PhD Position in Photochemistry

University of Amsterdam

PhD Position in Photochemistry

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Science
Educational level:  Master
Function type:  PhD position
Closing date:  19.11.2023
Vacancy number:  12080



The Molecular Photonics group in the Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) at the University of Amsterdam and is looking for candidates to pursue a PhD degree in supramolecular photochemistry with the focus on time-resolved spectroscopy of supramolecular organic functional materials. One of our current efforts revolves around understanding the principles of charge generation and triplet upconversion using supramolecular organic constructs to develop new materials to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic devices or to allow for new ways of photocatalysis. The candidate will be under the mentorship of Dr. Tomáš Šolomek and co-supervised by Prof. Sander Woutersen.


What are you going to do


You can contribute to our research by conducting optical time-resolved spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, fluorescence) on samples in solutions and the solid state. You will be responsible for processing and analysing the acquired data, discussing and presenting the results, and composing reports and scientific publications.


What do you have to offer


We are looking for

  • A recent MSc degree in physical chemistry, chemical engineering or related field with excellent track record (research, grades, graduation with honors, etc.);
  • Prior hands-on laboratory experience with spectroscopy is highly valued, as well as a robust foundation in physical, physical-organic chemistry, or chemical physics;
  • The ideal candidate should demonstrate a solid understanding of time-resolved optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, fluorescence);
  • Knowledge in programming languages such as Matlab, Python, or Julia is highly welcome;
  • Collaboration and effective communication, both oral and written, in English are crucial for success in our dynamic team. 

We appreciate a critical and proactive problem solver who is not afraid of interdisciplinary and experimental challenges.

Our offer


We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will design an educational plan that includes opportunities to attend (international) conferences, meetings, and summer schools. We are committed to nurturing your personal and professional growth by offering access to soft skill courses beyond the realm of natural sciences. Furthermore, you will have the chance to test your skills and knowledge through interactions with undergraduate and Master's students by assisting in their learning process. Throughout your projects, you will receive excellent support from our enthusiastic and interdisciplinary team, as well as highly skilled technicians.

The preferred starting date is after January 1, 2024.


Based on a full-time contract (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from € 2,770.- in the first year to € 3,539.-  (scale P) in the last year. This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.


Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch. 

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


About us


Our group (Tomáš Šolomek Group) is situated in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, renowned for its diversity and international flair. You'll have ample opportunities to engage in social activities outside of work. Our campus, nestled in the Science Park, boasts a multitude of cafes, eateries, bars, sports clubs, green spaces, and more, providing a refreshing break in between the scientific challenges you'll tackle with us. The University of Amsterdam also offers an array of inspiring soft skill courses to help you enhance your capabilities and skillset.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Your workplace, the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavor & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organized into four themes: Analytical ChemistryComputational ChemistrySynthesis & Catalysis and Molecular Photonics. The Molecular Photonics team will represent your closest environment to achieve your PhD thesis.


The mission of Molecular Photonics at HIMS is putting light to chemical use. It is done in two ways: on the one hand, the group develops new materials that convert light to achieve specific goals, such as nanoscale motion, electricity, targeted medicine, and sustainable agriculture. On the other hand, light is used to investigate molecular structure and reactivity, for instance to study chirality, the molecular origin of friction, or chemistry under prebiotic conditions. Each of these research lines benefits the other: spectroscopic characterization helps to develop new materials, and the photochemistry of the latter inspires the development of new spectroscopic methods with high time-, spatial- and spectral resolutions. The combination of both research lines in the same research group provides a synergy that is unique in the Dutch chemical research landscape.
Molecular Photonics thus offers expertise that enables meeting current and future societal challenges by pushing boundaries of molecular photonics research.




Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application


Then we look forward to receiving your application by November 19, 2023. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • A curriculum vitae (two pages max, including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience); 
  • A letter of motivation (one page max);
  • Transcript of records and contact to a reference person


The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please