Postdoctoral researcher in Developing Hybrid Electro-biocatalysts

Faculty of Science – Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences

Publication date
24 July 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,640 to €4,166 gross per month
Closing date
31 October 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organised into four themes: Sustainable Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

A postdoctoral research position is available for one year to explore research at the forefront of bio-, electro-catalysis and material science. The high multidisciplinary and the feasibility of the project will be assured by the collaboration between the Biocatalysis group and the Heterogeneous Catalysis group of HIMS. Both groups are part of the Sustainable Chemistry Research Prority Area (SC-RPA) and the position is funded from this framework. In general, the RPAs represent the excellence of UvA in terms of research and worldwide recognition.

The Biocatalysis group is headed by Dr Francesco Mutti. In general, the Biocatalysis group carries out cutting-edge research at the interphase between the chemical and the biological sciences. The research mainly focuses on: the development of novel biocatalytic systems (e.g. in vitro and in vivo enzyme cascades) for the sustainable manufacturing of chemical products; the identification and characterization of novel enzymes; the engineering of enzymes to improve existing activities or introduce new activities; the creation of artificial enzymes.

The Electrocatalysis research is led by Dr Ning Yan, which is centered on the development of sustainable electrocatalysts using earth-abundant element in the context of novel energy conversion and storage processes. The group is equipped with typical electrochemical devices for fuel cells research and has access to the advanced materials characterization facilities.

Project description

The Biocatalysis (Biocat) and the Heterogeneous Catalysis (Het Cat) groups have acquired funds as part of the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry to develop multi-functional hybrid electro-biocatalysts and biosensors. The research tasks will involve diverse steps:

  1. The development of N‐doped carbon support that has uniformly isolated metal centers on the surface, enabling simultaneous enzyme immobilization, electrical coupling and catalytic oxygen reduction;
  2. The production and, if required, the purification of recombinant oxidoreductase enzymes using E. coli as preferred expression host;
  3. The selective immobilization of oxidoreductase enzymes on the prepared high‐porosity and hydrophobic carbon‐based electrodes using different techniques.

The obtained hybrid electro‐biocatalytic systems will be finally tested and optimized for various possible applications, for instance 'detection of electric signal that is compatible with medical applications' and 'electro‐biocatalytic asymmetric redox reactions'. The carbon-based electrode material will be created following prior art available at Het Cat group, whereas enzyme production and immobilization will be carried out following expertise available at Biocat.

We will recruit until the position is filled. The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found, even if this is prior to the final date of the application window. 


  • A PhD degree in biochemistry or chemistry;
  • due to the high multidisciplinary nature of the project, applicants with a substantial focus and/or previous research experience in one or more of the following sub-disciplines will have a clear advantage: synthetic chemistry, electrochemistry, biosensors and material science;
  • the ability to collaborate and adapt in an international team is required and you must possess good communication skills in oral and written English.

Due to limitations in recruitment budget we will preferably consider candidates that are currently in Europe.

Further information

For further information, please contact:


This position is available starting as soon as possible. The candidate will be appointed full-time at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) on a temporary basis for a period of one year. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel. Depending on experience and qualifications, it will range from a minimum of €2,640 up to a maximum of €4,166 gross per month (salary scale 10) based on full-time employment. This is exclusive of 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Applications may only be submitted by clicking the link below. To process your application immediately, please state your name and vacancy number 18-458 in the subject field.

Your applications must include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a list of publications;
  • a motivation letter (why did you choose to apply for this position);
  • the name(s) and contact details of one or two academic referees.

All these should be grouped in one PDF attachment.

The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found. Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified. (Formal closing date: 31 October 2018). #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam