Open positions

Interested in nanoscience research? Please remember to check this page where we regularly post job offers for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and senior scientists at the Adolphe Merkle Institute. Chemistry, materials science, analytics, physics, and biophysics are all at the core of our scientific projects. We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment, state-of-the-art laboratories, excellent working conditions, competitive salaries, and outstanding career prospects. Our alumni regularly take up attractive positions in academia, public research organizations, and industry around the world.

  • Full Professor of Food Science and Technology

    The University of Fribourg’s Faculty of Science and Medicine invites applications for a tenured position as a Full Professor of Food Science and Technology at the Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI), a scientifically independent institute within the Faculty.

    The selected candidate must have an outstanding record of successful independent research in food science and technology. A proven track record of translation and collaboration with the food industry is expected. The appointee is expected to develop an internationally recognized research program that is supported by a significant level of external funding. Close collaborations with other groups of the AMI and other units of the University, particularly the newly formed interfaculty Food Research and Innovation Centre (FRIC), are expected, and the potential for integrating the candidate within the AMI is an important selection criterion.

    For the full description of the position, please follow this link: https://www.unifr.ch/scimed/fr/assets/public/scimed/faculty/positions/Web-Ad_Prof_Food_Science.pdf

    To apply, please use this link: https://scimed-recruiting.unifr.ch/

  • Post-doctoral Research Associate Position - Bio-Inspired Hydrogel Batteries

    AMI’s BioPhysics Group (Prof. Michael Mayer) invites applications for a post-doctoral research associate to investigate bio-inspired hydrogel batteries. This project addresses the urgent societal need for new power storage systems. The group targets novel electrical power sources whose design is inspired by the electric organs of electric fish and exploits salinity gradients. The research activities range from preparing thin hydrogel and polymer films, conducting electrochemical measurements of open circuit potentials and short circuit currents to fabricating, assembling, characterizing, and testing hydrogel-based devices. The project is a collaboration with groups in Polymer Chemistry (AMI, CH), Mechanical Engineering (PSU, US), and Machine Learning (CMU, USA).

    Applicants must have a PhD degree in (Bio)Physical Chemistry, Biomedical or Chemical Engineering, or a related field and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in a fast-moving international team. Previous experience in electrochemistry, biochemistry/biophysics/electrophysiology/electrical engineering would be ideal.  Other requirements are the ability to advance a complex project independently and as part of a team, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English. AMI offers attractive employment conditions and outstanding infrastructure in a state-of-the-art research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to michael.mayer@unifr.ch with the subject title “Post-doctoral Research Associate Position Bio-Inspired Hydrogel Batteries”.

  • Two PhD Positions - Soft Matter Physics Group
    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's Soft Matter Physics Group (Prof. Ullrich Steiner) invites applications for two PhD positions in the "Strong Localisation of Light through the Controlled Assembly of Amorphous Patchy Colloid Networks” project.

    In opaque materials, light is multiply scattered before emerging.  A long-standing interesting fundamental question arises: Is it possible to design a strongly scattering material from which light never emerges? While theoretically predicted and despite several experimental efforts, this effect has not yet been demonstrated.  Our approach follows the theoretical studies, which require an interplay of order and disorder in the arrangement of the scatterers within the material.  

    To this end, we will develop a system of colloidal building blocks that can be assembled into networks, allowing us to adjust the order-disorder interplay of the resulting network. These 3D networks are then replicated into high-refractive index materials (silicon or titania) and optically characterised to achieve strong light scattering. One of the PhD projects concerns the creation of the building blocks, i.e., the synthesis of the colloids and their assembly, while the second will work on replicating the networks as mentioned above.  Both students will also use molecular dynamics and optical simulations to predict promising network morphologies, guiding their experiments.

    Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, or Physics and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in a fast-moving international team. The ability to advance a complex project independently and as part of a team, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English are key requirements for this position. Experience in polymer or colloid science will be of advantage, and some knowledge of optics is desirable. 

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute offers attractive employment conditions and outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.
    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to ami.applications@unifr.ch with the subject title “PhD Light Localisation”.
  • PhD Position - Healable Polymers

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's Polymer Chemistry and Materials Group (Prof. Christoph Weder) invites applications for a PhD Position in Healable Polymers.

    Healable polymers hold the promise to enable products that offer better performance, longer service life, and lower environmental impact, but the transfer of such materials from research labs into real-world applications has been slow. To address this, a readily scalable design approach to create healable polymers will be investigated in collaboration with an industrial partner. The project is part of the National Center of Competence in Research Bio-Inspired Materials (bioinspired-materials.ch).

    Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Chemistry or Polymer/Materials Science and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in a fast-moving international team. Experience in polymer synthesis and processing, the ability to advance a complex project independently and as part of a team, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English are key requirements for this position. Previous experience in research on batteries and/or ion-conducting polymers is desirable. AMI offers very attractive employment  conditions and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to ami.applications@unifr.ch with the subject title “PhD Position Healable Polymers”.

  • PhD Position - Bio-Inspired Polymer Batteries

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's Polymer Chemistry and Materials Group (Prof. Christoph Weder) invites applications for a PhD Position in Bio-Inspired Polymer Batteries.

    This project addresses our society’s urgent need for new power storage systems. We target new batteries whose design is inspired by the “power plants” of electric fish. The research activities range  from the synthesis and processing of polymer electrolytes and ion-selective membranes to the fabrica-tion and testing of batteries. The project is a collaboration with the groups of Profs. Michael Mayer (AMI), Joseph Najem (Penn State University), and Amir Barati Farimani (Carnegie Mellon University).

    Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Chemistry or Polymer/Materials Science and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in a fast-moving international team. Experience in polymer synthesis and processing, the ability to advance a complex project independently and as part of a team, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English are key requirements for this position. Previous experience in research on batteries and/or ion-conducting polymers is desirable. AMI offers very attractive employment  conditions and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to ami.applications@unifr.ch with the subject title “PhD Position Bio-Inspired Polymer Batteries”.

  • PhD Position - Dynamic Polymer Networks

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute's Polymer Chemistry and Materials Group (Prof. Christoph Weder) invites applications for a PhD Position in Dynamic Polymer Networks.

    This project is focused on the design, synthesis, and exploration of a new class of complex polymer networks. We target materials that contain different types of reversible bonds, which render the materials adaptive and promote multiple functions such as damage-sensing and self-healing. The research activities will involve the synthesis and processing of novel materials and the investigation of their structure-property relationships. The project is a collaborative effort with the research group of Prof. Stuart Rowan (University of Chicago) and will involve international research exchanges.

    Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Chemistry or Polymer/Materials Science and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research in a fast-moving international team. Experience in organic and polymer synthesis, the ability to advance a complex project independently and as part of a team, excellent communication skills, and proficiency in English are key requirements for this position. AMI offers very attractive employment  conditions and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to ami.applications@unifr.ch with the subject title “PhD Position Dynamic Polymer Networks”.