Early Stage Researcher / PhD student - method/software development

Job description:

We are looking for an excellent PhD student to further develop methods such as GW and BSE with spin-orbit coupling for excited state properties in low-dimensional materials. The early-stage researcher will work in Amsterdam with Prof. Lucas Visscher and the SCM team, and also with Prof. Heine at the TU Dresden.
For full details, check: https://www.scm.com/about-us/careers/job-opening-marie-curie-phd-fellowship-theoretical-physics-chemistry-method-software-development/

Kind of job:

The successful candidate will be involved in the development of methods and software to advance the field of (one- and) two-dimensional materials, and in particular their optical properties, using spin-orbit coupling for heavy elements. Certain efficient approaches (e.g. for TDDFT(B)) that have been implemented for the molecular case in SCM’s ADF program need to be generalized to the periodic case and implemented in our BAND and/or DFTB programs. This also includes ongoing work on GW and BSE in ADF by another PhD student co-supervised by Prof. Visscher and Dr. Van Lenthe at SCM. In collaboration with another ESR these new methods then need to be applied to calculate optical excitations in two-dimensional materials under realistic conditions.


The key point: proven algorithm and software development skills, combined with a thorough knowledge of solid-state physics and electronic structure (DFT) methods.
Being able to quickly grasp complex mathematical ideas in scientific publications, improve upon them, and convert them into clean and efficient source code.
MSc degree in Theoretical Physics or Theoretical Chemistry.
Maximum of four full-time years research experience after MSc degree, and not being in possession of a PhD degree.
Good written and verbal communication skills in the English language.
Willingness to relocate between Amsterdam and Dresden


The PhD fellowships will consist of an initial 3-year full-time position, with a possible extension. The tentative starting date is 1 April 2020, with flexibility for an earlier or later start. Salary and secondary benefits will follow EU rules for salaries of Early Stage Researchers:

Supergross monthly living allowance: 3528.33 Euro / month which includes using the 7.9% extra due to the country correction factor of 1.079 for The Netherlands for the entire period.
Additional monthly mobility allowance of 600 Euro / month.
Additional monthly family allowance of 500 Euro / month for researchers who have a family (regardless of whether the family will move with the researcher or not).

Tentatively April 2021
Closing date:
15 December 2020
Company information:
Software forChemistry & Materials B.V.

About SCM
Software for Chemistry & Materials B.V., SCM, is an independent spin-off company of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands employing approximately 20 highly-educated people. SCM develops, maintains, and markets the Amsterdam Modeling Suite, used by computational (quantum) chemists, physicists and materials scientists in academia and industry. It includes the Amsterdam Density Functional (ADF) molecular DFT program, the periodic structure DFT program BAND, the reactive molecular dynamics program ReaxFF, approximate DFT (DFTB) software, the COSMO-RS module for thermodynamics of mixed liquids, and their respective graphical interfaces and python scripting environments.

SCM has its office space on the VU campus, at walking distance from the Amsterdam-Zuid train station. We also extensively collaborate with a growing number of academic groups and household-name industrial partners worldwide. The working atmosphere at SCM is that of an informal small team of PhDs and PhD students doing intellectually challenging work. SCM is located in the same wing of the building and closely interacts with the well-known Theoretical Chemistry (TC) professors at the VU: Visscher, Gori-Giorgi, Bickelhaupt and Fonseca Guerra as well as emeritus professor Baerends. The TC group consists of about 30 people, including a very international mix of PhD students, postdocs, and guests. SCM cooperates with a large and growing number of academic method developers around the world and has increased its scope to non-DFT methods, including a recent and very fast GW implementation in ADF. SCM is a science-focused company which has been around for over 25 years. It is financially solid, free of debt, growing, and profitable. SCM is located in Amsterdam, the very lively, enjoyable and internationally oriented (with 178 different nationalities) capital of The Netherlands. Thanks to its high quality of living and dynamism, Amsterdam has been elected as “best city for Millennials to live”, 4th most dynamic European city and best European tech city to work in, and it consistently ranks high in Mercer’s annual Quality of Living surveys (11th best in the world, in 2019).

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

European Materials Modelling Council
Silversquare Stéphanie
Avenue Louise 54
1050 Brussels
CBE no: 0731 621 312