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.

  • Postdoc Position in Self-Assembled Photonic Particles

    The National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland invites applications for a Postdoc Position in Self-Assembled Photonic Particles, jointly supervised by Prof. Ullrich Steiner and Prof. Christoph Weder.

    The goal of this project is the generation of well-defined photonic particles by supramolecular block copolymer assemblies with potential application in displays, paints and coatings. The project includes solution processing and characterization of the polymeric particles using optical microscopy and spectroscopy as well as scanning electron microscopy.

    The successful applicant will hold a PhD in chemistry, materials science, physics, or a related field preferably with a focus on polymer science. The candidate should wish to pursue research involving the fundamental mechanisms of polymer self-assembly and should have excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral).

    The NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials is an internationally recognized hub for smart materials research, education, and innovation. Its home institution is the University of Fribourg, with the Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Zurich (ETHZ) joining as participating institutions. Its operations team is based the Adolphe Merkle Institute, an interdisciplinary and independent center at the University of Fribourg that focuses on research and education in the domain of soft nanomaterials. The NCCR offers highly competitive working conditions, an outstanding infrastructure and a competitive salary.

    Please email your application to including your CV, a cover letter, and contact information of (at least) two references with the subject title “Postdoc Position in Self-Assembled Photonic Particles”. Review of applications will begin immediately upon receipt of complete application materials. The call remains open until a suitable candidate has been selected.

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

    To complete its team, the Adolphe Merkle Institute's BioNanomaterial group is seeking a

    Scientific Collaborator - Lung / Intestine Epithelial Tissue Barriers (100%)


    Position and requirements

    This position and the projects are a part of two collaborations with the aim to (i) design epithelial tissue barriers with primary cells (e.g., lung, intestine, kidney) and to (ii) assess the hazard of aerosolized substances using an established co-culture model mimicking the lung epithelial barrier. Excellent skills in the domain of (epithelial) cell culture techniques with primary cells, cell analysis, hazard assessment, 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 using primary cells, structure-function analysis of the epithelial tissue, including biochemical assays and light microscopy techniques.
    • An integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills
    • Full professional proficiency in English – written and oral

    We offer:

    • Excellent research facilities
    • A one-year contract with the possibility for prolongation
    • 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


    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.

  • PhD positions - Optically upconverting polymers

    Prof. Christoph Weder's Polymer Chemistry and Materials Group at the Adolphe Merkle Institute has two open PhD positions in the field of Optically Upconverting Polymers.

    The projects involve the development and investigation of optically upconverting polymers, i.e., materials which transform light into radiation of higher energy and are useful for the frequency conversion of lasers, high-resolution optical microscopy, solar harvesting, bio-imaging, drug delivery, optical data storage, and other applications. The proposed research program involves the synthesis of new dye molecules, the preparation of nanostructured materials system containing such dyes, and the in-depth characterization of the photophysical characteristics of the new materials in close collaboration with international partners.

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

    The positions will be filled as soon as possible and the successful applicants are expected to enrol in a full-time PhD program. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E-mail to with the subject title “PhD Position Upconverting Polymers”.

  • PhD Position: Hybrid Materials for Photovoltaics

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

    The project will include the development and investigation of hybrid perovskite materials for photovoltaics applications. This will involve material synthesis by means of state-of-the-art synthetic and self-assembly methodologies, which will be followed by the analysis of their structural and optoelectronic properties as well as photovoltaic devices.

    The applicant should hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics or a related field, preferably with a focus on Organic Electronics and/or Photovoltaics. The project will predominantly involve fabrication and characterization of materials for photovoltaics applications. The applicant is expected to have previous experience in fabrication and characterization of thin films. Any additional experience in solid-state chemistry and photoelectrochemistry is considered to be an advantage. Excellent communication skills in English (written and oral) are an essential requirement.

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg is an established center of competence, focused on research in the field of soft nanomaterials, 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. 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 EPFL and several European universities. 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 Photovoltaics”. Review of applications will begin immediately upon receipt of application materials. The call remains open until a suitable candidate has been selected.