3-Year Postdoc position: 2DIR and FSRS spectroscopy in Biophysics of Photosynthesis

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;




0.8 - 1

Job description

Plants have evolved elaborate feedback mechanisms to protect themselves from excess sunlight, which involve rearrangement and structural dynamics of light-harvesting proteins in the photosynthetic membrane. The candidate will employ two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) and femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS) to assess structural dynamics of pH-regulatory proteins in photosynthesis, and thereby solve an important puzzle in our understanding of photoprotection in photosynthesis. This project is part of the recent consortium grant Nanoscale Regulators of Photosynthesis, with research partners at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University and Research, Leiden University and Groningen University.

Your duties

  • establish the experimental conditions to perform 2DIR and FSRS spectroscopy on photosynthetic regulatory proteins in various membrane-mimicking environments
  • operate an existing 2D-IR infrared spectrometer based on a PhaseTech pulse shaper
  • operate an existing FSRS spectrometer based on a home-built mechanical pulse shaper
  • analyze and interpret data in coordination with PI and the collaborating spectral simulation group in Groningen
  • write scientific publications in coordination with PI and collaborators
  • note that biological sample materials and their handling expertise are available through collaborations in the consortium.

  • PhD degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry or related disciplines
  • knowledge of and experience with infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy
  • interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment
  • excellent command of English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,836 (scale 10)

and a maximum €4,474 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: 'onderzoeker 4' is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

The employment contract will affect a period of 3 years (1 FTE) or 3 years, 9 months (0,8 FTE).
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus, a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance), optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (i) high-energy and gravitational physics, (ii) quantum metrology and laser applications, (iii) physics of life and health, and (iv) physics of photosynthesis and energy. The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (together with University of Twente). Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (on campus) and location AMC), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), and a thriving startup scene.

About the project
The project will be conducted in the Biophysics of Photosynthesis group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The group offers a very multidisciplinary environment in which biologists, chemists and physicists work in close collaboration and state-of-the-art facilities for biophysics, molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology and spectroscopy.




Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 

May 13, 2022.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: John Kennis
Position: Professor of Biophysics
E-mail: j.t.m.kennis@vu.nl
Telephone: +31205987212

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