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PhD (4 year) position quantum chemical design of organic reactions

Are you highly motivated and enthusiastic to apply state-of-the-art quantum chemical methods and artificial intelligence techniques to streamline and automate chemical synthesis planning? Then please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

3 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


We are excited to invite applications for a fully-funded, four-year PhD position in the Theoretical Chemistry department at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The research project draws expertise from a variety of fields including theoretical chemistry, artificial intelligence, and organic chemistry and aims to streamline the rational-design of elaborate chemical syntheses and development of novel synthetic methodologies. The PhD candidate will help realize the concept of “Theory-Driven Organic Synthesis” and principally focus on chemical transformations that involve, among others, C-H functionalization, C–C bond formation, and electrocyclic reactions. Successful development of predictive models will result in the actual “theory-driven design” of experiments carried out by our collaborators in our network.


  • A completed MSc degree in Chemistry or related field
  • Expertise in theoretical, computational chemistry, and chemical bonding
  • Expertise with programming skills in Python
  • Experience with artificial intelligence (machine learning, neural networks, etc)
  • Interest in organic chemistry, (retro)synthesis, and methodology development
  • Very good writing skills and command of the English Language (mandatory)
  • Good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel and amounts €2,325 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €2,972 (PhD) per month during the fourth year, based on a full-time employment. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 4 years. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • good paid parental leave scheme
  • child daycare facilities available on campus
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge

Additional information

Please apply via the application button and upload the required documents (described below) before 1 April 2020. The job interview(s) are planned for mid April and will take place via a Skype interview.

Please send the following information (as one pdf file):
  • detailed CV (include information on your BSc and MSc studies, languages, achievements, expertise, laboratory skills)
  • motivation letter, addressed to Trevor A. Hamlin, explaining your motivation and suitability for the position
  • contact details of at least two references (names, addresses, emails)
  • reference letter from at least one of the references
  • academic diplomas and certificates, scanned copies
  • Official academic transcript (i.e. documents enlisting your performance as BSc and MSc student over time by listing the course units or modules taken, credits gained and the grades awarded). If you have not completed your MSc degree yet, then include all grades obtained so far.
  • English language skills certificate, for non-native English speakers
Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: B.A.M. Niehe
E-mail: b.a.m.niehe@vu.nl

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