Career opportunities

Why opt for the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science?

The Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science provides excellent facilities and an environment for ambitious research, teaching and training programmes at various levels ranging from advanced Bachelor's and Master's to PhD candidates and postdocs. The programmes have a truly interdisciplinary character, in which chemists and physicists have collaborated closely since 1989, and they are recognized for their excellent record and strong ties with industry. Below we briefly summarize the opportunities on different levels. 

Master's students

The Debye Institute provides teaching and research in the Nanomaterials Science and Experimental Physics Master's programmes (120 ECTS). Thesis research projects (50% of the programme) can be carried out in one of the research groups of the institute .

Opportunities for other students

Performing a research project is a compulsory part of the Bachelor's programme of Utrecht University at the final part of every academic year. While for the first- and second-year the projects are relatively short and are mostly aimed on getting students acquainted with the research work in different groups, the third-year bachelor students spend about 3 months (15 ECTS) to perform an independent study under supervision of a PhD candidate, a postdoc or a faculty. Every year many Bachelor students join the groups within the Debye Institute.
Also students of other Masters’ programmes such as Science & Education and Science & Business Management perform their thesis research projects within the Debye Institute.

The last but not least group of students regularly joining the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science are the students from outside Utrecht, who come to perform their internship at UU. This provides the students with an opportunity to learn more about top research topics, which are investigated within the institute. There are a number of exchange programmes with other universities, which can support students’ visits to Utrecht.

PhD Candidates

The institute welcomes Dutch and international PhD candidates. PhD programmes take a maximum of 4 years and aim on the highest level of education and research training. Each PhD candidate has a well defined individual research programme, which is part of the research programme of the group. Interactions with other members of the department are an essential part of all research projects and are further stimulated during combined work discussions. The PhD training programme includes specialized courses on presentation skills, project planning, English writing and project management. Visits to (inter-)national conferences and collaborations or exchange visits with international partners are a regular ingredient of a PhD programme at the institute. In addition, all PhD candidates follow the bi-annual Spring School and DO!days. The institute contains approximately 100 PhD students.


The institute employs some 40 postdoctoral fellows, who typically make a transition from running an individual research project (as PhD candidates) towards running (a part of) a group. At the institute postdocs carry out a well defined project with many opportunities for acquiring a more independent research attitude.

Scientific guests

The institute welcomes a large number of guests from all over the world, visiting the institute for periods ranging from a few days to a year (sabbatical).