PhD Scholarships on Fundamental Experimental Studies of New Catalysts

Wednesday 25 Aug 21

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A number of PhD studentship positions for doing fundamental investigations in relation to “The VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals” (V-SUSTAIN) at SurfCat. 

VILLUM FONDEN have granted 150 million DKK over the next 8 years to “The Villum Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals” (V-SUSTAIN). The clear aim of the centre is to phase out fossil fuels and thereby alleviate the negative impact the continuous use these have on the earth’s climate and environment.

PhD positions are available at V-SUSTAIN to work on fundamental experimental studies of new catalysts in the area of:

  • Thermal heterogeneous catalysis for CO2 hydrogenation into methanol and higher hydrocarbons or Nitrogen into ammonia.
  • Electrochemical reactions of mass-selected clusters for water splitting, oxygen reduction reactions, reduction of CO2 to fuels and chemicals, and Electrochemical reduction of N2 to ammonia.

A significant part of V-SUSTAIN takes place at Surface Physics & Catalysis (SURFACT) at the Department of Physics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (currently 30 PhD students and 12 Postdocs). Here we enjoy a social, open and transparent scientific environment. The PhD students will be able to take full advantage of the large number of personnel working in adjacent fields of investigation, from surface science on single crystals to the testing of high surface area catalysts in reactors.

The work will be focused on testing and characterisation of new catalysts using state of the art in-house facilities, especially of mass-selected nanoparticles with specific desired compositions. It relies heavily on a close collaboration between theory and experiment, where the most promising catalysts are identified by in-silico screening. It will therefore be in collaboration with other partners of V-SUSTAIN, at Copenhagen University, Stanford University and DTU.

When applying please indicate which of the two projects you are most interested in applying for and motivate your choice and a possible earliest starting date. Notice candidates finalizing their master in August may apply now.

The successful candidates will have obtained excellent grades in his/her Bachelor and Masters degrees. He/she should also be well-motivated, hardworking and willing and able to work as part of a team. Candidates for the PhD positions should have a Masters’ degree in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials Science by the time they commence the project. Candidates who has shown interest/had experience in the surface science/catalysis/electrochemistry approach will be preferred.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU, for example in Mathematics, Physics and Informatics. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The PhD positions are for 3 years and the PhD thesis must be delivered during this period. The position can start anytime 2021 or primo 2022.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
For further information about the research at SurfCat at the Department of Physics please inspect

Should you have any queries regarding the positions, please contact Professor Ib Chorkendorff, or Associate Professor Jakob Kibsgaard,

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.  

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 October 2021 (Danish time).  
Applications must be submitted as one and one only PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. Multiple files will not be considered. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file and one file ONLY. The file must include:

  • A cover letter motivating the application. (Max one page)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A list of publications if any
  • Copies of BSc, MSc and PhD degree diplomas
  • Mandatory excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • Names and e-mail addresses or telephone numbers of 2 references.

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it with an acceptable grade, 10 or 12.

All interested candidates, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background, are encouraged to apply.

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