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  3. PhD position in Computer Simulations and Machine learning Soft Matter (1.0 FTE)

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PhD position in Computer Simulations and Machine learning Soft Matter (1.0 FTE)

Computer simulations and machine learning for designing soft materials that autonomously assemble, sense, respond, and reconfigure.

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3062 per maand


We currently offer four European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant funded openings for PhD candidates within the group of Prof Marjolein Dijkstra in the Soft Condensed Matter (SCM) group of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science in the Physics Department at Utrecht University.

The aim of this project is to study “the rational design of soft hierarchical materials with life-like functionalities using computer simulations and machine learning”. Projects will involve developing coarse-grained models of soft deformable particles (ligand-stabilised nanoparticles, microgel particles, and hydrogels), using machine learning and atomistic simulations, colloidal self-assembly using particle-based simulations, investigating nucleation and kinetic pathways of phase transformations using enhanced sampling techniques and machine learning, rational design of dynamic materials with adaptive, reconfigurable, and shape-shifting properties.


Our ideal PhD candidate is highly motivated and has:

  • a Master's degree or an international equivalent in theoretical or computational physics (or a related field);
  • a strong background in statistical physics, soft matter, and programming in e.g. C or C++, python, LAMPPS;
  • perseverance and an independent, pro-active working style;
  • the willingness to look beyond the borders of his or her own discipline and a strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team;
  • excellent collaboration and communication skills (written and verbally) in English.


  • a full-time position for 4 years;
  • participation in the education programme of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences;
  • access to a network of collaborative Researchers within the Debye Institute;
  • a full-time gross salary that starts at €2,395 and increases to €3,061 per month in the fourth year (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • 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.

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 yourself 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.

Additional information

Interested candidates are welcome to contact Professor Marjolein Dijkstra for further information at m.dijkstra@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.