Linköping University

PhD position in heterogeneous catalysis

2024-06-10 (Europe/Stockholm)
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Heterogeneous catalysts are needed to make things like fertilizers, medicines, fuels, and plastics. We need them for most our products. In the newly (2024) started  Catalysis and Self-Assembly Group at Linköping University, we develop fundamental concepts to make catalysts more active and selective. We are now looking for an outstanding PhD student to join our group!

Why join us?

In our group, you will become proficient in methods, concepts, and techniques used in catalysis research. In a world where the need for better catalysts is ever-growing, your catalysis research skills will be highly valued, both in industry and academia.

Your research direction and work assignments
Your research in the Catalysis and Self-Assembly group will focus on developing fundamental principles for more active and selective heterogeneous catalysts. 

Questions that may be explored during your PhD include:

  • How can catalysts be optimized with respect to spatial distributions of active sites?
  • How can the location and structure of active sites be probed by innovative methods?
  • How can scaling relations in catalysis be broken for more active catalysts?
  • How can confinement effects be leveraged for more active and selective catalysts?

Examples of work that you may conduct during your PhD:

  • Test catalysts in our reactor, equipped with in-line gas-chromatography, FTIR spectroscopy, and mass-spectrometry. 
  • Synthesize heterogeneous catalysts by a variety of methods. 
  • Utilize isotope labeling to elucidate reaction mechanisms.
  • Utilize relevant characterization techniques (e.g., electron microscopy, various spectroscopies, XPS, XRD, BET, etc.). 

Your PhD work will be crucial to the broader development of new design principles for heterogeneous catalysts that are pursued in our group. This broader development will be done in a multidisciplinary team of chemists, physicists, material scientists, and mathematicians. 

Your workplace and research environment
This PhD position is based at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics (LOE), belonging to the Department of Science and Technology, at the university’s Norrköping Campus. LOE is renowned for its world-leading research on organic electroactive materials, with applications ranging from printed electronics to catalysis. Currently, the research staff at LOE includes about 150 researchers (professors, senior and junior scientists, and PhD students). Read more at LOE.

At LOE, you will be part of the newly (2024) started Catalysis and Self-Assembly Group, led by Assistant Professor Alexander Holm. Research in the group focus on fundamental and applied aspects of heterogeneous catalysis to make sustainable materials and chemicals. Information about our research can be found here: Catalysis and Self-Assembly, CATSA. Information about Alexander Holm can be found here.

This PhD position is associated with the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC), which is a research center including groups from three major universities in Sweden (KTH, Chalmers and Linköping University). The vision of WWSC is that the forest can offer sustainable bio-based alternatives to fossil-based materials. As a PhD member in WWSC, you will become part of the WWSC academy, which is a graduate student school. In this academy, you will learn about research on renewable materials from wood. During the academy, students will connect with each other and with industry to nurture future collaborations. Read more at WWSC.

Your qualifications
By the start date, you have graduated with a BSc or MSc (minimum 4 years, corresponding to 240 ECTS credits) in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics, material science, or another relevant field.

Most merit is given to completed courses, with excellent grades, in one or more of the following fields: physical chemistry (thermodynamics, kinetics), analytical chemistry, mathematics, or physics. In addition, excellent communication skills in written and spoken English is a requirement.

Merit is also given to experience of laboratory work and materials characterization (demonstrated through coursework, MSc project, or published papers).

Furthermore, the suitable candidate should be highly self-motivated and show profound interest in fundamental research. Great emphasis will also be placed on personal qualities and suitability.

Terms of employment
When taking up the post, you will be admitted to the program for doctoral studies. More information about the doctoral studies at each faculty is available at Doctoral studies at Linköping University.

Starting date 

Autumn 2024, or by agreement. 

Salary and employment benefits
The salary of PhD students is determined according to a locally negotiated salary progression. The starting salary is 32 800 SEK per month before tax. The salary then increases to 33 800 SEK after completing 30 %, and to 36 500 SEK after completing 60% of the PhD degree program.

As an employee of Linköping University, you are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Paid vacation (28 workdays per year, corresponding to 5 ½ weeks).
  • Free access to the Swedish health-care system (full health-care coverage).
  • Paid maternity / paternity leave (up to 390 days per child).
  • Accrued pension. During your work-time in Sweden, you accrue income pension, paid by the employer, which is payable also if you leave Sweden.
  • More information about employment benefits at Linköping University is available here.

Other benefits include:

  • As a PhD student you get student-discounts on many products and services (e.g., public transport).
  • Other benefits are also available. A list can be found here.

Union representatives
Information about union representatives, see Help for applicants.

Application procedure
Apply for the position by clicking the “Apply” button below. Your application must reach Linköping University no later than June 10, 2024. 

The application should be written in English and include:

  1. Cover letter (maximum 1 page): The cover letter should describe what makes you interested in, and suitable for, this particular position. 
  2. CV: The CV can be formatted according to your own design. It should include at least information on education (degrees including topics, schools/universities, years, and preferably average grades), potential publications (stating all information, including full author lists), any other merits you feel are relevant (skills, awards, etc.). 
  3. Undergraduate transcripts (i.e., MSc, BSc, or equivalent, in English), with grades.

Equal opportunities

We welcome applicants with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives – diversity enriches our work and helps us grow. Preserving everybody's equal value, rights and opportunities is a natural part of who we are. Read more about our work with equal opportunities here.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Contact persons:

Alexander Holm

Assistant Professor

Martina Klefbeck

HR partner

Job details

PhD position in heterogeneous catalysis
Linköping University Linköping, Sweden
Application deadline
2024-06-10 23:59 (Europe/Stockholm)
2024-06-10 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

About the employer

LiU, as we often call it, is a multi-faculty university where research and education are equally important.

Visit the employer page

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