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ERC PhD Position on Biophysics of Single-Molecule Nanopore Scanners

   Faculty of Applied Sciences

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  Dr Sabina Caneva  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Job Description

Nanopore technologies are exciting emerging platforms for high-resolution biomolecule sensing and sequencing. On one hand, they enable important discoveries in fundamental biology at the single-molecule level and, on the other hand, they show great promise for applications in molecular diagnostics. In our group we develop multifunctional nanopore setups with the goal of combining high-throughput and high-resolution sequencing capabilities. In this interdisciplinary project you will develop acoustic resonators to manipulate and detect single molecules in nanopore devices. 

Your tasks will be to i) design and fabricate acoustofluidic devices, ii) integrate the devices in a nanopore setup and demonstrate controlled single-molecule transport using electrical and/or optical readout schemes, and iii) demonstrate multiplexed actuation and detection of biomolecules in space and time.

The project combines cutting-edge nanofabrication techniques, novel nanomaterials and single-molecule instrumentation. You will have the opportunity to develop new fundamental insights into sound-matter interactions at the nanoscale for application in next-generation protein sequencing.

This position is funded by the ERC StG project SIMPHONICS. You will be based in the Precision and Microsystems Engineering Department at TU Delft, where you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities (cleanroom, chemistry lab, optics lab) and equipment to initiate this new line of research in our young and diverse team of physicists, materials scientists, engineers and biochemists.


We are looking for candidates that meet the following criteria:

  • MSc degree in Physics, Biophysics, Nanoscience, Materials Science or similar;
  • Experience with one or more of the following topics: nanopore measurements, nanofabrication, acoustofluidics;
  • Creative, open-minded and proactive;
  • Excellent experimental and analytical skills;
  • Ability to be part of a team and work independently;
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written). 

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of Employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Application Procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by June 30th, 2022 by sending the following material by email to Dr Sabina Caneva, Assistant Professor, [Email Address Removed]:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation to apply for this PhD project in our group
  • Your CV,
  • Your MSc thesis,
  • Your transcripts,
  • The names and contact details of at least two references

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

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