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PhD candidate in Physics

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of Physics is looking for a PhD candidate in Physics (1.0 FTE).

ongeveer een jaar geleden


J.H. Oortweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Memory in Mechanical Metamaterials.
Memory is a fundamental but poorly understood property of a range of complex systems, ranging from crumpled paper to glasses. Memory is also a crucial target for next-generation metamaterials - structured forms of matter with unusual properties. This projects aims to create universal programmable metamaterials, by exploring fundamental questions on the emergence of memory in complex materials.

In a first step, we aim to understand how memory emerges in complex metamaterials by answering questions such as: what is the simplest unit cell that exhibits memory? How much states can a metamaterial store? What is the best strategy to write, read, and scale up memory?

In a second step, we aim to create and study metamaterials that are sensitive to a sequence of mechanical inputs. To this end, we will introduce the notion of non-commuting metamaterials.
In this project, you will create, study and design complex mechanical metamaterials with memory. You combine experiments with numerical simulations and theory (with a mix depending on your skills and interests), using a range of cutting edge 3D printing and finite element methods.


  • The candidate has (or will receive in the near future) a Master’s degree in Physics or equivalent.


We offer a one year term position with the possibility of three-year renewal after a positive evaluation. Salary range from €2,222 to €2,840 gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries or any questions about the procedure can be made to Prof Martin van Hecke, email mvhecke@gmail.com.

If you are interested, please send by email a letter of motivation including 2 people that can be approached as references, your transcripts and a CV including your research experience to Danielle Duijn at duijnd@physics.leidenuniv.nl.
This position will remain open until fulfilled.


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, computer science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 1,300 staff and almost 4,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.