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PhD position Biophysics of Photosynthesis

Plants have evolved elaborate feedback mechanisms to protect themselves from excess sunlight, which involve rearrangement and structural dynamics of light- …

3 maanden geleden


De Boelelaan, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


Plants have evolved elaborate feedback mechanisms to protect themselves from excess sunlight, which involve rearrangement and structural dynamics of light-harvesting proteins in the photosynthetic membrane. The candidate will employ advanced time-resolved infrared and fluorescence spectroscopy to assess in vivo protein structural dynamics in photosynthetic membranes, and thereby solve an important puzzle in our understanding of photoprotection in photosynthesis. This project is part of the recent consortium grant Nanoscale Regulators of Photosynthesis, with research partners at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Wageningen University and Research, Leiden University and Groningen University.

Your duties

  • Establish the experimental conditions to perform in vivo infrared spectroscopy on photosynthetic membranes
  • Operate a state-of-the-art frequency-comb quantum cascade laser (QCL) infrared spectrometer
  • design and construct an attenuated total internal reflection (ATR) infrared sample cell for in vivo infrared spectroscopy
  • integrate a PAM fluorometer in the QCL infrared setup
  • perform in vivo time-resolved fluorescence experiments
  • prepare photosynthetic membrane samples for experimentation
  • Write and defend a doctoral thesis on the basis of your own experimental work


  • MSc degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry or Plant Biology specializing in physical methods
  • knowledge of and experience with optical spectroscopy
  • interest in working with complex biological systems
  • excellent command of English


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts €2,395 (PhD) per month during the first year and increases to €3,061 (PhD) per month during the fourth year. The job profile: Promovendus, is based on the university job ranking system.

The initial employment contract is for 1 year and will be expended for an additional three years upon positive evaluation. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP), discount on (and occasionally exclusive access to) theater performances and sport facilities
  • contribution to commuting expenses, discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until October 31, 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

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

Name: John Kennis
Position: Professor of Biophysics
E-mail: j.t.m.kennis@vu.nl
Telephone: +31205987212

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