Open positions

  • Scientific Collaborator Position (100%) in the BioNanomaterials Group

    To complete our team, we are seeking a

    Scientific Collaborator for Impedance-Based Characterization of Epithelial Tissue (100%)

    Position and Requirements

    This position and the project are a part of the project entitled “Digital and Sustainable Platform for High-tech Monitoring of Human Epithelial Tissue Models for Predictive Biomedical Research”, which will be in collaboration with SiMPLInext SA and Swiss Innovation Park Biel/Bienne AG.

    Excellent skills in the domain of (epithelial) cell culture techniques, cell analysis, and/or impedance spectroscopy are expected.

    We aim to attract the best talents in the respective research field and expect:

    • A Master or Ph.D. degree in one of the following disciplines: (epithelial) cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology
    • Inter- and multidisciplinary thinking, self-motivated, and interest to join an ambitious interdisciplinary research cluster
    • The candidate is expected to be proficient in epithelial cell culture techniques, structure-function analysis of the epithelial tissue, including biochemical assays and light microscopy techniques. Knowledge in impedance spectroscopy is considered a plus
    • An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills
    • Fluency in English – written and oral

    We offer:

    • Excellent research facilities
    • A one-year contract with the possibility for prolongation (total of 18 months)
    • Full funding
    • Opportunity to publish in high impact journals and opportunity for acquisition of own funding
    • A highly diverse international working environment with English as the primary working language

    Start date:

    • As soon as possible, at the latest August/September 2020

    Application Procedure

    Please email your application with the subject title “Scientific Collaborator (100%) BioNano Group” to, including your CV with a cover letter, and contact information of (at least) two references.

  • Two PhD positions in the BioNanomaterials group

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland invites applications for 2 PhD positions in the BioNanomaterials group which is co-chaired by Prof. B. Rothen-Rutishauser and Prof. A. Fink.

    The goal of the SNSF funded project “Long-term fate of internalized nanoparticles in macrophages” is to study (i) the dynamics of nanoparticles after cellular internalization including trafficking and agglomeration, and (ii) to combine light and electron microscopy methods to provide accurate number projection of intracellular particles.

    Applicants must have a MSc or equal degree in Cell Biology or Light / Electron Microscopy. Excellent skills in the domain of cell culture techniques, cell analysis, and microscopy techniques are expected. Enthusiasm for top-quality research and good oral and written English communication skills are a must.

    We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment at the interface of cell biology and bionanomaterials, state-of-the-art laboratories, excellent working conditions, a competitive salary in accordance with the Swiss National Science Foundation guidelines, and outstanding career prospects. 

    Please send your complete documentation (including letter of motivation, CV, copies of pertinent certificates, and contact details of two references) to Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Ch. de Verdiers 4, CH-Fribourg, Switzerland, The successful candidate is expected to start as early as possible. Please state “PhD student BioNanomaterials” in your motivation letter and in the subject header!

  • Postdoctoral position

    Study of emulsion digestion and particle-cell interaction with custom-made optical micromanipulation tools

    Are you passionate about colloid and interface science and interested in optical micromanipulation? In a collaborative project between the groups of the departments of chemistry, physics, and the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Fribourg, we are hiring a postdoc focusing on manipulation of micron-sized bio-colloids to study emulsion digestion and particle-cell interactions. The candidate will have the responsibility of developing a novel acousto-optical tweezer tool for this activity.

     Your Mission and Responsibilities

    • Development, adaption of an optical tweezer system and its integration into existing microscopy environments.
    • Application of the newly developed platform to the in situ study of emulsion digestion, drug delivery and particle-cell interactions.
    • Generating advanced knowledge in soft matter science and bioinspired materials.
    • Collaborate with internal and external project partners from academia and industry.
    • Communicate results at meetings, conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • A PhD degree in a relevant field (physics, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, materials science).
    • Proven experience in developing novel experimental platforms.
    • Programming skills. We currently use LabVIEW to control the optical tweezers. Therefore, a good command of LabVIEW is mandatory. We would consider a candidate with excellent knowledge in Python that would be able to translate the existing LabVIEW code.
    • Proven experience in working in interdisciplinary research environments selected from the following disciplines (in form of a peer-reviewed publication): Colloid chemistry, soft-matter, nanomaterial characterization, scattering, AFM, confocal (Raman) microscopy.
    • Fluency in English (written and oral) is a must, German or French would be a benefit.
    • Proven experience in publication of research findings with a strong publication record.

