Postdoc position in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (1.0 FTE)

Uren per week: 
38 tot 40
Faculteit of dienst: 
Faculteit Bètawetenschappen
Department of Chemistry, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Materials Chemistry and Catalysis
Uiterlijk reageren op: 


Bifunctional metal-zeolite catalysts are studied using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS). This research is important for more sustainable routes to fuels and chemicals and is carried out in collaboration with a PhD candidate, and with an industrial partner. The work is based on pioneering research on metal-acid site intimacy published in Nature 528, 245–248 (2015). The XAS experiments will contribute in a unique way to understand and design bifunctional catalysts with ultra-low loadings of noble metals such as Pd and Pt on or in zeolite-type solid acids.


As a suitable candidate, you have:

  • a PhD in materials science, physics, chemistry, or engineering;
  • experience in X-ray Spectroscopy, also at synchrotron facilities (considered a requirement);
  • excellent command of both written and spoken English;
  • the ability to work independently, to critically assess your own results, and to cooperate within a wider research team;
  • preferably additional experience in working with other aspects of catalysts or materials, such as synthesis and catalysis experiments.


  • a position for 1 year, with an extension for another year after a positive evaluation;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,790 to €4,402 in scale 10;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao).

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.

Over de organisatie

The group Materials Chemistry and Catalysis is both diverse and international, and comprises 30-35 PhD candidates and Postdocs, as well as scientific staff members, Technicians, and other supporting staff, while we generally have about 20 MSc and BSc students performing research projects in our group. We avail of extensive experimental infrastructure, as well as computational capabilities, that we use to investigate both from the fundamental point of view and in collaboration with industry catalysts and energy storage and conversion materials. Another stronghold is the characterisation of these complex materials with advanced (in-situ and operando) spectroscopic such as advanced X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy. The group has a long track record in the advanced use of transmission electron microscopy for materials characterisation, comprising electron tomography, diffraction, and elemental mapping, and in recent years also developing in-situ transmission electron microscopy in liquid and in gas phase cells.

We are part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, which unites Physicists and Chemists working together on nanomaterials for sustainability. This research institute is part of the Faculty of Science in which there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Aanvullende informatie

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact: 

Do you have a question about the application procedure or the working conditions at Utrecht University? Please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • a list of publications and presentations.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

Uiterlijk reageren op 25 juli 2021.