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PhD student in Polymer Chemistry and/or Protein Engineering: Engineering of enzymes for controlled radical polymerizations


   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof Nico Bruns  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Department of Chemistry at Technical University of Darmstadt is an internationally renowned research hub for polymer chemistry and biotechnology. To complement the team of the Ernst-Berl-Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry we are looking for a

Research Assistant/PhD student (all genders) in Polymer Chemistry and/or Protein Engineering

within the framework of a fixed-term employment contract initially limited to 24 months with the possibility for extension. The position is available from 01.04.2023 or at a mutually agreed date.

The PhD student will work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nico Bruns on the engineering of enzymes for controlled radical polymerizations and on the development of polymerization-amplified activity assays for metalloenzymes-catalyzed radical polymerizations. Controlled radical polymerizations like ATRP are one of the most important developments of polymer chemistry in the last decades, as they allow to synthesize polymers with precisely determined structure and molecular weight, thus enabling a vast range of applications in the nanosciences, or as drug-delivery and biomedical materials. Metalloenzymes, such as peroxidases, myoglobin, and laccases, can catalyze ATRP, thus presenting a greener route to advanced materials. The aim of this PhD project is to develop novel activity assays for high throughput screening of bioATRP reactions and to use these assays in the engineering of metalloenzymes for bioATRP. To achieve this ambitious goal, the selected candidate will collaborate with leading groups throughout Europe both from academia and industry. The project is part of the EU-funded Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network Metal-Containing Radical Enzymes (MetRaZymes) and involves a multitude of training opportunities.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry, Biotechnology or similar subjects. Excellent skills in the domains of synthetic polymer chemistry and/or protein engineering are expected. Experience in the characterization and synthesis of polymers, and in biocatalysis are an advantage. Enthusiasm for top-quality research and good oral and written English communication skills are a must.

Applicants may be of any nationality but must fulfill the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions mobility rule: At the time of recruitment at TU Darmstadt, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (studies or work) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.

The successful applicants will be enrolled as PhD student at TU Darmstadt.

We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment at the interface of biotechnology and polymer chemistry, a highly motivated and qualified team, individual development and training opportunities, a family-friendly working environment, a wide range of health and sports facilities, and free use of public transport throughout Hessen (Landesticket Hessen) in accordance with the relevant regulations. Remuneration is according to the EU Horizon Europe salary scales and the gross salary will be app. 3.269 € per month (plus family allowance, if applicable).

The fulfillment of the duties likewise enables the scientific qualifications of the candidate.

The Technische Universität Darmstadt intends to increase the number of female employees and encourages female candidates to apply. In case of equal qualifications applicants with a degree of disability of at least 50 or equal will be given preference. Part-time employment is generally possible.

Applications should state the Job Code 731 and should be sent with the usual documents (letter of motivation for the specific research project, a CV and publication list, contact details of two professional references, as well as copies of degree certificates) by email to the Dean of the Department of Chemistry, Prof. Dr. Harald Kolmar, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 4, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany, E-Mail: [Email Address Removed]

For further inquiries, please contact Prof. Dr. Nico Bruns at: [Email Address Removed]

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