Academic Positions Europe

Unilever R&D, Netherlands

Early-stage Researcher PhD Position in Molecular transport and dynamics in particle based colloidal gels

Unilever R&D Vlaardingen (URDV) is one of Unilever’s main central research laboratories, with a focus on soft condensed matter and colloids in relation to food, personal and household care products. URDV supports brand innovation programs, based on scientific and technological capabilities. 

Currently, we are looking for an early-stage researcher, a PhD candidate, to investigate solvent and particles dynamics in particle-structured systems such as gels. The objective of the research program will be want to understand the structure and dynamic non-equilibrium states in colloidal particles gels in respect to phenomena such as spreading and deposition on substrates, rheology, and phase stability (i.e. syneresis). The generated in-depth understanding of phase behaviour in particle-based gels is expected to trigger development of new materials and product applications.

Job requirements:

We are looking for an outstanding experimental physicist or (physical-)chemist at the MSc level with an interest in soft condensed matter physics, colloids and mechanical properties of soft materials. A proven affinity or experience in using particle and gel characterisation methods (CSLM, TEM, SEM), and rheological and light scattering (SLS, DLS) experimental techniques for characterisation of dispersion based soft condensed systems speaks strongly in your favour. We seek a self-motivated, curious and pro-active candidate with excellent communicative and organizational skills.

  • Holding a Master Degree in Soft Condensed Matter Physics, Physical-chemistry, Colloids Science, Chemical Engineering or related disciplines with minimum "distinction" or “second class upper” (internationals scholars: degree obtained with minimum 70%).
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (IELTS min. 7 or TOEFL internet-based min. 90 or similar level as determined by other tests).

Eligibility criteria

  • Less than 4 years full-time research experience and not have a doctoral degree
  • Less than 12 months spent in The Netherlands in the 3 years prior to the recruitment

Terms of employment

  • 3-year full-time employment contract at Unilever R&D Vlaardingen - continuation after the first year is dependent upon a positive evaluation. The contract will be extended by 1 year at University of Amsterdam.
  • Enrolment in a PhD program at University of Amsterdam. After successful completion of the research a PhD degree will be granted.
  • Supervision by recognized experts and access to state-of-the-art research and pilot-scale equipment
  • Additional mobility, travel and career exploratory allowances.
  • Training in complementary skills via workshops and conferences

Application procedure

To apply please attach a letter of motivation describing research career goals, skills and experience, curriculum vitae, list of academic subjects and grades at the master level, and full contact details of two referees. Application deadline is 20 January 2017.

Application dossiers in pdf-format should be sent by e-mail to

Equal consideration will be given to female or male applicants.

Unilever R&D

Vlaardingen R&D is the research centre for Unilever’s foods brands, and in addition the development centre for Spreads and Dressings brands and Food Solutions.

Application details

Application deadline:

Please indicate that you saw this advert on Academic Positions when applying.

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