Ph.D. position: Mitigation of radiation-defect formation in tungsten (F/M)

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).

Ph.D. position: Mitigation of radiation-defect formation in tungsten (F/M)
Scientific aim: 

The project aims at assessing the effect of solutes on void growth suppression in tungsten, leading to lower tritium retention during ITER operation. During the 4 years of the Ph.D. program, the Ph.D. student will have the chance to learn ion beam analysis and to perform measurements using DIFFER’s ion beam facility (IBF). The Ph.D. student will also learn transmission electron microscopy working in close collaboration with our partner. The student will have the opportunity to present results at national and international conferences.

Responsibilities and tasks: 

The proposed research is perfectly aligned to the current strategy at DIFFER, focused on fundamental research on novel materials, processes, and devices for energy conversion. The tasks encompass:

  • Review of the relevant literature
  • Assembly of a new IBA chamber
  • Sample preparation, ion-irradiation, and exposure to plasma
  • Material and defect characterization (IBA, SEM, TEM PALS)
  • Data modeling and simulation
  • Traveling to our research collaborators to perform measurements and learn new techniques
  • Publishing peer-review articles
  • Participation in conferences (posters or oral contribution)

We seek an outstanding candidate that is willing to work in an international team of physicists and chemists. You should have a recent Master's degree in physics or a related field. The candidate has a background in material science. Basic knowledge of ion beam analysis, electrostatic accelerators, transmission electronic microscopy, or scanning electron microscopy is considered a plus. She or he is comfortable working both independently and within a team. You should also have excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.

Employment conditions: 

DIFFER is the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, one of the nine research institutes of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In our institute we focus on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering, and materials science. DIFFER's research takes place in two main themes: Solar Fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and Fusion Energy as a clean and unlimited source of energy. At DIFFER we develop and support a national network on fundamental energy research and collaborate closely with the academic community and industrial partners.

Our institute offers a first-class and international research environment with various interdisciplinary but related research topics and projects. When fulfilling a Ph.D. position at DIFFER, you will have an employee status as a junior scientist at NWO. You can participate in all the employee benefits NWO offers. NWO and DIFFER have several regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. Such as conditions for teleworking, partly paid parental leave, the possibility to purchase and sell holiday leave, and a mentoring program. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will start at 2,407 euro and be up to a maximum of 3,085 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 program is part of the agreement: you and your supervisor will design a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need, for example through several courses offered by NWO (see website NWO-i). The doctoral degree will be awarded by the Eindhoven University of Technology ( General information on working at NWO can also be found on the NWO website (

Further information: 

The NWO Recruitment code applies to this position. At DIFFER we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age, and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. In our institute physicists, chemists, engineers, and other specialists work together in multidisciplinary teams to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society. DIFFER’s workforce is currently composed of ~160 scientists (of which 60 guests and interns), supported by ~40 technicians and ~30 support staff members. The global nature of the energy challenge is apparent from the international representation of our employees, who originate from over 30 different countries. To strengthen our commitment to diversity, in January 2018 we formed a task force to design, implement, and monitor diversity and gender equality initiatives. Further information on the vacancy is available through dr. Beata Tyburska-Pueschel, b [368] tyburska-pueschel [28] differ [368] nl.

Application procedure: 

You can apply by submitting the following three documents, in pdf format, to vacancies [28] differ [368] nl:

  • Your curriculum vitae, including contact details of at least two references;
  • A cover letter addressed to dr. Beata Tyburska-Pueschel of maximum 1 page, summarizing the aspects in your curriculum that fit with the current opening and describing your motivation to apply to this position;
  • A list of relevant grades.

Please send in your documents in the following format:


Closing date: 
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Vacacany number: 

Go to the Vacancies page.