Ph.D. position, Quantum coherent water oxidation

The Faculty of Science and Leiden Institute of Chemistry is looking for a :
Ph.D. position, Quantum coherent water oxidation (38 hours a week)

Key responsibilities / Project description    
The aim of the project is to establish a function-based framework for quantum coherent conversion of a reactant into a product by a responsive protein matrix. A function based framework concisely and explicitly relates protein function to relevant molecular-level internal motion, to provide a systems engineering view on protein mechanisms, complementary to the reductionistic integrative NMR studies focused on molecular level details. A thermostable high redox potential multipurpose laccase that can both reduce oxygen and oxidize water with a trinuclear Cu cluster and a mononuclear Cu mediator will be used as an experimental paradigm. The Ph.D. student will explore the conformational landscape of a high redox potential Laccase mutant ChU-B by NMR, by T1rho relaxation rate measurements, which will be complemented by measuring anisotropic local order parameters from 1H-13C dipolar couplings in the solid state. Laccase contains paramagnetic metal centers, and paramagnetic NMR will be used to highlight the surrounding of active sites.

Selection Criteria
Strong incentive to collaborative research and to acquiring expertise in a broad range of techniques;
Recent M.Sc. degree, have received training in recombinant DNA technology and an interest in biophysics;
Good communication skills, in English, both in writing and verbally;
Candidates are expected to eventually sufficiently master the Dutch language.

Research at our faculty/ Institute
The Faculty of Science teaches more than 2,600 students in the context of 8 bachelor’s and 11 master’s programmes. Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students, staff and support staff alike. The Faculty is known for its friendly and team-spirited atmosphere, which promotes mutual exchange of knowledge. For more information, see
The chemistry and life science research in the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is organized around two major research areas: ‘Chemical Biology’ and ‘Energy & Sustainability’.
Our environment and quality of life is largely determined by chemistry, therefore research at the forefront of molecular and the life sciences is of utmost importance for our future. For example, the next generation of solar cells or batteries, and the improvement of existing as well as the development of new drugs rely on smart chemical solutions. Knowledge of catalysis, synthesis and biological processes on molecular scale will enable us to discover novel processes and products that range from new materials to pharmaceuticals.
The institute’s research themes illustrate the central position of chemistry between biology, medicine and physics. The various research topics carried out within these themes are ideal for executing interdisciplinary research.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time, fixed-term post for 4 years. Salary range from € 2.125 to €2.717 gross per month (pay scale P), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).
Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.
All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

You will be supervised by Prof. Dr. H.J.M. de Groot ( and Prof. Dr. M. Ubbink ( For more information please contact either of them.

Qualified applicants are invited to submit their application before December 15, 2015. They should include a letter of interest, a full curriculum vitae, and names and email addresses of two references and sent to:
Mrs. L. van der Velden
Section BioPhysical Organic Chemistry
Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Postbus 9502
The Netherlands