Open positions

  • PhD position - polymer mechanochemistry

    The Adolphe Merkle Institute’s Polymer Chemistry and Materials group (Prof. Christoph Weder, Dr. Jessica Clough) invites applications for a PhD Position in the area of Polymer Mechanochemistry.

    The research project involves the development and application of mechanochromic molecules that can sense mechanical forces in aqueous environments, in particular hydrogels and biological materials. The project is part of the activities of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials ( and will be carried out in close collaboration with other members of the center. The research includes the design and synthesis of new mechanophores, their incorporation into polymers, and the characterization of these materials.

    Applicants must have a MS degree in Chemistry or Polymer Science, experience in organic and/or polymer synthesis, and wish to pursue interdisciplinary research involving small-molecule and polymer synthesis, polymer processing, and the characterization of various materials properties. AMI and the NCCR offer highly attractive employment  conditions,  and an outstanding infrastructure in a new research facility.

    The position will be filled as soon as possible. Please send your CV, motivation letter, and contact information of at least two references as one PDF file via E‐mail to ami‐ with the subject title “Polymer Mechanochemistry”.

  • PhD Nanoparticles and cellular mechanics - 2 positions - Adolphe Merkle Institute

    The National Center of Competence in Research for Bio-Inspired Stimuli-Responsive 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 various research groups from the University of Fribourg’s Adolphe Merkle Institute, its departments of chemistry, medicine, biology, and physics, and partners at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL).

    To complete our team for the third phase of the NCCR, we are seeking two PhD students to study the role of substrate topography on nanoparticle-cell interactions with a focus on cellular mechanics.

    Position and Requirements

    The BioNanomaterials research team of Profs Rothen-Rutishauser/ Fink ( at the Adolphe Merkle Institute is looking for two highly motivated and talented PhD students who are interested and capable of working in a strongly interdisciplinary environment combining cell biology, cell mechanics and nanomaterial chemistry.

    Project goals: Study the influence of topography and topographic stimuli on cell mechanics, cell phenotype dynamics and nanoparticle cellular uptake.

    As such, the project relies on a multitude of analytical techniques, both from the material and the biological field.

    We aim at attracting the best talent in the respective research field and expect:

    • An outstanding university master's/ diploma degree (or equivalent) in biomedical engineering, materials science (with major in bio-sciences) or vice-versa, first research experience, preferably in (a related) field, and a strong analytical background.
    • A clear vision about your PhD goals
    • We are looking for collaborators with an independent, target- and solution-driven work attitude, inter- and multidisciplinary thinking & strong motivation and interest to join an ambitious interdisciplinary research cluster. an independent, target- and solution-driven work attitude;
    • an integrative and cooperative personality with excellent communication and social skills;
    • fluency in English – written and oral

    You will be joining a team of enthusiastic scientists who creatively pursue their research agenda by the cluster's innovative approach and support. We offer:

    • A cutting-edge research project
    • Excellent research facilities
    • Salary funding according to the SNSF guidelines
    • Supporting curriculum with many optional courses
    • International environment with English as the working language

    Application Procedure

    Please send your complete documentation including letter of motivation, CV, copies of pertinent certificates, and contact details of two references to:

    Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Ch. de Verdiers 4, CH-Fribourg, Switzerland.


    The submission deadline is 1.3.2022

  • PhD position - Department of Chemistry, University of Fribourg

    The Kilbinger group (Department of Chemistry, University of Fribourg) is looking for a PhD candidate with excellent knowledge of mechanistic organic chemistry and a strong interest in polymer chemistry who is also enthusiastic about work in the organic/polymer synthesis laboratory. 

    Applications from candidates with a completed bachelor and master’s degree in chemistry are encouraged. 

    The position is part of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) on Bio-Inspired Materials . 

    The successful candidate will be working on a highly interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the research groups of Prof. S. Salentinig and Prof. U. Steiner. The candidate's task will be to synthesize antimicrobial tube-like helical polymers similar to those described in a recent publication of our group (Nat. Chem. 2021, 13, 705). 

    Furthermore, bottle-brush polymers based on a combination of ring opening metathesis polymerization and ATRP will be synthesized in a second collaborative project. 

    Applications should be sent electronically (PDF) to by 30.1.2022. All applications should consist of a Curriculum Vitae and motivation letter.

    First candidates will be interviewed via online/video conference in February. However, applications will continue to be considered until a suitable candidate is found.

    Start date 1.6.2022, for a maximum duration of 4 years.

  • 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.

  • PhD position in Molecular Simulations of Biological Soft Matter. University of Fribourg

    1 PhD position is available in the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at the Universit of Fribourg, Switzerland. The position is open in the context of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) in bio-inspired materials. Expected starting date is 01 Jun 2022.

    What we offer

    We offer a stimulating, friendly and interdisciplinary work environment, with excellent working conditions (salary, resources, ...) and frontier research projects in the field of bioinspired materials and biological soft matter. For more information on what we do please check our group website ( and the NCCR website ( The selected candidate will have the opportunity to interact extensively with outstanding experimental labs in Fribourg, Zurich (Dufresne lab) and Lausanne (Stellacci lab). Additional information on the project will be given upon request.

    The position is fully funded for 4 years. Initial gross annual salary will be 48,000 CHF (approx 48,000 $).


    We are looking for highly motivated, team-oriented independent thinkers. The applicant should have (or be in process of completing) a Master Degree in physics, chemistry, biology, bioinformatics, computer science, engineering or a related subject. Computer literacy and previous experience with molecular simulations, as well as good communication skills and proficiency in English, are a plus. In general, any previous specific knowledge is less important than strong motivation, enthusiasm for scientific research and problem-solving skills.

    Please send your application, including short cover letter (explaining background and motivation) and a complete CV via e-mail to: The positions will remain open until filled.