All ScholarshipsDoctoral StudyLund UniversityPhd PositionsResearch PositionsScholarshipsStudy AbroadSweden

Doctoral student in chemical physics

Lund University

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Science. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Subject description

This project is addressing our need for sustainable, environmentally friendly, efficient, long-living, and scalable systems for solar energy harvesting and storage. Energetic chemical reactions such as CO2 to methanol or N2 to ammonia are an excellent way to store energy that potentially can even be employed in a decentralized approach. Many useful reactions require multiple electrons to proceed. Solving the challenge to create such catalytic systems that can be activated with light is the vision of this project.

We study and optimise the dynamical processes that govern the activation and catalytic activity at the reaction centers using time-resolved spectroscopic methods. A focus of our group lays in the combination of optical spectroscopy with steady-state and time-resolved x-ray spectroscopy. The element selectivity of x-ray spectroscopy can isolate the dynamics in specific regions/atoms of complex assemblies, and can e.g. in the case of the reaction center offer a unique view on complex processes.

Our light activated reaction centers are part of a complex molecule synthesized by our collaborators or of a nanostructure assemblies synthesized at NanoLund (, of which we are a part. Based upon this knowledge we optimize charge generation, transfer and chemical reactions with the aim to create novel environmentally friendly, efficient, long-living, and scalable light-activated catalytic systems. 

Work duties

The candidate will be working towards understanding the charge transfer and catalytic reactions at light-activated catalytic centers. The student will be involved in planning and applying for, executing, and analyzing experiments at synchrotrons, XFEL, and table-top facilities. A clear focus of this project is the study of charge transfer processes with x-ray spectroscopic methods. Most of our studies however combine x-ray spectroscopy with optical methods using time-resolved laser spectroscopy. The candidate will be introduced to the wide variety of spectroscopic methods and is after a suitable training period (supported by suitable courses) expected to take responsibility for the analysis of their measured data using appropriate tools and develop the experimental results into high-quality publications. These efforts are supported through a wide range of expertise in the group, connected collaborators, or suitable courses where needed. In the group, the candidate is expected to develop expertise in at least one of the employed methods (chosen after knowledge, preferences, training and suitability).

Many of the initial experiments will be performed or at least prepared in-house. Beyond that, the doctoral student is expected to participate in our regular (typically 2-3 per year) measurement campaigns at the international research facilities in support of the groups’ efforts. The right candidate for the job will be highly self-motivated, works well in teams, and is interested in the subject.

The enrolment in one of the multiple connected graduate schools and/or research centers the group is connected to does provide an additional support structure and collaboration potential.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which include participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%). Teaching and departmental duties are in addition to the research subject and do extend the study period. The amount of these extra duties is highly dependent on the interest of the candidate and is adjusted annually. 

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programs if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Chemical Physics if he or she has:

  • A minimum of 120 credits derived from natural science (for example chemistry or physics) and chemical and physical engineering courses, of which at least 30 credits from a second-cycle degree project (or equivalent) in chemical physics, physical chemistry, or related specialization.
  • The specific admission requirements can also be fulfilled through another equivalent program, which is assessed in each specific case.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Experience with some type of spectroscopy (optical or x-ray) or crystallography.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycles. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria (meriting experiences, please state what and to what extend in the application if applicable):

  • Experience with time-resolved measurements.
  • with a x-ray based technique and their data analysis.
  • Experience in the usage of computational tools (MatLab, Python,…).
  • Experience with electrochemistry.
Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students to Work and Study Abroad

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle program.

Terms of employment
Only those admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LU consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§. ( The general syllabus for the studies can be found here: 

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

To apply, please click the button “Login and apply”

Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employmentUpon agreement
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountySkåne län
Reference numberPA2021/2554
ContactJens Uhlig, +46 46 222 77 20
Union representativeOFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Last application date14.Sep.2021 11:59 PM CEST

Login and apply

Back to top button