Assistant Professor in Experimental Physics
VU University of Amsterdam Department of Physics and Astronomy

Do you have experience in the science of photo-active materials for energy applications? Are you looking forward to working within a multidisciplinary team at the intersection between physics, chemistry, and materials science? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 1 -

Job description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam invites applications from researchers in experimental physics for a faculty position at the level of (tenure track) assistant professor. Associate professor or full professor appointments may also be considered, depending on experience and track record.

The successful candidate will join the Department of Physics and Astronomy, which has a strong research background in the fields of photosynthesis, photocatalysis, and energy. The candidate will be embedded in the PhotoConversion Materials (PCM) section that currently consists of two faculty members: dr. Andrea Baldi and dr. Charusheela Ramanan.

The PCM section is a highly interdisciplinary team, working at the interface of physics, chemistry, and materials science to understand fundamental mechanisms of light-matter interaction. Our section focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of novel materials  such as plasmonic nanoparticles and organic chromophore systems for light-energy conversion and optical sensing.

The ideal candidate will expand and complement our research profile in the physics of materials for light-energy conversion. Potentially interesting research areas could include, but are not limited to, photocatalysis, photo-electrochemistry, optical sensing, optoelectronics, and energy storage.

At the VU and in our PCM section we believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are key factors to both our scientific success and our workplace well-being. Prospective candidates from under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

In your role of tenure-track assistant professor, you will be expected to:
  • develop an independent and externally-funded research program through the acquisition of personal and/or collaborative research grants to fund PhD students and postdocs, buy and maintain equipment, help support technical staff, etc.
  • establish your reputation within your research field and foster collaborations within the Physics and Astronomy department, as well as nationally and internationally
  • teach in the BSc and MSc study programs in which our section is involved, including programs in Physics and Astronomy and in Science, Business and Innovation
  • supervise BSc, MSc, and PhD students
  • contribute to management tasks in the department, such as participation in study program committees, exam committees, departmental task-forces, outreach, and curriculum development


  • PhD in experimental physics or a closely related field, with an outstanding record of scientific excellence (see below)
  • a postdoctoral experience is considered a strong plus
  • past experience in and/or a strong commitment to (under)graduate teaching
  • excellent communication skills in English

Our definition of scientific excellence stems from the criteria defined by the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). For example, we invite you to highlight the scientific content of your papers, as it is “much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it was published”. Furthermore, we will “consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software) in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice”.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel. Based on a full-time appointment the gross monthly starting salary will range from €3,821 to €5,230 depending on expertise and previous experience (salary scale 11, universitair docent UD2). The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 1 FTE.
The appointment will be a tenure-track position, with a duration of 5 years. Before the end of this contract, you will be evaluated and if this evaluation is positive, you will be offered a tenured position. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalised benefits package
  • good paid parental leave scheme
  • child daycare facilities available on campus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (i) high-energy and gravitational physics, (ii) quantum metrology and laser applications, (iii) physics of life and health, and (iv) physics of photosynthesis and energy. The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (together with University of Twente). Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc on campus and location AMC), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), and a thriving startup scene.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter by May 15, 2022. The job interviews will likely be planned before the summer break. Applications received by email will not be processed.

If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact Prof. Dr. Erwin Peterman ( and Dr. Andrea Baldi (

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