Doctoral Scholarship in 3D Structure Characterization of Nanomaterials under Realistic Conditions
University of Antwerp Faculty of Science

Doctoral scholarship holder Transmission electron microscopy in the area of “3D Structure Characterization of Nanomaterials under Realistic Conditions”

Department : Department of Physics

Regime : Full-time

The EMAT research group from the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Science is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of transmission electron microscopy in the area of “3D Structure Characterization of Nanomaterials under Realistic Conditions”. The holder will work under the supervision of Prof Sara Bals (University of Antwerp).

Project description

These vacancy is situated in an H2020 ERC Consolidator grant 3D Structure of Nanomaterials under Realistic Conditions (REALNANO) ( The overarching goal of REALNANO is to establish the structure-property connection of nanomaterials under realistic conditions. Tracking 3D changes of nanomaterials and their surface ligands in a thermal and gaseous environment is therefore required. We will develop innovative and quantitative 3D characterization tools, compatible with the fast changes of nanomaterials that occur in a realistic thermal and gaseous environment. To visualize surface ligands, we will combine direct electron detection with novel exit wave reconstruction techniques.


  • You work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis.
  • Depending on the interest, a successful candidate will work on a combination of a selection of the following topics: (i) optimisation of the TEM sample support (ii) acquisition of fast tomography series (iii) heating tomography (iv) imaging using secondary electrons (v) experimental work with a gas flow holder (vi) visualisation of surface ligands (vii) developing novel 3D reconstruction algorithms, 3D modelling procedures and the processing of the exit wave reconstructions.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You present your work at national and international workshops and conferences.
  • You will be employed at the University of Antwerp.


  • You hold a Master degree with background in e.g. physics, mathematics, materials science, transmission electron microscopy or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You are enthusiastic and greatly interested in developing transmission electron microscopy methods.
  • A background in transmission electron microscopy or scientific computing will be a plus.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for another 3 years.
  • The planned start date is as soon as the position is filled.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for contract research staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will have the opportunity to be immersed in a world-class, dynamic and stimulating work environment with state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing facilities (see also and
  • You will do most of your work at campus Groenenborger in a dynamic and stimulating working environment, with frequent visits and interactions with the group.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform until 15 Oct 2020. Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments:The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
    • a motivation letter,
    • your academic CV,
    • a summary of your Master thesis,
    • a list and grades of the courses from that you took during your studies (Bachelor and Master)
    • names of 2 professional referees.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to Additional information about job itself can be obtained from: Sara Bals, tel. +32 3 265 3284,

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organization which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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