Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Post-doctoral researcher ‘Fate and effect assessment of micro- and nanoplastics’

Wetenschappelijke functies
Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
2 november 2021
25 november 2021 Vacature gesloten

The Faculty of Science and the Institute of Environmental Sciences are looking for a

Post-doctoral researcher  ‘Fate and effect assessment of micro- and nanoplastics’

Vacancy number: 21-561

As part of the Horizon2020 Plasticsfate consortium (https://www.plasticsfate.eu/), we aim to improve our present understanding of the fate and impacts of micro- and nanoplastics (MP/NP) and associated additives/adsorbed contaminants (A/C) in the environment and consequences for the human food basket. Key tasks include:

  • Development of advanced analytical tools for instance making use of FFF and spectrometric techniques for detection of plastics in environmental and biological matrices; or making use of proxies (e.g. metal capped plastics and detection via ICP_MS techniques)
  • Assess how physicochemical properties of plastic particles affect organisms consumed by humans (e.g. shrimps, mussels, fish, vegetables). The data will be used for identification of critical biological effects and the underlying mechanisms. effects of artificial light on food web interactions in natural and controlled settings in specified plant-insect systems;
  • Apply optical (confocal, fluorescence) and electron based (SEM, TEM) characterization methods to provide information on uptake and localization of NP in tissues and in cells;
  • Investigate the bioaccumulation of micro- and nanoplastics in aquatic organisms that constitute a significant part of the human diet (mussels, fish, vegetables) after chronic exposure in a mesocosm. As various plastics accumulate in sediments, also benthic organisms will be considered.
  • Contribute to risk assessment strategies to be developed within Plasticsfate;


Selection Criteria

  • PhD degree in ecotoxicology, analytical or environmental chemistry, or any other relevant field, with proven skills in producing scientific output (publications);
  • Relevant experience in environmental analytical chemistry, ecotoxicology, nanotoxicology, and/or assessment of plastics toxicity and bioaccumulation;
  • Experience with fate and/or effect modelling is an advantage;
  • We are looking for a versatile team player, who takes initiative, and has a strong interest and motivation to pursue academic research;
  • Flexible attitude, keen interest in developing analytical and ecotoxicological skills;
  • Fluent in English.

Our organisation

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are driven by curiosity to expand fundamental knowledge and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

The Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) is positioned in the Faculty of Sciences. The core focus of CML is to perform research and education in the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Sciences. CML has two Departments: Industrial Ecology (CML-IE) and Environmental Biology (CML-EB). Presently, about 125 fte (including postdocs and PhDs) are employed at CML. CML collaborates with the TU Delft and Erasmus University in the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Sustainability (LDE-CfS), Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, and other partners.

Terms and conditions 

We offer a full-time one year term, after a positive evaluation of the progress of the research, the appointment will be extended by a further six months. Salary range from € 2,836.- to   4,474.- gross per month (pay scale 10, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). A part time assignment is also possible.

The University of Leiden 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.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Enquiries can be made to Willie Peijnenburg,  professor in Environmental Toxicity and Biodiversity, tel. + 31 6 46860792 and email peijnenburg@cml.leidenuniv.nl and/or Martina Vijver, professor Ecotoxicology; vijver@cml.leidenuniv.nl.


To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to sollicitaties@cml.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • The names and phone numbers of two referees

We will consider applications submitted before or on November 25, 2021. 

Interviews will take place in the following week

Deze website maakt gebruik van cookies.  Meer informatie.