Open Positions

PhD positions in multi-stimuli-responsive polymer materials


The Calvino group has two open PhD positions in multi-stimuli-responsive polymer materials funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (BWS) through the „Internationale Spitzenforschung” program. This program aims to promote collaborations between researchers from Baden-Württemberg and outstanding international scientists. In this context, this multidisciplinary project entitled “PhotoPolyNet” will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Hillmyer from the University of Minnesota, USA.



PhotoPolyNet proposes an alternative to non-recyclable thermosets via the preparation of a new class of adaptive materials that can be recycled with a dual stimulation of light and temperature. This innovative approach relies on the use of photo/thermo-responsive macromolecular building blocks that can be reversibly polymerized on demand.

This research program seeks to explore the fundamentals of the orthogonal binding characteristics of light-mediated chemical reaction and thermally-induced dynamic covalent exchanges at the molecular level (in solution) to efficiently transpose these motifs into solid state (in bulk). To understand the influence of the molecular mechanistic on the polymerization and depolymerization of the adaptive materials, these motifs will be investigated in a systematic manner-- starting with simple organic compounds and then moving towards more complex systems such as: model polymeric systems, linear polymers, and polymer networks. Ultimately, this research will provide a route towards the preparation of renewable polymer networks, with robust properties that can potentially replace conventional thermosets.



The applicant must have a master’s degree in chemistry or polymer science. The candidate should also demonstrate a willingness to pursue interdisciplinary research involving molecular-scale and polymer synthesis, polymer processing, and the characterization of polymeric material properties. Research experience in organic and/or polymer synthesis and standard characterization techniques (NMR, IR, UV-Vis, and Fluorescence) is expected. Additional skills in engineering and material science would be advantageous. Excellent communication skills in English (written and oral) as well as having a team oriented /collaborative spirit are essential requirements.

Finally, successful applicants are expected to enroll in a full-time PhD program and will be requested to spend one year of the PhD program at the University of Minnesota.


This research program provides successful applicants with the opportunity to join a multidisciplinary and highly qualified group of experts in the field of adaptive materials and develop a multidisciplinary scientific skill set. Furthermore, our program offers the chance to discover different working environments and the potential to establish future research and collaborative opportunities.

Finally, the University of Freiburg, together with the University of Minnesota, offers competitive working conditions with state-of-the-art equipment for designing responsive chemical motifs as well as for engineering and characterizing polymer materials.


  • Letter of intent detailing why you are interested in this specific project and how your previous research qualifies you for the project (2 pages max)

  • Curriculum Vitae with list of publications (if applicable)

  • Certified copies of your university degree(s) with grades (BA and MA certificate / Diploma certificate and transcript)

  • Short summary of your master’s thesis (up to 1,000 words)

  • Work sample (chapter from recent thesis or journal article, up to 5,000 words)

  • Two recommendation letters with contact details of the referees



Please send your application in one PDF file only with the subject title “PhD position PhotoPolyNet_SURNAME”.


Your documents will not be returned after the application process. For this reason, please submit copies only. Applications with incomplete files will not be considered.  


E-Mail address for the application:                         



Deadline for applications is April 16th. Project work will begin on May 15th.

Extended to April 22nd