AI for Sustainable Molecules and Materials

Call for PD fellowship positions

The FNWI Research Priority Area “Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Molecules and Materials” (AI4SMM) has opened a call for pre-proposals to fund four interdisciplinary 2-year postdoctoral fellow projects. Applications are to be submitted by potential PD supervisors.


The AI4SMM RPA is focused on connecting and advancing two research areas that are already core strengths at the UvA Faculty of Science and will, in combination, have an important societal impact: (1) development and application of artificial intelligence and deep learning for data analysis and pattern recognition and (2) design and utilisation of more sustainable molecules and materials that contribute to a more sustainable society. AI4SMM extends the FNWI AI4Science initiative, adopting its mission of bringing together experts from different FNWI institutes and creating a laboratory in which scientists work on AI-based solutions for scientific questions, but with a clear focus on molecules, materials, and sustainability. An elaborate description of the program is available online. While the board of AI4SMM is formed by researchers from the FNWI institutes HIMS, IoP, IvI, IBED and SILS, this call is open to all tenured or tenure track staff of the Faculty of Science.

In this first call, four 2-year PD projects will be funded as part of AI4SMM’s mission. These projects will give shape to the AI4SMM research aims and will function as the initial core of a growing consortium of supervisors, researchers, students, as well as external academic and industrial partners interested in employing AI for sustainability. The proposed research must fit within the multidisciplinary AI4SMM aims, bridging between AI research (including machine learning, data science, simulation-based inference, surrogate modelling) and scientific research related to making and using sustainable molecules and materials and their material dynamics (related e.g. to sustainable food production, biodegradable plastics, (porous) materials and processes for CO2 capture or utilisation, non-fossil fuels, energy storage, energy-efficient catalysis for fertiliser production, enzymatic catalysts, pollution and toxicity in natural habitats, etc.), as described in the AI4SMM mission.

Call conditions

  • Each proposal must involve at least two applicants from different FNWI institutes.
  • Each (co-)applicant can only contribute to/submit at most two proposals.
  • Only funds for a new 2-year postdoc position (grant size k€ 230 to cover personnel and other costs) can be requested. If a project will be larger, additional sources should be acquired by the applicants or partners.
  • Personnel positions granted in this call should be filled ultimately 1 July 2023, otherwise the project will be withdrawn.

Time line and procedure

3 October 2022Introduction and Q&A session on the call. Time 16.00 hr, room D1.111.
7 November 2022Deadline call pre-proposals
15 November 2022Decision by AI4SMM board on go/no go pre-proposals
23 December 2022Deadline full-proposals
12 January 2023Decision by AI4SMM board on granting full-proposals


At least the following items should be addressed in the pre-proposal and not exceeding ½ A4:

  1. Applicants (name and institute)
  2. Title
  3. Short research plan
  4. Fit to the AI4SMM research program
  5. (external) Partners

If you are interested in submitting a pre-proposal, please send it as a single pdf-file to not later than 7 November 2022.

Do you have questions about this call? Or do you want to know more about the RPA AI4SMM? Please contact: Marcel Bartels ( or scientific coordinator Dr. Bernd Ensing (