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Postdoctoral Researcher Photopharmacology (1.0 FTE) (222539)

Job description

“Synthesis and applications of photopharmacology components.”
Photopharmacology is a rapidly emerging field at the interface of the chemical and medical sciences aiming at high precision therapy. With years of leading research, the University of Groningen is taking the next step, and is aiming for real life applications in the nearby future. The use of light as external trigger allows high precision activation of a drug in space and time in a non-invasive manner, and thus opens fascinating opportunities for precise targeting of e.g. tumors, and bacterial infections. High precision cancer chemotherapy, slow release of pharmaceuticals and increasing drug stability are the first goals the group wishes to take beyond the proof of principle, and push through to a viable prototype.

The Postdoc will be involved in the design and execution of multi step syntheses of novel photo-labile compounds with direct and continuous feedback from partners involved in real life medical applications. Optimization of current targets in both structure and synthetic route will be the initial goal, after which designing a practical and pragmatic scale up route will follow.

The project(s) will provide plenty of room for own expertise and creative approaches to reach the desired targets.


We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • a PhD degree in synthetic chemistry with proven track record in multi (>10) step synthesis
  • knowledge and/or skills regarding (photo)labile compounds is preferred
  • experience with the supervision of students
  • a pragmatic approach to scientific and practical challenges
  • the ability to communicate verbally and in written form in English.


The University of Groningen is a research university, currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University, offering first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering disciplines.

The mission of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry is to perform excellent research and teaching in molecular and supramolecular chemistry. Core activities in the chemical sciences such as bioorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, molecular inorganic chemistry and molecular materials chemistry are embedded in the institute. The research programme is focused on synthesis, catalysis, functional materials, bio-organic chemistry/chemical biology and systems chemistry/complex molecular systems.

The research program of the Feringa group is focused on synthetic and physical organic chemistry. Inspired by Nature's principles of molecular assembly, recognition, transport, motion and catalysis, the goal is to exploit the full potential of synthetic chemistry to create new structures and functions. A major part of the research is directed towards dynamic molecular systems. The focus is on molecular nanoscience, novel responsive materials and photo-pharma exploring biohybrid systems, self-assembly, molecular switches and motors. A second part of the program deals with the development (and application in chemical biology) of novel stereoselective synthesis methods and asymmetric catalysis. Chirality is a leading theme and over the years a unique and broad expertise in fundamental aspects of stereochemistry has been acquired including chiroptical phenomena, chiral amplification and origin of chirality.

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a salary based on qualifications and experience of starting at € 3,557 gross per month (salary scale 10.4)
  • excellent secondary terms of employment
  • a fulltime position
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • 232 holiday hours per calendar year for full time employment
  • participation in a pension scheme for employees.

The appointment is temporary for a specified period of 6 months, with a possibility of extension. The starting date is as soon as possible.


Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, you’re requested to upload the following documents:

  • a motivation letter stating your motivation to apply for the position and your key qualities relevant for this position
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae, including a publication record
  • contact information of two academic references.

You may apply for this position until 28 August 2022, 11:59pm / before 29 August 2022 Dutch local time by means of the electronic application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr. Dorus Heijnen, d.heijnen
  • Prof. Ben Feringa, b.l.feringa
  • Dr. George Alachouzos, g.alachouzos

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.