Job Opportunities

Openings for PhD students and postdocs in the group are available on a regular basis; for further information please contact: prof. Klein Gebbink ( ), dr. Moret ( ) (a background in Organometallic Chemistry / Molecular Inorganic Chemistry / Homogeneous Catalysis is expected) or prof. Bruijnincx ( ) (a background in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis/Green Chemistry is expected).

PhD Position in Multimetallic Organometallic Catalysis

Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD position in the Organic Chemistry and Catalysis (OCC) group at Utrecht University. The project, led by Dr. Daniël Broere, will focus on the development of multimetallic catalysts for the conversion of CO2 into valuable chemicals. More information on the OCC group can be found on the group web page.

Project Description: The majority of homogeneous metal catalyst systems consist of a single metal atom and organic ligands, which tune activity or selectivity. Similarly, nature employs metals in the active sites of metalloenzymes to catalyze chemical reactions. However, for the most challenging chemical transformations, metalloenzymes often employ complex cofactors where multiple metals work together to make and break chemical bonds. This project will focus on obtaining fundamental understanding of how multiple metal centers can work together to activate CO2, and use this knowledge to develop homogeneous catalyst systems for the conversion of CO2 into valuable chemicals. It will involve a combination of organic and organometallic synthesis, spectroscopy, and computational chemistry.

Requirements: Successful applicants will hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry with experience in synthetic organic & organometallic chemistry and/or homogeneous catalysis. Experience with computational chemistry is also desirable. Good communication skills, the ability to work safely, independently and in a team environment, as well as a strong interest in synthetic molecular inorganic/organometallic chemistry are essential. Oral and written command of English is required.

Offer: The successful candidate will be appointed on a fixed-term full-time basis. The appointment is initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 30 months (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,325 in the first year, and ends at €2,972 (Scale P Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at working at Utrecht University.

Starting date: The expected starting date is April 2019 but could be negotiated. Motivated candidates are invited to send their application (incl. letter of motivation, CV, references, and list of grades) directly to Dr. Daniël Broere (


Postdoc Sustainable production of biobased aromatics by selective furan activation (1.0 FTE)

Project Description: Aromatic building blocks can be found in a multitude of different products we need for daily life, ranging from plastics, coatings, lubricants, to consumer products. The fossil resource-based production routes for the enormous amounts of aromatic compounds produced are currently not sustainable and alternatives based on renewable resources are needed to enable the desired transition to a more sustainable chemical and polymer industry. Technology for the production of ‘drop-in’ replacements of the currently functionalized aromatic building blocks is not yet available.

In this project we aim to address this gap and will develop a new, catalytic route to renewable aromatics from biomass-derived furanics, in collaboration with our partners at TNO/Biorizon and Klüber Lubrication. A new Diels-Alder aromatization strategy will be pursued allowing for the direct aromatization of oxygenated furanics. The work will entail catalyst development, expanding the substrate scope to make the technology broadly applicable, as well as improving process technology options for this new method.

Requirements: To achieve the above, we are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher with a PhD degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering and a strong background in (heterogeneous or homogeneous) catalysis and organic chemistry. Preferably, the candidate has experience with the synthesis of (solid) acid catalysts and a proven affinity for (synthetic) organic chemistry.

Offer: We offer a position for one year in an international working environment, with the possibility of an extension with another year. The salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges from €3,255 to €4,274 (scale 10 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end allowance of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Here you'll find more information about working at Utrecht University.

About the Organization: A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

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The Postdoc will be appointed at the Organic Chemistry & Catalysis (OCC) group of the Chemistry Department, which is part of the Catalysis Centre Utrecht and the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science. The research done in the Bruijnincx group at OCC is aimed at the development of new catalyst materials and technology and new catalytic conversion routes for sustainable production of chemicals, fuels and materials from renewable resources, such as biomass and CO2 as well  as well as from waste streams. The advertised project is part of the research line on catalyst development for renewable aromatics production.

Additional information: Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Pieter Bruijnincx, via

Procedure: To apply please attach a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and (e-mail) addresses of two referees. As part of the selection procedure, the candidate is expected to give an oral presentation detailing her/his scientific background and match with the intended research project and approach.