PhD position in single-atom and bi-atom catalysis

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 15 Sep 2020

The electrocatalysis and fuel cell research group, led by Dr Ning Yan, is aiming at developing new electrocatalysts for sustainable energy applications. We approach the goals in a multidisciplinary fashion and try to understand the fundamental principles of catalysis using both ex-situ and in-situ methods. We own or have access to an extensive fleet of high-quality analytical and materials characterization instrumentation, such as NMR, XPS, UV-Vis, MS, in-situ FTIR and Raman, aberration-corrected TEM and synchrotron facilities. The group is part of the Sustainable Chemistry Research Priority theme at the UvA and is working closely with heterogenous catalysis group (HCSC) led by Prof. Gadi Rothenberg and homogenous catalysis group (HomKat) led by Prof. Joost Reek.

What are you going to do?

The project is part of Dr Ning Yan’s Vidi grant funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). It involves rational approaches for the development of both single-atom and bi-atom catalyst on heterogeneous supports. This new catalytic material is fully inorganic, featuring bi-atom pairs as the active sites on the support, and will be applied in various electrocatalytic reactions. The ultimate goal is to reveal and understand the cooperative catalysis effects of the bi-atom pair.

You will collaborate extensively with HomKat group of Prof. Joost Reek and HCSC group of Prof. Gadi Rothenberg. He/She may also get the opportunity to travel internationally to perform experimental work.

What do we require?
  • Background in chemistry, materials sciences or closely-related disciplines;
  • two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree;
  • the ability to collaborate and adapt in an international team;
  • good communication skills in both oral and written English;
  • experience in developing single-atom catalyst and/or synthesis of inorganic complexes is an advantage, as is a publication record in peer-reviewed journals.

Our offer

The position is preferably starting from 1 October 2020 (it can be earlier such as 1 September). You will be appointed full-time at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) 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.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week, exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science .

About the Faculty of Science and HIMS

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. 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, the functioning of the brain, or the convergence of an algorithm.

The Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the 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.


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Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 15 September 2020. You can apply online by using the link below.

Please upload the following information in a single PDF file (not zipped):

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


No agencies please

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