Post-doc: Selective Protein Functionalisation for Single Molecule Protein Sequencing

Department/faculty: Applied Sciences
Level: PhD degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 3 years
Salary: €3068 to €4028

Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Department of Chemical Engineering promotes the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in chemistry and chemical engineering, with a focus on materials for energy and health applications. We aspire to improve the quality of life in a sustainable society through discovery and innovation, the quality of life of our graduates through inspiration and teaching, and the quality of life of our peers through collaboration and exchange. With a proud heritage in chemical engineering, the department seeks to break new ground in areas where molecular understanding and engineering design meet.

The Advanced Soft Matter (ASM) research group is focused on the development and characterisation of new, functional, soft molecular and polymer materials, as well as the design and synthesis of new functional molecules and polymers. Examples include dynamic gels and surfactants, self-healing materials and out-of-equilibrium systems, often formed by self-assembly or directed self-assembly of molecular building blocks. Materials of interest may range from bio-organic to opto-electronic, nanostructured materials.

Job description

We seek a talented and ambitious post-doctoral researcher for a challenging research project on the border between synthetic organic chemistry, fluorophore synthesis, and selective functionalisation of amino acid residues in proteins. The project aims at the development of synthetic procedures for high-purity fluorescent dyes for efficient protein modification, and the development of methods for the selective modification of post-translational modifications on proteins. A major part of the project will be concerned with dye synthesis and characterisation, and testing on benchmark substrates.
The project is part of large consortium concerned with the development of new techniques for single molecule sequencing or identification of proteins. Made up of members from biology, biophysics, chemistry and bioinformatics, the FOM-funded project runs between the TU Delft, Wageningen University and the University of Groningen. At Delft, in collaboration with the groups of Dr. Chirlmin Joo and Prof. Cees Dekker (both Dept. of BioNanoScience) we will perform dye synthesis and develop modification strategies. Most of the work will be performed in the Advanced Soft Matter labs at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Delft University of Technology. Some aspects will be carried out in collaborations both within and outside the department or the university.


The successful candidate will have a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry, including experience in fluorophore synthesis and/or functionalisation of biomolecules. You must have practical skills in multi-step organic synthesis, the ability to analyse and optimise reaction processes, and the ability to select and execute appropriate purification techniques for isolating compounds on a 50mg to 5g scale. Desirable practical experience includes (a) NMR, (prep-)HPLC, MS (b) UV-VIS, fluorescence spectroscopy (c) chromatography (d) fluorescent dyes. It is essential that you are able to demonstrate competence in these areas, as judged by publications (or papers in press) in high quality, peer-reviewed journals. Very good spoken and written English is mandatory.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers child care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. R. Eelkema, phone: +31 (0)15-2781035, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, list of references and letter of application by 1 July 2017 to Dr. R. Eelkema,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWCE17-024.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Applied Sciences
PhD degree
Working hours
3 years
€3068 to €4028

Closing date
July 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact R. Eelkema, Associate Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2781035

For more information about the application procedure, please contact R. Eelkema/Chemical Engineering.