FMS Research Center

Two PhD positions on artificial enzyme design/biocatalysis, Roelfes Group (RUG)

Two fully funded four-year PhD positions are available immediately at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry (University of Groningen) in the Biomolecular Chemistry and Catalysis group of Prof. Gerard Roelfes. The positions are available within the framework of the National Research Center for Functional Molecular Systems.

The first position concerns the design and creation of novel (artificial) enzymes containing unnatural amino acids as catalytic residue, for the catalysis of new-to-nature reactions. For the introduction of the unnatural amino acid in the enzymes, so-called “expanded genetic code methods” will be employed.

The second position concerns the integration of artificial enzymes in cellular biosynthetic pathways, that is, to augment biological synthesis with unnatural chemical steps. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a “new-to-nature metabolism”.


The ideal candidates have a Masters or equivalent degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related area and have experience in molecular biology and protein engineering. Experience in biocatalysis or synthetic biology is an advantage. Good proficiency of the English language is required.


Contact details: For further information, please contact Prof. Gerard Roelfes (email: or web: Applications should include a CV, a motivation letter, and contact details for two professional referees.