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Doctoral Researcher to Study Dynamics of Soft Wet Adhesion

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 13 000 students, 400 professors and close to 4 500 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

At the Department of Applied Physics, our pioneering research in physical sciences creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential. Our research focuses on Materials physics, Quantum technology, Soft & living matter, and Advanced energy solutions. Topics extend from fundamental research to important applications. We educate future generations of research and development professionals, data specialists, technology experts, inventors, and scientists for industry and society.

The Department of Applied Physics is now looking for:

Doctoral Researcher to study dynamics of soft wet adhesion

We have a 4-year Doctoral Researcher position fully funded by the Research Council of Finland project ADHERE that focuses on developing new cutting-edge technique for studying adhesion dynamics between two soft materials in a wet environment (submerged in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids). The research will be conducted in the Soft Matter and Wetting group at the Department of Applied Physics under the supervision of Dr. Maja Vuckovac. Our research is interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven, and we work inclusively and collaboratively.

Your role and goals

You will work in the field of soft matter physics. Your project will focus on implementing optics in the force-based microscope, sample preparation, and performing experiments on adhesion dynamics. You will also develop advanced image analysis tools to analyze your experimental data. At the same time, we will develop an understanding of interaction forces influenced by instabilities and deformations at interfaces and hydrodynamics to explain our experimental findings.


  • Master's degree (or soon to be obtained) in physics, biophysics, or engineering.
  • Prior experience in a programming language (e.g., MATLAB, Python) is required.
  • Experience using experimental setups or developing and testing experimental setups would be beneficial.

A successful candidate should demonstrate capability and willingness to learn new methods, work independently and in a team, and have good written and oral communication skills in English (Finnish language is not required). Additionally, the applicant is expected to have good interpersonal skills and to be self-motivated.

The selected candidate needs to apply for the study right in doctoral studies at Aalto University School of Science. Please check the student information and admission criteria at Specifically, pay attention to the required language proficiency (English language).

What we offer

We offer an interdisciplinary and dynamic working environment that strongly focuses on curiosity-driven fundamental research. You will be trained to perform advanced experimental research and develop theoretical models (understanding of experimental results). You will be encouraged to build your scientific reputation by networking with our national and international collaborators and participating in conferences to present your results. This position will also give you more general skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. You will learn to communicate complicated topics clearly and intriguingly. Our core values are inclusion, equality, and collaboration. We value work-life balance and the well-being of all team members.

The fixed-term contract is initially 2 years with a 2-year extension after passing the midterm review. The annual workload of research and teaching staff at Aalto University is 1612 hours. Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. The starting salary for Doctoral Researchers is approximately 2700 € per month (gross), increasing as you progress in your research and studies. The contract includes Aalto University occupational healthcare.

The starting date will be in Fall 2024, and the exact date can be agreed upon with the selected candidate (preferably September/October).

How to apply?

Please submit the application through our online recruiting system ("Apply Now!"), including the following documents in English as a single PDF file:

  • Letter of motivation (clearly describe how you fulfill the above-listed requirements)
  • CV
  • Degree certificates and academic transcripts
  • Contact details of at least two referees

The deadline for applications is 15.8.2024. The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is identified. For additional information, kindly contact Dr. Maja Vuckovac (maja.vuckovac(at) Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open, extend the application period, reopen the application process, and consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

We will go through applications and may invite suitable candidates to interview already during the application period. You will hear from us in the third week of August at the latest. We aim for a transparent and equal recruitment process, so feel free to ask us for feedback.

Please note: Aalto University's employees should apply for the position via our internal HR system Workday (Internal Jobs) by using their existing Workday user account (not via the external webpage for open positions). Aalto University's students and visitors should apply as external candidates with personal (not aalto) email.

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