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PhD candidate in synthetic chemistry within the Sensor Engineering group of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Maastricht University

Project Description

Research within the Sensor Engineering research group of Maastricht University is focused on developing innovative sensor technologies for implementation in diverse fields ranging from the healthcare sector to the food industry. We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate with a strong background in biochemistry, organic chemistry and/or electrochemistry. The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team that combines chemistry, electrical engineering, materials science and biology. The strategy of the research group aims at combining smart sensing technology with chemical and biomedical engineering to acquire knowledge and streamline applications for use in real life applications.

The Sensor Engineering research group has extensive expertise in developing molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for incorporation into biomimetic sensing platforms. The group has published extensively on this topic but limited knowledge exists on the practical application of these MIP-based sensors in an industrial environment. The goal of the PhD project is to develop MIPs that can selectively recognize molecules that play an essential role in industrial processes.

The research project will be part of a larger European private-public cooperation (Interreg V Deutschland-Nederland project: Saber Print). The candidate will collaborate with researchers at RUBochum that will immobilize the MIPs onto flexible sensor stickers that allow for wireless electrochemical readout. These MIP stickers will then be incorporated into industrial gaskets by an industrial partner. A regional software developing company will ensure that the stickers and wireless readout module will be coupled to a user-friendly software package for on-site analysis of the test results. In this way, the project aims at developing a prototype for a sticker-based sensor that can be incorporated into various industrial processes by means of gaskets in the industrial piping. This allows the end-users to have more control over their production process.

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Research at the Sensor Engineering research group is very divers given the interdisciplinary nature of biosensor research and combines chemistry with physics, biology and engineering. Within the group we focus on the development of novel technologies that could contribute to significant advancements in diverse fields in healthcare as well as the industry.


Applications are invited for a full-time PhD position. Candidates will work in a young, ambitious team consisting of researchers trained in various scientific disciplines. This stimulating, interdisciplinary and multicultural environment requires a candidate that has outstanding knowledge of scientific English both in speaking and in writing. The candidate should have a Master’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or equivalent.

For more detailed information you can contact Dr. Bart van Grinsven, Dr. Kasper Eersels, Dr. Hanne Diliën or Debby Hewitt: or or or .

Please send your covering letter and CV to . The closing date for this vacancy will be on the 11th of December 2019.

Funding Notes

The full-time position is offered for four years (1+3), with a yearly evaluation. The salary will be set in PhD salary scale of the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (€2.191 gross per month in first year to €2.801 last year). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Employees relocating from abroad may be eligible for the Dutch ‘30% ruling’, a tax advantage which results in a significantly higher net salary. Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website View Website > Support > UM employees

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