Open positions

  • AFM and/or single molecule spectroscopy scientist (50% position)


    The National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials is an internationally recognized hub for paradigm-shifting research, innovation, and education in the domain of “smart” materials whose function and design are inspired by nature. Transcending traditional disciplines, the Center integrates the research activities of twenty-one research groups from the University of Fribourg’s Adolphe Merkle Institute, its departments of chemistry, medicine, and physics, and partners at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne. To complete the Center's Instrument Platform team, we are searching for an AFM and/or single molecule spectroscopy scientist (50% position).

    The NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, age or other aspects. We offer an attractive environment in an international and multidisciplinary team, flexible working conditions, and good social benefits.


    The tasks associated with this position will include the maintenance of two AFMs and other single molecule spectroscopy equipment, introducing the researchers of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials to the use of these equipment and supporting them in their own projects. It is also expected that the successful candidate will carry out own research projects in collaboration with the groups of the Center. The position will be linked to the Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) of the University of Fribourg.


    The successful candidate will be a senior scientist with a solid research track-record in Atomic Force Microscopy and/or single molecule spectroscopy and a strong record of publications in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.

    Excellent written and oral command of English.

    Application deadline


    Start date

    To be discussed

    Duration of contract

    Until 31.05.2022 with possible extension until 31.05.2026

    Application submission

    Please send your full CV, motivation letter and references (e-mail subject: NCCR Instruments Platform Position) by e-mail to Lucas Montero (

    Contact for questions

    Lucas Montero

     T: +41 (0)26 300 91 72


  • 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.