ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR in Experimental Physics: Biophotonics and Medical Imaging

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR in Experimental Physics: Biophotonics and Medical Imaging
  • Doctorate
Are you a talented, experienced experimental physicist in the field of Biophotonics and Medical Imaging, and looking for a faculty position? Then Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam would like to get in contact with you! Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

FTE: 0.8 - 1

Job description

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU; invites applications from researchers in experimental physics for a faculty position at the level of associate professor, with the possibility to be promoted to full professor in the future, when criteria are met. The successful candidate will join the Department and will be embedded in the Section Biophotonics and Medical Imaging, which consists of 6 faculty members. Candidates are expected to have developed an independent, externally funded research program and to have fostered collaborations on a local and international level, and have the ambition to further expand their research portfolio. In principle, we are looking for candidates at the associate professor level. Exceptional candidates at the assistant or full professor level will also be considered. Responsibilities also include teaching at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels.

Research topic Biophotonics and Medical Imaging
Given the aging population, there is an increasing need for more, better, more cost-effective and personalized medical care. Photonics is a key technology that is already frequently used in diagnosis and therapy but has an even larger potential because of its relatively low cost, potential for high resolution, throughput, speed and minimal invasiveness. VU physics has a thriving research focus in this area, with strong connections to the Amsterdam University Medical Center (Amsterdam UMC) on the same campus. The current focus is on optical coherence tomography, non-linear imaging, Raman microscopy, in situ imaging using catheters, integrated optics and applications thereof in biomedical research and the clinic. The research group has particular experience and success in bringing their discoveries to the clinic.

We are looking for a candidate who could bring a research line in experimental physics, concentrating on the development of optical tools for biological and medical applications. Ideally, the research line should not only connect to the current focus areas, but also pursue new directions, introducing new technologies and methods. Potential new directions might include but are not restricted to wave-front shaping and adaptive optics, photo-acoustics, tissue elastography, spectroscopic imaging, endoscopy, imaging through (multimode) fibers, lensless imaging, computational imaging, or use of artificial intelligence for image analysis and interpretation.

Your duties
  • Bring in and further develop an independent research program
  • Teach in Bachelor and Master programs
  • Supervise MSc and PhD students
  • Contribute to and write research grant proposals
  • Contribute to management tasks in the department and play a major role in further developing the strategy for biophotonics at the Department Physics and Astronomy.


  • Applicants must have a PhD in physics or a closely related field
  • Postdoctoral experience with an outstanding record of published research
  • Proven success in building up and leading a research group in academia or outside
  • Commitment to undergraduate en graduate teaching.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €5,190 (scale 13)
and a maximum €6,940 (scale 14), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

Depending on qualifications and track record of the candidate, the initial employment contract will either be permanent (tenured), or for a period of five or six years (tenure-track). In the latter case, the contract can be made permanent, after a successful tenure evaluation.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses, good paid parental leave scheme, child daycare facilities available on campus

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the Department
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at VU Amsterdam offers an active and engaged intellectual community composed of researchers from around the world. Research is focused on four themes: (i) high-energy and gravitational physics, (ii) quantum metrology and laser applications, (iii) physics of life and health, and (iv) physics of photosynthesis and energy. The department is involved in teaching in the programs Physics and Astronomy (joint degree with the University of Amsterdam), Science Business and Innovation, Medical Natural Sciences (all three BSc and MSc), and the BSc program in Mechanical Engineering (together with University of Twente). Furthermore, the department has a strong track record in valorization of its research, including translational research to the clinic (often together with the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (on campus) and location AMC), collaborations with industry (e.g. ARCNL), and a thriving startup scene.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload a cover letter, your curriculum vitae including a list of publications, research and teaching statements. Please also arrange for three letters of reference to be either added to your application package or to be sent to with “Last Name and Faculty Search Biophotonics and Medical Imaging” in the subject line. Applications via email will not be processed. The application deadline is October 16th, 2020.

We will make a first selection of most promising candidates and aim to schedule interviews in Amsterdam around December 2020. Depending on the situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, part of the selection process might take place online via video conferencing.  

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Erwin Peterman
Position: Department Head, VU Physics and Astronomy
Telephone: +31 20 59 87576

Name: Johannes de Boer
Position: Professor, VU Physics and Astronomy
Telephone: +31 202 59 87872

Relocation support      
If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:
Name: Wytske Siegersma      
Position: Relocation Advisor    
Telephone: +31 20 59 85037

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