PhD Position in Topological Study of Molecular Braids
VU University of Amsterdam Department of Mathematics
Netherlands

Location: AMSTERDAM
FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Department of Mathematics of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam welcomes applications for a fully-funded, 4-year PhD position. The PhD student will work on the project Topological study of molecular braids under the supervision of Senja Barthel in the Mathematics Department (www.math.vu.nl) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The overall aim of the project is to develop a mathematical model of periodic molecular braids. The mathematical objects studied are piece-wise linear embeddings (realisations, coordinates) of pure braids in R3. The focus will be on their mathematical properties, in particular the symmetries of the embeddings, and the relation of these with the topological braid types. Families of embeddings of braids will be generated according to the model. In particular, braids formed from rigidly identical strands with few symmetrically distinct vertices and edges will be of interest. The completeness of the resulting lists of braid realisations will be studied, as well as their relations to special classes of braids defined in terms of diagrammatic presentations. The braids identified as relevant for molecular braids will be compared with existing crystals from the Cambridge Structural Database to suggest new entanglements that could potentially be formed from existing molecules.

The preferred starting date is 1 February 2023, or before. 

Applications from all groups currently under-represented in academic posts are particularly encouraged. We are working to improve the present gender balance within the department, and particularly welcome applications from women.

Your duties

  • doing research towards writing a PhD thesis
  • teaching tasks (roughly 15% of your time), which typically consist of supervising exercise classes and correcting homework

Requirements

  • a (prospective) MSc. degree in Mathematics (or an equivalent thereof) with excellent results
  • a background (or at least serious interest) in chemistry
  • good communication skills in English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,541 (at the start) and a maximum €3,247 (in the fourth year). The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8-1.0 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for 1 year. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for further 3 years. Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • good paid parental leave scheme

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

The Department of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics strives for excellence in research. The department balances pure mathematical research with mathematical research motivated by applications. Researchers in the department are on one hand active at a fundamental and theoretical level, and, on the other hand, work on applications with links to business, the sciences, and societal issues. The department has a strong international research staff with expertise in dynamical systems, topology, geometry and algebra, as well as in stochastics (statistics, data analytics, probability). 

Application

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button by 30 September 2022 and upload: a cover letter, a CV, a list of courses and grades at the MSc level, a (draft) MSc thesis if available, and the names and e-mail addresses of two references.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Senja Barthel
Position: Professor of Mathematics
E-mail: s.barthel@vu.nl
 


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