PhD candidate in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: 28 Feb 2019

Faculty of Science – Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
Publication date
19 December 2018
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,325 to €2,972 gross per month
Closing date
28 February 2019
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organised into four themes: Sustainable Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

The Fernández-Ibáñez group is currently offering a PhD position on an exciting research programme, which was funded by the NWO (ECHO grant) ‘Catalytic efficient methods for inter- and intramolecular Fujiwara-Moritani reactions’.

The Synthetic Organic Chemistry group is part of the Sustainable Chemistry theme, which is a Research Prority Area (RPA) of the University of Amsterdam. The RPAs represent the excellence of UvA in terms of research and worldwide recognition.

Project description

Palladium-catalyzed C-H olefination (Fujiwara-Moritani reaction) of arenes is a highly attractive alternative to the well-known Mizoroki-Heck reaction to obtain aryl-olefines since no prefunctionalization of the starting materials is required. This approach provides synthetic shortcuts and more straightforward and atom-economical processes. Many elegant and efficient methodologies have been described for the direct olefination of arenes, but the vast majority of these examples require the presence of a directing group within the substrate to enhance the reactivity and selectivity of the process, which are the main limitations in the C-H functionalization field. Moving beyond the directing group paradigm is essential to achieve C-H functionalization reactions that do not demand specific structural motifs be built into substrates. However, general and efficient methodologies for the Fujiwara-Moritani reaction are lacking. Often, low yields and selectivities are obtained for a wide range of substrates and methodologies are usually limited to electron rich and non-sterically hindered arenes. Overcoming these limitations will permit to establish in both, academia and industry, the Fujiwara-Moritani reaction as a solid alternative to the well-known Heck reaction.

The objective of the present research program is directed towards the discovery and development of a general and efficient Pd(II)-based catalytic system for the (asymmetric) inter-and intramolecular C-H olefination of non-prefunctionalized (herero)arenes.


What do we require of you?

  • A MSc. degree in a relevant subject related to organic chemistry. If you have not finished your Masters yet, you can still apply. The starting date of your PhD contract will be slightly after the date that you obtain your Master;
  • excellent lab skills and background in organic synthesis are essential;
  • skills and experience in catalysis and organometallic chemistry will be beneficial;
  • being able to work both independently and as a team member;
  • good communication skills in the English language.

Further information

For further information, please contact:


The desired start date of the project is in April 2019 but excellence prevails over starting date.

The full-time appointment will be on a temporary base for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive evaluation) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €2,325 in the first year to €2,972 in the final year, according to the Dutch salary scales for PhD candidates. This is excl. 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

You may apply using the link below.
Please upload the following information in a single PDF file (not zipped):

  • cover letter/letter of motivation (at most 1 page), why did you choose to apply for this position;
  • curriculum vitae, including list of publications;
  • the names and contact details (email and telephone numbers) of two academic references.

We will recruit until the position is filled. The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found, even if this prior to the final date of the application window. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam

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