Tenure-track group leader / Assistant Professor: Designer Matter

Date posted February 21, 2020
Type Group leaders

The research institute AMOLF (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) is looking for a tenure-track group leader in the field of Designer Matter. In this emerging field, scientists from different disciplines, including physicists, chemists, materials scientists, computational scientists, and engineers, come together to dream of, create and investigate wholly new types of matter. Key aims are to develop new techniques to create such smart materials, to explore and to invent novel functionalities, and to address the design – or inverse – problem.

For this opening, possible topics are:
– metamaterials and systems that process information;
– spatiotemporally complex chemical pathways and assembly;
– the use of machine learning to analyse and design new materials.
Other inspiring research topics in this area will also be considered.

The candidate’s independent research group will be embedded in the Designer Matter department at AMOLF. This Department currently comprises four groups that work in a strongly collaborative atmosphere and that cover fundamental and application-driven science, bridging physics, chemistry and engineering. The department has strong connections to industry, and is active in fields ranging from mechanical metamaterials and soft robotics to chemical self-assembly and spectroscopy.

We offer you an intellectually stimulating environment, with ample opportunities for collaborations with existing AMOLF research groups. Materials are central to many of our current efforts, which include Nanophotonics, Living Matter and Photovoltaics. 

The group leader position is equivalent to that of tenure-track assistant professor. You will be offered a competitive start-up package for equipment and PhD students to build up your own lab. Several major research grant opportunities (national and European) for further extended support are available. AMOLF technical support staff works closely with group leaders to expedite research results and enable rapid development of the group’s laboratory. 

The group leader: 
• Initiates a novel research program in an aspect of Designer Matter;
• Acquires national and international means to expand his/her group;
• Supervises, coaches and mentors the group members; 
• Is responsible for the functioning of the group;
• Contributes actively to the positioning of the field, both nationally and internationally;
• Gives talks and lectures within and outside the Netherlands;
• Develops and maintains national and international relations.

About the institute

AMOLF initiates and performs leading fundamental research on new, strategically important complex molecular and material systems, in collaboration with Dutch universities and industry. AMOLF is located at the Amsterdam Science Park, The Netherlands, and engages approximately 140 scientists and 70 support staff. See also www.amolf.nl

AMOLF aims to attract national and international scientific talent by offering a tenure track programme for starting group leaders. With the AMOLF tenure-track policy, talented scientists get the opportunity to develop as a group leader, with the aim of gaining a tenured group leader position.


• Training and PhD in a relevant field of research (physics, chemistry, materials science, computational science or engineering);
• Post-doctoral research experience in a closely related topic;
• Demonstrated track record in Designer Matter.

Terms of employment

The position is for the duration of five and a half years in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I). In the fifth year, the performance will be evaluated, and if this evaluation is positive, a permanent position with NWO-I will be offered. At the same time a combined professorship at one of the Dutch universities may also be arranged. AMOLF assists new foreign employees with housing and visa applications and compensates their transport costs.

Contact info

Prof. Martin van Hecke 
Program Leader Designer Matter program 
E-mail: m.v.hecke@amolf.nl 

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
– Application letter;
– Resume, including list of publications;
– Research proposal (max. 3 pages, and including your vision on Designer Matter);
– Names of 3 references.

AMOLF is highly committed to diversity. Therefore, we strongly encourage women to apply. The deadline for applications is April 10, 2020. This date may be extended to ensure a diverse pool of applicants.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Commercial response to this ad is not appreciated.