    Other Skills

    • Outcome driven personality that takes risks and enjoys working on in interdisciplinary environments.
    • Creative attitude, flexibility and team player.
    • Passion for science and independent problem-solving skills.

     The position is available as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Your application portfolio should include a cover letter clearly outlining your motivation for this role and relevant experience, CV with publication list and information of at least 3 reference contacts and diploma copies and reprints of 3 relevant publications.

    Please send your application documents to clearly noting project number CP4 in the reference line.

  • Data management and IT Support Engineer (80-100%)

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) is seeking an IT engineer who will develop and support the data management needs of the AMI. This includes in particular the development of a new data management strategy and infrastructure, which the Institute iintends to put into place over the coming 1-2 years. Furthermore, this position includes general hardware and software support for the AMI.

    We offer an interesting work environment in a dynamic, young, internationally excellent scientific institute in Fribourg. The position provides flexible working conditions and good social benefits. We will support your further training and additional qualifications.

    Tasks include:

    • Review of the current IT practices at the AMI.
    • Recommendations for the implementation of new data management practices in accordance with Swiss National Science Foundation rules.
    • Evaluation of commercial data management and electronic lab-book solutions suitable for the AMI.
    • Implementation and maintenance of a new data management solution.
    • Maintenance and further development of the AMI web page and its database.
    • Management of the AMI IT system (hardware and software).
    • IT user support.
    • Based at the AMI, the above activities will take place in close coordination with the IT services of the University of Fribourg, and with the staff of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials at the same location.


    • You have a Bachelor or Master degree in computer science, or a similar qualification. We will consider applications from candidates who have recently received their degree, if they can demonstrate the ability to carry out the above tasks.
    • Experience with data management responsibilities, IT support and/or experience working in a scientific setting are an advantage.
    • You have a good grasp of the operation and maintenance of IT systems and you are able to carry our small software and web development tasks.
    • You have an independent and proactive approach to problem solving and you take pride in creating innovative solutions that work well and are accepted by the stake holders (AMI personnel and students).
    • You enjoy working with people and helping them solve their IT issues.
    • Your working style is creative and dynamic, and you can successfully implement and lead projects with multiple partners.
    • You are bilingual in English/German or English/French.

    Starting date

    Immediately or at a date to be determined

    Applications (until December 5) should be sent to Catherine Jungo, Chief Administrative Officer, either at or

    Catherine Jungo

    Chief Administrative Officer

    Adolphe Merkle Institute

    University of Fribourg

    Chemin des Verdiers 4

    1700 Fribourg / Switzerland

    For any queries related to the position, please contact Prof. Ullrich Steiner, or +41 26 300 95 03 


  • 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.

  • Postdoc in Polymer Chemistry [Job code: NCCR-CP5-1]

    To complete the team of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials ( at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, we are seeking a postdoctoral researcher in polymer chemistry. The postdoc (f/m) will work under the supervision of Prof. Nico Bruns (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) and co-supervision of Prof. Michael Mayer (Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg) and Prof. Christoph Weder (Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg) on the synthesis and self-assembly of block copolymers for bio-inspired polymer membranes in aqueous two-phase systems. The project is part of an interdisciplinary project led by Prof. Michael Mayer to develop electrical power generating systems from salinity gradients, and intense collaboration with other team members is expected.   

    Applicants must hold a PhD degree in Chemistry or Polymer Science. Excellent skills in the domain of block copolymer synthesis, e.g., by controlled radical polymerizations, and in the domain of block copolymer self-assembly are expected. Experience in the characterization of self-assembled polymer nanostructures e.g. by electron microscopy, confocal fluorescence microscopy, AFM, and light scattering are an advantage. Enthusiasm for top-quality research and good oral and written English communication skills are a must.

    We offer a uniquely stimulating interdisciplinary research environment at the interface of polymer chemistry and biophysics, as well as excellent working conditions, a competitive salary, and outstanding career prospects. The position is available from 1.6.2019 or at a mutually agreed later date and is funded for 12 months.

    Please send your complete documentation (reference NCCR-CP5-1; including letter of motivation, CV, list of publications, copies of pertinent certificates, and contact details of two academic references) until 24.04.2020 to:, stating the job-ID in the subject line. For additional information about the position, please contact Prof. Nico Bruns: