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Postdoctoral researcher Polymerization-Induced Electrostatic Self-assembly

Postdoctoral researcher Polymerization-Induced Electrostatic Self-assembly

(Postdoctoraal) onderzoeker
Irène Curie Fellowship
Chemical Engineering and Chemistry


Join us – we look forward to welcome you to our Self-Organizing Soft Matter Research Group and the Interactive Polymer Materials Centre at Eindhoven University of Technology!

We are seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher with a passion for polymer science and time-resolved scattering to join our team to contribute to the gravitation program “Interactive Polymer Materials”. This large research program (~20 groups across different departments) brings together scientists that work on synthesis, characterization, and modelling of the next generation of polymer materials. In this exciting role, you will be working on cutting-edge research in the field of Polymerization-Induced Electrostatic Self-Assembly.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct high quality, curiosity-driven, original and independent research on the synthesis, self-assembly and characterization of functional polymer-based materials
  • Collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers
  • Present research findings at conferences and publish in top-tier scientific journals
  • Mentor and support junior researchers in the lab
  • Mentor and support researchers in the gravitation program “Interactive Polymer Materials” on polymer (material) characterization with scattering tools

Eindhoven University of Technology

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one of Europe's leading research universities.

The Eindhoven area, in the southern part of the Netherlands, is one of Europe's top 'innovation ecosystems', with many high-tech companies and institutes. TU/e is intertwined with many of these companies and institutes, and research at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence, industrial relevance and societal interweaving.

Eindhoven University of Technology is a community of scientists, supporting staff, students and partners. People are the heart and soul of TU/e, so it is of great importance to safeguard the distinctive Eindhoven atmosphere, creating a personal, welcoming and vibrant environment that enables individuals and groups to grow professionally and personally.

The department Chemical Engineering and Chemistry is one of the nine departments of Eindhoven University of Technology. It was established in 1957, shortly after the university was founded.

The department is located in the Helix and Matrix buildings on the TU/e campus. The candidate will closely collaborate with researchers within the IPM consortium from the departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Applied Physics, and Biomedical Engineering, also located on the TU/e campus at walking distance.

Job Description

Polymer micelles composed of oppositely charged block copolymers are fascinating hydrocolloids with great appeal in various application areas including biomedicine. Polymerization-induced electrostatic self-assembly (PIESA) has recently been introduced as an attractive means to prepare these micelles on large scale and mild conditions. Extraordinary morphologies have been accessed, but these are often unstable. We recently discovered a novel strategy to regulate the polymerization, which offers excellent control over the assembly pathway (read more about here). In this project you will this deploy this strategy to prepare polymer micelles with custom-tailored morphology, dimensions and properties. You will use RAFT for the templated polymerization and focus on time-resolved characterization of particle size, shape and stability by scattering tools (DLS, SLS, SAXS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. You will study the opportunities and limitations of this novel technology focusing in particular on the engineering of out-of-equilibrium assembly pathways and the emergence of function upon self-assembly. Our aim is to develop new tools to prepare nanosized, polymeric colloids with fine-tuned structure and function.

Research group

The solutions to the major societal challenges that we face today require highly sophisticated, adaptive and interactive materials, custom-tailored in composition and in structure, which can be reconfigured for optimal performance, recycling and upcycling. Soft matter science is ideally positioned to address the fascinating fundamental research questions related to this radial transformation as soft materials are intrinsically adaptive, due to the weak and often tunable physical interactions between the constituent building blocks. As a member of the Self-Organizing Soft Matter group at the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Department, the Interaction Polymer Materials Centre and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, you will be part of an interdisciplinary team of highly qualified researchers studying self-assembly processes in polymer-based materials aiming to advance our mechanistic understanding and establish guiding principles towards the rational design of novel functional soft materials.


  • PhD in (Polymer) Science, Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related field
  • Strong experience in self-assembly, characterization of polymer micelles, polymer synthesis, and relevant experimental techniques such as light scattering, small angle X-ray scattering, and/or cryogenic electron microscopy
  • Knowledge of electrostatic self-assembly, PISA and/or PIESA
  • Interest in emergent phenomena and functional supramolecular systems
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Excellent problem-solving and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Goal-oriented attitude.


A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • A full-time employment for 1 year initially with possibility to extend by two years
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (monthly salary gross min. € 3.877,- and max. € 5.090,-).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities
  • Collaborative opportunities with leading experts in the field
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager Ilja Voets, i.voets[at] or +31 40 247 5303.

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Leo van Houten, l.v.houten[at] or +31 40 247 8269.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


Join our team and take the next step in your research career. If you have a passion for innovation and a drive to push the boundaries of science, we would love to hear from you. Please 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 and the contact information of three references.
  • A letter of recommendation from one or more of your references.
  • List of five self-selected ‘best publications’.

Screening of applications will continue until the position has been filled.

Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on pioneering research in the field of Polymerization-Induced Electrostatic Self-Assembly!