Open positions

  • PhD position in the field of stimuli-responsive polymers

    The Polymer Chemistry and Materials Group (Prof. Christoph Weder) has one opening for projects that focus on the development and investigation of stimuli-responsive polymers, i.e., materials whose properties change in response to an external stimulus in a predictable and useful manner. The underlying mechanisms are of great academic interest and such materials are technologically useful, since they offer a broad range of complex and in many cases unique properties and functions, such as the ability to be healed, the possibility to indicate mechanical stress with a color change, or the capability to change their mechanical properties on demand.

    Applicants must have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or Polymer Science, experience in organic and/or polymer synthesis, and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research involving small-molecule and polymer synthesis, polymer processing, and the characterization of various materials properties. Close collaboration with the other members of the Institute and the Faculty of Science is expected. AMI offers highly competitive working conditions and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible and the successful applicant is expected to enrol in a full-time PhD program. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and recommendation letter(s) to Prof. Christoph Weder and Dr. José Augusto Berrocal via e-mail to with the subject title “Stimuli-responsive polymers”.

  • 4 PhD positions in optics

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland invites applications for 4 PhD positions in the Soft Matter Physics group of Prof. Ullrich Steiner.

    The goal of the ERC funded project “Photonic Structural Materials with Controlled Disorder” is the discovery how structural color arises from materials with various degrees of disorder. The projects encompass the following four domains:

    • Tomographic analysis of disordered materials occurring in nature (e.g. bird feathers), the discovery of structural correlations in these materials and linking them with their optical properties
    • The analysis of disordered optical gratings occurring in plants and the development of models describing their optical response
    • The manufacture of materials that replicate the properties of the materials described above. This includes the discovery how nature creates these materials
    • The development of numerical and analytic methods to describe and model the propagation of light through disordered media

    The project includes the investigation of these structures with state-of-the-art tomographic methods, synthetic and self-assembly methodologies to create structured materials and both analytic and simulation methods analyzing structural correlations and the light-matter interaction in disordered materials.

    The successful applicant will hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Materials Science or a related field, preferably with a focus on optics, topology or structure-function interactions. While the projects are mostly experimental, there is also the possibility to carry out a theoretical PhD project on the analytical analysis and numerical simulation of disordered materials and their optical response.  The candidate should wish to pursue independent research involving optical characterization techniques, electron microscopy, analytic theories or optical simulations. Excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral) are an essential requirement. PhD positions at AMI provide the opportunity of close collaborations with other groups at AMI, the Faculty of Sciences, within the National Center of Competence in Research “Bio-inspired Materials”, as well was with the University of Cambridge and several US universities.

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg is a recently established center of competence, focused on research in the field of soft nano-materials, science and technology. With the objective to stimulate innovation, AMI aims to combine fundamental and application-oriented research within an interdisciplinary setting. AMI offers highly competitive working conditions, an outstanding infrastructure and a competitive salary. For informal enquiries please contact

    Please email your application to including your CV, a cover letter, and contact information of (at least) two references with the subject title “PhD position in Optics (ERC)”. Review of applications will begin immediately upon receipt of complete application materials. The call remains open until a fitting candidate has been selected.