21 new NanoFront PhD projects awarded


Between 2013 and 2023, a staggering number of almost 100 PhD students will be appointed in the NanoFront program to work on the frontiers of bionanoscience, quantum nanoscience, and nanotechnology. The majority of these PhD positions are allotted over the various research groups within NanoFront via three so-called internal PhD calls. The first edition of these calls was organized in 2013, resulting in 22 new PhD projects.

The second NanoFront internal PhD call ran this spring and resulted in 32 proposals, out of which the NanoFront Steering group now decided to grant 21 PhD positions. Collaborative projects between quantum nanoscience and bionanoscience, Delft and Leiden, or theory and experiments were particularly encouraged. The research fields of the awarded projects varied widely, ranging from ‘cell division by fluctuations’ to ‘nanoscale tomography with single-proton resolution using a single-spin quantum sensor’. For a full overview of all the PhD projects that were awarded in the 2015 NanoFront Internal PhD call, see the tables in the below.

 Synergy Proposals



Anton Akhmerov (Kavli/QN) and Vincenzo Vitelli (Leiden)

Anderson localization in Topological Mechanical systems

Bertus Beaumont (Kavli/BN) and Marie Eve Aubin-Tam (Kavli/BN)

Reprogramming of anti-bacterial nanomachines

Christophe Danelon (Kavli/BN) and Thomas Schmidt (Leiden)

Cell Division by Fluctuations

Martin Depken (Kavli/BN) and  Chirlmin Joo (Kavli/BN)

The nano-mechanics of fast, specific, and efficient microRNA target search

Luca Giomi (Leiden) and Daniela Kraft (Leiden)

Curvature driven localization of lipid nano-domains: from the plasma membrane to artificial cells

Simon Gröblacher (Kavli/QN) and Milan Allan (Leiden)

Novel microfabricated devices for combined scanning optical near-field and tunnelling microscopy

Liedewij Laan (Kavli/BN) and Andreas Engel (Kavli/BN)  

Reconstitution of Cdc42-based polarity establishment in vitro

Anne Meyer (Kavli/BN) and Herre van der Zant (Kavli/QN)

Biologically patterned graphene

Jan van Ruitenbeek (Leiden) and Henny Zandbergen (Kavli/QN)

Atomically thin Bi films as 2D topological insulators

Stefan Semrau (Leiden), Timon Idema (Kavli/BN), and Sander Tans (Kavli/BN)

Cell adhesion molecules and cell sorting: towards the spatial control of artificial tissues

Gary Steele (Kavli/QN) and Andrea Caviglia (Kavli/QN)

Coherent control of quantum matter

Single Applicant Proposals



Carlo Beenakker (Leiden)

Topological optomechanics

Greg Bokinsky (Kavli/BN)

Visualizing high-speed homeostasis in single cells: How bacteria use their growth rate speedometer

Christophe Danelon (Kavli/BN)

Assembly of a Minimal Cell: Bringing Parts Together

Cees Dekker (Kavli/BN)

DNA structure in live cells shaped with nanofabrication

Nynke Dekker (Kavli/BN)

Dynamics of the fully reconstituted yeast replication fork studied at the single-molecule level

Ronald Hanson (Kavli/QN)

Nano-scale tomography with single-proton resolution using a single-spin quantum sensor

Leo Kouwenhoven (Kavli/QN)

4π interferometry using Majorana bound states

Yuli Nazarov (Kavli/QN)

Quantum mixtures of topological and non-topological states realized with superconducting junctions

Michel Orrit (LION)

Vapor Nanobubble as a Nano-sonar

Hyun Youk (Kavli/BN)

Phase Transitions in Stem Cells: Programming Cells with Nano-devices and Statistical Mechanics