Postdoctoral Researcher: Sustainability Assessment of Pharmaceuticals

Environmental Science
Radboud university medical center, the Netherlands
Aug 26, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
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  • Employment 1.0 FTE
  • Gross monthly salary € 2,960 – € 4,670
  • Required background PhD
  • Organizational unit Faculty of Science
  • Application deadline 26 August 2023

Pharmaceuticals are essential for human well-being, but the production and use can harm the environment. As a postdoc, your research will focus on the development, support, and implementation of a methodology to determine the sustainability profile of pharmaceuticals.The EU TransPharm project aims to support the transition towards the production and use of more sustainable pharmaceuticals. TransPharm will develop a new methodology for assessing the sustainability of pharmaceuticals over their entire life cycle, building on existing approaches of life cycle assessment (LCA) and chemical risk assessment. The methodology will integrate sustainability aspects related to the design, production and distribution of pharmaceuticals with those related to the use and disposal, including risk mitigation measures. The methodology will build on the latest scientific insights and will be specifically tailored to the needs of potential users such as regulators, industry and the health sector. As a postdoctoral researcher in this project you will work on the development of tools to predict the environmental biodegradability of pharmaceuticals. You will also focus on methodological innovations addressing specific challenges in the sustainability assessment of pharmaceuticals, such as:

  • Dealing with data gaps in life cycle inventory (LCI) data by means of (1) upscaling laboratory and pilot plant LCI data based on knowledge of chemical production technology, and (2) read-across techniques for LCI data from similar compounds.
  • Dealing with the spatial distribution of the value chain when assessing the sustainability of pharmaceuticals.
  • Dealing with technological innovations and other temporal trends when assessing the sustainability of pharmaceuticals.

You will integrate these methodological innovations into a comprehensive methodology for sustainability assessment of pharmaceuticals and work on the elaboration of specific case studies on the sustainability assessment of pharmaceuticals in order to demonstrate that the comprehensive methodology can be operationalised in practice, for example in procurement, market approval and production planning. You will carry out the above-mentioned tasks in close collaboration with two PhD candidates and several other TransPharm project partners. You will be expected to closely collaborate with the PhD candidates and to support the senior researcher in coordinating the TransPharm research activities. As a member of the Environmental Science cluster, you will also be expected to participate in regular educational activities.


  • You hold a PhD in the environmental sciences or a related field such as Chemistry or Production Technology, preferably with experience in life cycle assessment and chemical risk assessment.
  • You have analytical modelling skills, intrinsic motivation and good communication skills.
  • You have a good command of oral and written English.
  • Experience with environmental modelling, data analysis and chemical production technology is a plus.

We are

The main focus of the Environmental Science cluster at the Faculty of Science is on quantifying, understanding and predicting human impacts on the environment. Our research covers multiple pressures, species and spatial scales, searching for overarching principles that can ultimately be applied to better underpin environmental management and biodiversity conservation.

Radboud University

We are keen to meet critical thinkers who want to look closer at what really matters. People who, from their expertise, wish to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This ambition unites more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University and requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,960 and a maximum of €4,670 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 10).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for 1 year, with the possibility of a 1 year extension after positive evaluation.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University’s primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Ad Ragas, Professor, at

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 26 August 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Ad Ragas. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.

The first round of interviews will take place on Friday 15 September.You would preferably begin employment as soon as possible. We can imagine you’re curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.