated computational support team  with specialized knowledge of bioinformatics, (geo)database management and scientific programming”

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

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact: prof. dr. Annemarie van Wezel ([email protected] ) or dr. Elisabeth Krueger ([email protected] ).

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 19 May 2024.

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;

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.

(for details: national knowledge security guidelines )

We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the closing date.

Studies show that women and members of underrepresented groups only apply for jobs if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Do you meet the educational requirements but do not yet have all the required experience? Then the UvA encourages you to apply anyway.

No agencies please.



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