PhD candidate synthesis and evaluation of non-isocyanate polyurethanes

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 18 Aug 2019

PhD candidate synthesis and evaluation of non-isocyanate polyurethanes
PhD candidate synthesis and evaluation of non-isocyanate polyurethanes
Published Deadline Location
21 Jun 18 Aug Geleen

You are a highly motivated researcher with a master degree in chemistry, holding skills in organic and/or polymer chemistry. You are willing to collaborate closely with both universities and industrial partners on the development of biobased non-isocyanate polyurethanes.
Job description

The research project (Bio NIPU) is part of a larger European private-public cooperation (Interreg V Flanders-the Netherlands, ) which focuses on the development of 100% biobased and non-toxic polyurethane for endproducts in the textile and synthetic rubber industry.

The production of biopolymers for commercial applications is increasing year after year. The transition to biobased materials has also started within the synthetic rubber and textile industry. The textile sector wants to produce at least 20% of its products from biomaterial by 2030. However, biopolymers for textile coatings and synthetic rubber (elastomers), such as polyurethane, are only available for a limited number of applications and are not completely bio-based. For example, polyurethane contains substances that are associated with asthma and other chronic diseases. At European level, a restriction on the use of such substances was proposed.

The Bio NIPU project therefore focuses on research into alternative, non-toxic building blocks for the synthesis of polyurethane. Fully renewable raw materials - such as waste products from sugar refining and the production of biodiesel as well as natural oils and fats - are used to develop biobased polyurethanes.

As the PhD candidate of Maastricht University, you will play an active role in the Bio NIPU consortium. You are responsible for the synthesis of the biobased non-isocyanate polyurethanes, and to evaluate their potential in mainly coating and thermoplastic polyurethane applications. The candidate will collaborate with researchers at both universities and industrial partners, and based on their feedback, the research will be tuned. The candidate is open to upscale successful leads in the lab for application testing by industrial partners.

The PhD candidate will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM), which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks.  You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs of AMIBM are located.

  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • Geleen View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


The PhD candidate:

  • holds a Master in Chemistry;

  • has strong polymer synthesis and characterization skills; experience in polyurethane synthesis and application is a pro;

  • has a strong interest to investigate structure-property relationships of the newly synthesized polymers in different applications;

  • aims at helping to create ready-to-market products from the insights gained during the PhD study – in balance with profound scientific publishing in peer review journals;

  • is open for upscaling of novel products or processes to support application tests by industrial partners;

  • likes to interact with academic and industrial partners;

  • is result driven, inventive, creative, counts with potential impact, works ‘accountable’ and works with ownership;

  • masters scientific English for speaking, reading, and writing. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

The full-time position is offered for four years (first year + three years after receiving a positive evaluation) with a yearly evaluation. The salary will be set in PhD salary scale of the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (€2.325 gross per month in first year to €2.972 last year). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more information look at the website  > Support > UM employees.

Fixed-term contract: 4 years


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM)

The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) is a department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at Maastricht University. AMIBM is a European cross-border research institute established by Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials.

The mission of AMIBM is to replace traditional polymer building blocks with innovative and sustainable alternatives for the development of novel and environmentally-beneficial materials. AMIBM promotes world-class multidisciplinary research in the field of biobased materials, by training PhD students with the multiple skills needed to be future leaders in the field, and creating the research breakthroughs that will enable the utilization of sustainable and renewable materials for advanced materials applications.

The multidisciplinary team draws together scientists with expertise in organic chemistry, biocatalysis, lead finding of new biobased blocks, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer engineering, biobased and biomedical materials, tissue engineering, and industrial and medical applications.

More information can be found via

Additional information

To apply, please click on the Apply now button and submit:
- Cover letter including your motivation, your relevant experience (referring to the “description of the candidate”, above);
- CV;
- Names and contact data of two people who could provide a reference;
- Diplomas/degrees including a grade transcript of previous education.

For further information about this PhD position you can contact, Katrien Bernaerts, Associate Professor Biobased Materials Polymer Chemistry (+31 43 388 2636) or via

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

Application procedure

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.

You can send your application to this e-mail:

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You can send your application to this e-mail:

Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2019.213 in your letter.

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