Post-doc | Chemistry and structure – function studies on biobased liquid crystal polymers and circular composites made thereof | 0.8 - 1.0 FTE

Research / Academic

Our earth has been dynamic since its origin. Driven by solar and inner heat the stability of “system earth” relies on delicate interactions, like chemical reactions and equilibria involving for example carbon, which are challenged to date. Parallel to initiatives by the energy sector reducing carbon emissions and dependence, our group focuses on closing carbon cycles of polymeric materials timely, and in a green/sustainable way. In this project, we will use a variation of spectroscopy techniques using light and/or oscillatory mechanical input to value the physio-chemical behaviour of semi-aromatic building blocks derived from local crop waste in:

synthesis of Liquid Crystalline Polymers (LCP), structure formation of melt (re)processed LCP reinforced polyester composites, and function.

As a Post Doc it will be your task to elucidate the effect of monomer composition on the configurational and conformational rigidity on melt-reprocessability and fiber reinforcement. Careful selection of monomers and polymerization strategies provide control over the design of physico-chemical response in (biobased) polyester melts that are trivial to the ultimate performance. The methodological approach in molecular design matches the aim of the research group to position biobased, potentially circular, polymeric materials among the existing construction materials, here fiber reinforced thermoplastics.

You will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials of Maastricht University (UM), which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, for a period of 3 years. You will work in the Macromolecular Physics and Technology group of Principle Investigator (PI) Dr. Jules Harings. While securing strong and effective collaboration with fellow scientists of the respective consortium and work package, you are encouraged to (i) cross interfaces of the AMIBM and UM research groups, (ii) take responsibility and authorship on the progress of the project, (iii) assist the PI in managing research and educational group activities and (iv) develop your personal research line complementary to the PI’s expertise potentially converting into a long-term appointment. The primary location is the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, the Netherlands.


  • holds a PhD degree in Polymer Science, preferred in polymer rheology or polymer physics.
  • has specific skills in physico-chemical characterization and thus a molecular understanding of polymers by means of rheology and spectroscopy (including small angle X-ray scattering and wide-angle X-ray diffraction).
  • aspires an academic career.
  • has a strong interest to investigate structure-property relationships of the synthesized LCPs in pure and fiber reinforced form;
  • aims at helping to develop ready-to-market products based on the gained insights gained – in balance with profound scientific publishing in peer review journals;
  • likes to interact with academic and industrial partners and embeds their input (e.g. during bi-annual progress meetings) into his/her scientific research;
  • is result driven, inventive, creative, counts with potential impact, works ‘accountable’ and takes ownership;
  • assists the PI in managing the research and educational activities of the group;
  • masters scientific English for speaking, reading, and writing. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Salary Benefits:

As a Postdoc at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, you will be employed by the most international university of the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:

  • Good employment conditions. The position is in grated in scale 11 according to the UFO profile Researcher, function level 3 with corresponding salary ranging from € 4.332 to € 5.929 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus are applicable.
  • The Post Doc position is full-time for a duration of 3 years and encloses an evaluation after 1 year to enter the succeeding 2 years. After careful and complete evaluation of the candidates, the project starts immediately after.
  • As a holder of the 'Family-friendly University' quality mark, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, Click here

Work Hours:

30.4 - 38 hours per week


Urmonderbaan 22