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    • Wageningen
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Biology
  • Technology


  • Postdoc

Apply by: 2022-11-03

Postdoc with interest in biobased adhesives

Published 2022-05-09

Are you an experienced researcher with a PhD interested in continuing your pursuit of scientific questions in a diverse, ambitious, and competitive environment? Are you someone with the desire to improve your mentorship skills, develop your own research ideas, establish new collaborations, and pursue new funding opportunities? We have a vacancy for a postdoc in biobased materials, with possibility to work part-time. Will you join our team?

What will you be doing?
We, the Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter Laboratory (PCC), have an open postdoctoral position available in the research domain of biobased materials. Your role will be to strengthen and establish promising collaborative research lines in PCC and at Wageningen University and Research (WUR). You will be part of a team of experienced and ambitious postdocs striving for scientific excellence within the stated science domain. Simultaneously, you will develop your own research vision and ideas, and talent in supervision and establishing new collaborations. This position offers extensive scientific freedom to pursue your own interests and obtain preliminary data as you are expected to pursue your own funding opportunities. You are expected to apply for your own funding (e.g NWO talent program Veni). You will be provided with coaching and mentorship in grant writing.

You will be offered the ability to work closely together with existing PhD candidates within PCC to develop your own leadership and mentorship abilities.

PCC is a group of likeminded scientists interested in phenomena where creative chemistry is essential, complex physics is a rule rather than an exception and biology comes to life. See the introductory video below about PCC, who we are and what we do:

We understand that you are triggered and want to apply immediately. Please read the 'Do you want to apply' section below for more guidance.

The flat oyster reefs have disappeared due to overfishing and destructive bottom trawling. Reintroduction of hard substrate is needed to kickstart oyster reef formation, and often concrete is used for robust structures, however, it has a high CO2 footprint and requires a significant amount of materials. For oyster larvae, wasted oyster shells are the ideal substrate for oyster larvae to settle. Individual shells, however, do not make a reef; they must be held together. Adhesive technology is infrequently used in wet environments as water is detrimental to the performance by promoting swelling of the material or weakening the contact with the adherend. Marine sandcastle worms have solved these issues using proteinaceous complex coacervate glues to form extremely durable underwater structures. Inspired by these natural solutions, you will work with a diverse team of researchers to develop a bio-inspired complex coacervated-based alternative for cement that binds oyster shells together. You will produce different versions of this adhesive material for direct application testing, including based on more fine shells that will mimic the function of concrete for creating dedicated functional and interlocking structures. Pilot research has shown promising results regarding adhesive performance and oyster larval deposition and survival.

Besides your willingness to learn, mentor PhD students, presentation skills and ambition:
  • you have a PhD in a relevant field for PCC. Postdoc experience is a bonus;
  • you have the ambition to pursue an academic scientific career;
  • you have the ability and ambition to establish new international collaborations within and between research groups at WUR;
  • of course you are fluent in English (C2 level).
Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between € 2.846,- and € 4.490,- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). Additionally, a reduced hour contract (0.8/0.6 full-time equivalent) can be discussed.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the Best University in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

Read the 5 reasons why your future collaegues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact prof. dr. Jasper van der Gucht, PCC chair professor, telephone +31-31-748-3066 or by e-mail: jasper.vandergucht@wur.nl.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Emma Langelaan, HR-advisor, by email: emma.langelaan@wur.nl.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

You will receive a message as soon as possible if you are selected for an interview.

With your application, a 2-page A4 research statement is required. You can upload this under 'Other' in the upload-section of the application form.

This statement must explain: your own scientific interests, how you would make these a reality at WUR, your existing talents and which talents you wish to develop further during this appointment as a postdoctoral researcher. Research projects must align with PCC's long-term vision, meaning that the topics should fit in the overall PCC strategy and be in consultation with the PIs; for example, you can explore new promising research lines and obtain preliminary results for future grant applications.

If accepted, the interview process will consist of an initial 20-minute online meeting where you will introduce your talent and ambition. Some candidates will then be invited for an in-person interview with a selection committee comprising 3 current staff member of the Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter laboratory.

This vacancy has no fixed deadline with applicants invited for interviews as applications are received.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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