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PhD on Flow-assisted shaping of polymer surfaces for steering cell behaviour

PhD on Flow-assisted shaping of polymer surfaces for steering cell behaviour

Are you eager to work on a pioneering PhD project at the interface between fluid physics, soft matter and bioengineering? Do you enjoy collaborating with researchers from different fields, and combining experiments and theory? Then this position might be for you!
Applied Physics
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Job description

Interfacial flows in evaporating liquid droplets can form remarkably complex deposition patterns of suspended microparticles or polymers. In this PhD project we will unravel how the flows inside an evaporating droplet cause the aggregation of the biopolymer collagen, and the patterns formed can be used to control the function of eukaryotic cells.

The project will be carried out in the team of Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom, assistant professor in the Fluids and Flows group at the department of Applied Physics. The team focusses on capillary flow phenomena in liquids containing biological or living matter. The PhD project will be embedded within the Immuno-engineering program of the Institute of Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Within the project you will closely collaborate with the Soft Matter and Biological Physics group within the department of Applied Physics and with researchers from the department of Biomedical Engineering, who focus on using structured collagen substrates to study the behaviour of cells in healthy and diseased tissue. Besides research you will also contribute to education. Apart from supervising BSc and MSc students in their research projects, other assistance in education, e.g. in bachelor courses, is usually limited to about 5% of your contract time.

Job requirements

  • A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in (bio)physics or fluid dynamics
  • Affinity with experimental fluid dynamics/ biophysics/soft-matter physics
  • Pro-active and collaborative mentality
  • Eager to learn
  • Good organization and communication skills
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact 
dr. Hanneke Gelderblom, Fluids & Flows group, Department of Applied Physics, h.gelderblom[at] ,

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.flux[at]

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We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications/theses and the contact information of
    two references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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