PhD position in Leiden, Groot/Juurlink lab: methanol steam reforming catalysis

Vacancy:  PhD candidate in methanol steam reforming catalysis

Key responsibilities

A PhD position is available in the research teams of Dr. Irene M.N. Groot working on operando research in heterogeneous catalysis, and Dr. Ludo B.F. Juurlink working on gas-surface reaction dynamics and surface science. The project is aimed at unraveling the structure of the active catalyst and key intermediates during methanol steam reforming using high-pressure scanning tunneling microscopy and supersonic molecular beams.

Selection Criteria

  • A recent MSc degree in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering or Materials Sciences (or equivalent);
  • Ability to perform research independently;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Good proficiency in the English language (both oral and written, at least C1 level);
  • Preferably experience with ultrahigh vacuum set-ups and scanning tunneling microscopy;
  • Excellent grades and references.             

Our Faculty & Institute 

The Faculty of Science teaches more than 2,600 students in the context of 8 bachelor’s and 11 master’s programs. Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment, which sets high standards for its students, staff and support staff alike. The Faculty is known for its friendly and team-spirited atmosphere, which promotes mutual exchange of knowledge. For more information, see

The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: ‘Chemical Biology’ and ‘Energy & Sustainability’.

Our environment and quality of life is largely determined by chemistry, therefore research at the forefront of molecular and the life sciences is of utmost importance for our future. For example, the next generation of solar cells or batteries, and the improvement of existing as well as the development of new drugs rely on smart chemical solutions. Knowledge of catalysis, synthesis and biological processes on molecular scale will enable us to discover novel processes and products that range from new materials to pharmaceuticals.

The institute’s research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research.

Terms and conditions 

The successful applicant will be offered a full-time (1,0 fte) position, initially for a period of 12 months, with latest starting date September 2016. Usually (after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility and if progress is satisfactory) the appointment will be extended by a further three years. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis and will be under the terms of the CAO (collective labour agreement) of Dutch Universities.

The gross monthly salary is set at € 2.125,- in the first year, increasing to € 2.717,- gross per month in year four. An appointment with Leiden University includes a contributory pension scheme and other benefits such as an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax concession.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.


Inquiries can be made to Irene Groot or Ludo Juurlink. Email: or

Information about the Leiden Institute of Chemistry can be found at and about Leiden University at


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Irene Groot email: and include the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation;
  • Your resume (incl. transcripts of grades and a list of publications);
  • Names and adresses of at least two references.
  • Transcript of English test

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