DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) is one of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) institutes and focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. The institute is based on two main strands, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and fusion-energy as clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER is developing and supporting a national network on fundamental energy research and is closely collaborating with academic institutions, research institutes and industry. As of 2015 the institute is located in a new building at the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

PhD position data-driven design of new energy storage materials

The main focus of the project is to use machine-learning (ML) methods to predict the properties of new energy storage materials. You  will work as part of an international team of researchers working on nanoscale computational modeling of materials at the CCER (Center for Computational Energy Research,, DIFFER. The project will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Süleyman Er (DIFFER and CCER).

Responsibilities and tasks: 

- Learn state-of-the art ML models.
- Train ML models on existing, DFT calculated data.
- Refine ML models for higher precision in property prediction of materials.
- Write-up scientific publications and doctoral thesis.


You are excited to work in an international environment. We will consider applicants with a Master’s degree in Science or Engineering andgood programing skills (Python, Shell scripting). Preferably you have experience with ML frameworks (Keras, Tensor Flow) and with ab initio DFT methods.

Employment conditions: 

Our institute offers a first class and international research environment with various interdisciplinary but related research topics and projects. When fulfilling a PhD position at DIFFER, you will have an employee status  as  junior scientist at NWO. You  can participate in all the employee benefits NWO offers. NWO and DIFFER have number of regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. Such as conditions for teleworking, partly paid parental leave and the possibility to purchase and sell holiday leave. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2,879 euro gross per month. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent.  A training programme is part of the agreement. You and your supervisor will make up a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need. The doctoral degree will be awarded by the Eindhoven University of Technology ( General information on working at NWO can also be found at the NWO website (

Further information: 

The 'NWO job interview code' applies to this position. DIFFER strives to achieve a diverse workforce to develop talent and creativity by bringing together different perspectives. As such we encourages applications from women and minorities. Further information on the vacancy is available through Dr. Süleyman Er, tel: +31 (0) 40 3334 936, email: s [368] er [28] differ [368] nl Research group website:

Application procedure: 

In case you are interested you can apply by submitting an application letter, a grade list and full resume. Please refer to vacancy 17.017. The letter of application and other documents may be sent electronically as single PDF-files, to vacancies [28] differ [368] nl.

Closing date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Vacacany number: