Research and Training in Nanoscale Physics: International team of scientists launches new European Network

Cambridge, April 25th 2016

Since March 2016, some of the leading European laboratories involved in soft matter and nanoscale research have joined their efforts in a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN) funded by the European Commission. The international network NANOTRANS, coordinated by the University of Cambridge, UK, focuses on the transport of fluids and mobile objects at the nanoscale, i.e. confined down to just a few billionth of a metre. NANOTRANS will create a collaborative research platform to (a) advance the frontiers of science in this emerging field (b) to train young nanoscientists and (c) to foster inter-sectorial exchange of individuals and ideas, between industry and academia.

Understanding the transport of fluids and small objects at the nanoscale is one of the core problems of technological development, whose key demands are downscaling the applications and controlling the non-equilibrium dynamics (e.g. design of “smart” nanomaterials, nanofluidics, “lab on a chip” devices, energy production and storage, drug delivery...). For this specific focus, multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial approaches that are inherently a part of soft matter research are crucial. Building upon the expertise of its partners, NANOTRANS will tackle this challenge on the experimental, theoretical, numerical and industrial fronts.

Examples of research projects include: the transport though single nanotubes or nanosheets, the driving of nanocolloids by electric or magnetic fields as well as electro-acoustic couplings, the manipulation of polymers and binary mixtures in nanochannels... Based on its direct research output and by training young researchers with unique profiles in the emerging and rapidly growing fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, NANOTRANS should have an impact on some of the core challenges of modern society, such as energy production and storage, novel disease treatment strategies and sustainable development.

15 PHD positions in Nanotrans Training Network

NANOTRANS (Transport of Soft Matter at the Nanoscale) is a new Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network, involving ten universities and research organizations, as well as two industrial companies across Europe. The scientific objective of NANOTRANS is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the transport of fluids and colloids at the nanoscale. We will use multiscale modelling approaches and state of the art experimental techniques to address a broad range of topics in nanofluidics, phoretic flow, electrokinetics, liquid crystal and polymer flow.

Fifteen "Early Stage Researcher" (ESR) positions are available, spread across all academic and industrial partners, covering experimental, theoretical and computational approaches to this problem. An ESR position is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship for postgraduate research and usually includes studies towards a doctoral degree (PhD). NANOTRANS provides an excellent opportunity for scientific and personal development, with regular training courses at different locations throughout Europe including academic and industrial topics, and the chance to meet and discuss problems with leading scientists in the field including several international visiting scientists.

These are prestigious and highly competitive positions. We are looking for motivated students with a solid background in science. Successful candidates will be recruited under full employment contracts with salaries according to the Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie salary scale – between 42.000 € and 55.000 € p.a., depending on the country and personal circumstances. In order to be eligible to apply, the candidates should be within first 4 years of their research career and should not have resided in the country of employment for more than 12 months in the last 3 years. We value diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity. For further information on European Training Networks see

The partner institutions with scientists in charge and indicative areas of study are:

University of Cambridge: Daan Frenkel, Tuomas Knowles, Ulrich Keyser, Jure Dobnikar

  • Modeling phoretic effects; Control of molecular transport by electric fields & mechanical force;

University of Oxford: Susan Perkin

  • Shear of ionic nano-films between graphene sheets

University Pierre and Marie Curie and CNRS, Paris: Marie Jardat, Benjamin Rotenberg

  • Electro-acoustics in nanocolloidal suspensions and nanopores

University Paris-Sud and CNRS: Emmanuel Trizac

  • Dynamics of ionic condensates in colloidal dispersions

Ecole Normale Supérieure and CNRS, Paris: Lyderic Bocquet

  • Transport of water through single nanotubes

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: Marialore Sulpizi, Friederike Schmid

  • Water interfaces under shear flow from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations

Free University Berlin: Roland Netz

  • Multiscale modelling of electrokinetics in nanoconfinement

Forschungszentrum Jülich: Gerhard Gompper, Roland Winkler

  • Transport of semiflexible polymers through structured nanochannels

University of Vienna: Christos N. Likos

  • Transport of ring polymers in microfluidic channels

University of Barcelona: Ignacio Pagonabarraga, Francesc Sagues

  • Transport and self-assembly of binary and active mixtures under confinement


  • Novel techniques for electrokinetic measurements in colloidal suspensions

UNILEVER, Vlaardingen and Port Sunlight: Krassimir P. Velikov, Patrick Warren

  • Molecular transport in particle based colloidal gels

A comprehensive description of each project and instructions on how to apply can be found at

For general enquiries, please contact:

Jure Dobnikar or Benjamin Rotenberg (