As a Junior Researcher in Biobased Polymers and Additives, you conduct practice-oriented research to find solutions for sustainability issues.


Fulfilling work

Come work at MNEXT and contribute to the development of the bio-based economy. As a junior researcher, you will work on research in the field of the bio-based economy. You will do this from the MNEXT research center in collaboration with the business sector. Within the research, you will collaborate with teacher-researchers and be part of the knowledge circle Bio-based Building Blocks & Products. Topics worked on within the Bio-based Building Blocks & Products theme include the synthesis and processing of biopolymers and the development of bio-based biopolymer additives. This includes bio-colorants, polymers, monomers, antioxidants, pharma building blocks, and other high-quality components from biomass.

You will conduct practice-oriented research according to scientific standards. This includes studying the background of a research question (literature), contacting market parties, and practically implementing it on a lab scale. This involves testing functional properties, conducting stability studies, performing syntheses and analyses (such as HPLC, FTIR, NMR, and UV-VIS), and establishing suitable isolation methods.

Your role as a junior researcher at Avans

You work for the Bio-based Building Blocks & Products research group, which is affiliated with the Centre of Expertise MNEXT. The Bio-based Building Blocks & Products research group addresses questions in chemistry (biopolymers and additives) and agrofood (use of residual streams) and conducts practice-oriented research in both sectors. The research group consists of 20 people, including the head researcher, 5 teacher-researchers, 5 assistant/junior researchers, 2 project managers, 2 support staff, and various interns and trainees. Researchers have diverse backgrounds such as organic and analytical chemistry, chemical technology, and biology, conducting research in collaboration with interns and trainees.

MNEXT is a Centre of Expertise and a collaboration between Avans University of Applied Sciences and HZ University of Applied Sciences. By conducting practice-oriented research with students, teachers, researchers, and external stakeholders, we drive the materials and energy transition.

MNEXT has a friendly and informal working atmosphere, where respect, humor, and flexibility are central. We encourage everyone’s input, creating a dynamic environment where we work together as a team towards a sustainable future. Your base is in Breda, but you also work regularly in Bergen op Zoom.

We offer you

An environment where you have the freedom to explore and improve things; we bring out the best in you. We facilitate your continuous development, contributing to our further professionalization in terms of expertise and projects. Additionally, we offer:

  • A position with 0.8 – 1 FTE at our Breda location.
  • A monthly salary ranging from €3,370 to €5,019 gross for a full-time position (scale 10, HBO collective labor agreement).
  • An end-of-year bonus, approximately equivalent to a thirteenth month.
  • An initial contract for 1 year, with the possibility of extension based on good performance and sufficient capacity.
  • A good work-life balance and comfortable workplaces.
  • Much freedom in your job, with the option to work partially from home.

You fit in with us

Working as a researcher – perhaps you hadn’t considered it before, or you already have some experience as a junior researcher and want to further develop. In both cases, you can count on an excellent induction period and guidance from experienced colleagues, including (teacher) researchers and lecturers. What you bring is your affinity with the interaction between research, education, and the professional field. You are also excited about student participation in research. Furthermore, you bring:

  • A completed HBO degree in Biobased Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, or Polymer Chemistry.
  • Work, study, and/or internship experience demonstrating your analytical strength, ability to distinguish main and side issues, prioritize, and work openly and unbiased.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in both Dutch and English, enabling you to translate research results into practical guidance and advice.
  • A strong drive to share knowledge, information, and ideas with others. Working with you is enjoyable, noticed not only by your colleagues but also by our clients.
  • A curious, open-minded approach. You ask questions, seek new information and experiences to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world.

Innovative Avans

Large but small-scale. Engaged. Personal. That’s Avans. Here, you can be yourself. With your unique ideas and insights, you have all the space you need. That aligns with our learning and entrepreneurial character. We offer optimal flexible education and research in co-creation with the professional field. We continuously adapt to the world around us. We aim to offer more and more tailor-made education, allowing students to partially determine their own learning path. That’s our ambition for 2025. Discover Avans as an employer through these stories.

Contribute to our ambition

Do you see a great role for yourself in further developing Avans as a knowledge institution? Apply by March 25, 2024, via the application button. In your motivation, tell us why you are excited about this challenge. If you have any substantive questions, contact Kees Kruithof, teacher-researcher, at 06-13444561 or We will provide you with an update on your application within 2 weeks after the vacancy closes.

We find our candidates ourselves, so we do not engage in acquisition.


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