PhD: Optical Tweezers Studies of a Membrane-Associated Molecular Machine

Department/faculty: Applied Sciences
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2191 to €2801

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 Bionanoscience at the TU Delft is dedicated to research at the interface between nanoscience, synthetic biology, and cell biology. It studies single molecules and single cells in all their complexity down to the molecular level, from both fundamental scientific and application points of view. It operates as part of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and aims at a leading international position.

The Aubin-Tam group is dynamic and multidisciplinary.
Visit our website for more information:

Job description

The Aubin-Tam group at TU Delft is looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a Master in either physics, biophysics, applied physics or a related field. Investigating the response of individual biomolecules and cells in response to external physical/chemical stimuli helps us to understand the molecular mechanisms driving biological processes. This PhD work is concerned with designing, developing and using biophysical assays to track dynamical cellular processes occurring at the cell membrane. In particular, optical tweezers will be used to elucidate the mode of action of a molecular motor integrated in the membrane. The project is highly interdisciplinary and involves biophysics and instrumentation.


The candidate should have a Master degree in the field of physics, biophysics, applied physics or a related field. The position will be for a fixed term of four years and is expected to result in a PhD. Good communication skills in English are required.      

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.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam, To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV and names of references along with a letter of application by 1 October 2017 to
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWBN17-028. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. We hope to fill the position as soon as possible.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Applied Sciences
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2191 to €2801

Closing date
Oct. 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam, Assistant Professor.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam/Bionanoscience.