Postdoc position on in-situ electron microscopy (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 22 days ago

Postdoc position on in-situ electron microscopy (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The electron microscopy centre at Utrecht University comprises some state-of-the-art electron microscopes for materials science. In this position, you will be employing in-situ transmission electron microscopy to study the decomposition of natural gas (methane) to hydrogen and carbon nanostructures. This conversion opens the possibility of utilising natural gas to produce hydrogen as a fuel without any associated CO2 emissions, and at the same time producing valuable carbon nanostructures, for which the morphology depends on the catalysts used in this process. You will work closely with other researchers in this project to establish fundamental insight into the carbon growth mechanism, the kinetics under different conditions, and the influence of the particle size, composition, and spatial distribution of the carbon growth catalyst.
The position has to be filled at the latest by July 1st , and is funded by ARC CBBC.


Our ideal candidate has:

  • a PhD in materials science, physics, chemistry, or engineering;
  • extensive experience in operating transmission electron microscopes, preferably with in-situ electron microscopy experience;
  • excellent command of both written and spoken English;
  • the ability to work independently, to critically assess their own results, and to cooperate within a wider research team;
  • preferably additional experience working also with other aspects of catalysts or materials, such as synthesis and structural characterisation techniques.

  • a full-time position for 1 year, with possible extension for an additional 15 months upon good performance;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from € 2.790,- to € 4.402,- in scale 10;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.
More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here .

About the organization

The group “Materials Chemistry and Catalysis ” is both diverse and international, and comprises 30-35 PhD candidates and postdocs, as well as scientific staff members, technicians, and other supporting staff, and we generally have about 20 MSc and BSc students performing research projects in our group. We avail of an extensive experimental infrastructure, as well as computational capabilities, that we use to investigate both from the fundamental point of view and in collaboration with industry catalysts and energy storage and conversion materials. Another stronghold is the characterisation of these complex materials with advanced (in-situ and operando) spectroscopic such as advanced X-Ray absorption spectroscopy. The group has a long track record in the advanced use of transmission electron microscopy for materials characterisation, comprising electron tomography, diffraction, and elemental mapping, and in recent years also developing in-situ transmission electron microscopy in liquid and in gas phase cells, in collaboration with others in the Electron Microscopy Centre Utrecht .
We are part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science , which unites physicists and chemists working together on nanomaterials for sustainability. This research institute is part of the Faculty of Science in which there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics.
Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our informal atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people.

Additional information

If you have any questions that you’d like us to answer, please contact: 

  • Professor Petra de Jongh: or
  • Professor K.P de Jong:

Do you have a question about the application procedure or the working conditions at Utrecht University? Please send an email to .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button!
Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • A list of publications and presentations.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.
Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 25/05/2021
View or Apply

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