Universiteit Leiden

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PhD position in synthetic polymer chemistry

Vacature nummer
Intern , Extern
Publicatie datum
26 juli 2022
15 september 2022 Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science Leiden and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) are looking for a PhD candidate in Synthetic Polymer Chemistry

The group of Prof. dr. Matthias Barz at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) has an opening for 1 PhD position in Synthetic Polymer Chemistry. The PhD student will join a collaboration project between Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions and Leiden University. The overall aim of this project is to develop novel polypept(o)ides, lipopolymers and formulations thereof employing state of the art techniques. A close collaboration with the CRC 1066 is intended to support the development of mRNA immune therapeutics (project B12, partners Peter Langguth and Ugur Sahin).

The research topic in this position involves the development of novel polymeric materials based on polypept(o)ides and their use in the development of nucleic acid formulations to modulate immune cells in vivo to control inflammation or induce antitumoral responses.


1) Synthesis and characterization cationic polypeptides, di or tri-block copolypept(o)ides and lipopolypept(o)ides;

2) formulation development using state-of-art techniques, e.g. microfluidics;

3) in vitro and in vivo evaluation of systems with respect to encapsulation chemistry, particle composition and surface modification.

The candidates should have an excellent Master degree in synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry or Materials science with a strong background polymer or organic synthesis, ideally in the synthesis of polypeptides by NCA polymerization. Moreover, knowledge in materials characterization (light scattering, SEM/TEM, AFM) are required. Besides well-founded chemical expertise, a keen interest in the application of material science to their biological evaluation and interest in therapeutic needs is expected. We are looking for team players that are capable to independently plan and execute their research tasks within an interdisciplinary project, which combines chemists, physicists, biologists and clinicians. Candidates should have the ability to think creatively and combine an excellent command of the English language with strong communication skills. Highly motivated students are strongly encouraged to apply.

We offer
We offer a full-time, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional 3 years based on performance. Starting date will be asap. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.541,- to € 3.247,- gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale P).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website.

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.

D&I statement
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Our Organization
The Faculty of Science at Leiden University is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is one of the 8 institutes within the faculty. The division of BioTherapeutics is part of the LACDR. Our institute is a centre of excellence for multidisciplinary research on drug discovery and development. Leiden University consistently ranks within the top-20 world-wide within the subject-based QS Ranking in Pharmacology and Pharmacy. At LACDR, we develop innovative scientific concepts in fundamental and translational research underlying the discovery and optimization of drugs, and personalised medicines. State-of-the-art expertise and infrastructures ensure that we are strategically positioned in (inter)national collaborations, thus further strengthening the development of novel concepts and their application in a clinical and industry environment. More information about LACDR you find on the website.

The division of BioTherapeutics operates at the forefront of research in the field of therapeutic immune modulation using nanomedicines. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/drug-research/biotherapeutics

Do you have questions about this position? Please contact Prof. dr. Matthias Barz, m.barz@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

You can find more information about the faculty of Science at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science/about-faculty-of-science. For more information about working at Leiden university please visit https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.


We are looking forward to receive your application. Please send an e-mail to Prof. dr. Matthias Barz, m.barz@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl including the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

Motivation letter;

  • Full curriculum vitae;
  • Transcripts of marks for your degree(s);
  • Names and contact details of two academic referees.


Only applications received no later than September 15th, 2022 can be considered.


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