Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Theoretical Chemistry

Deadline: 28.11.2019

Job description

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.


Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences operates under the aegis of the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The Department of Chemistry is Norway's largest institution within research and education in chemistry. Our research excels internationally and we educate students to a wide variety of jobs in industry, academia, research institutions, schools and public administration.


Our research ranges from the core topics of chemistry to applied science within in environmental, health, energy and materials. The Department has extensive contacts with industry, research and educational institutions at home and abroad. As partner in the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology our researchers contributes to a significant interdisciplinary efforts in cooperation with the Department of Physics. The Department of Chemistry has its own school laboratory as a great resource for teachers, public outreach and the didactics of chemistry.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

Two positions as Postdoctoral Research fellow are available at the Department of Chemistry / Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences.

The two fellowships are for a period of up to 2 and 3 years. Starting date as soon as possible.

More about the position

A postdoctoral position is open in the project Magnetic Chemistry, where we study the chemistry of molecules in a magnetic field both theoretically and computationally, using the methods of quantum chemistry. While such studies have been performed perturbatively for many years—for example, when calculating NMR parameters—non-perturbative studies have only recently become possible, owing to methodological and program advances in our group. Using our own programs, we can study molecules not only at laboratory field strengths but also at field strengths of several hundred thousand teslas, characteristic of magnetic white dwarfs. At such field strengths, the magnetic forces acting on the electrons and nuclei are as strong as the electric forces, dramatically affecting the chemistry and physics of matter. Apart from shedding light on a fascinating chemistry that cannot be experienced by us directly, the study of chemistry in such strong fields has experimental relevance in astrophysics. Moreover, our tools are also well suited to the study of spectroscopic processes that occur at laboratory field strengths, enabling us model the effects of the magnetic field in direct manner. Finally, they are indispensable for the development of exchange–correlation functional in a magnetic field.

So far, only small molecules have been studied in strong magnetic fields and such studies have revealed many fascinating and unexpected phenomena such as a new bonding mechanism, replacing covalent bonding in strong fields. In the present project, we target larger and more complex systems, combining studies of energetics with molecular dynamics. We are, in particular, interested in the stability of larger molecules and their decay paths, aiming to identify candidate molecules for observations on magnetic white dwarfs.

The development of molecular dynamics in this project will enable us to study theoretically, for the first time, the effect of weak and strong magnetic fields on reaction rates and reactivity, to reliably determine the fate of molecular systems when they encounter strong fields. Interesting questions are the effect of a magnetic field on barrier heights, where already a small change can have a dramatic effect on reaction rates and product distributions. Reactions and processes that involve states of different spin multiplicities are particularly sensitive to an applied magnetic field and will be studied using surface-hopping techniques.

The task of the postdoc will be the development, implementation, and application of computational methods for studying molecular structure and dynamics of polyatomic molecules in magnetic fields, including geometry optimization and molecular dynamics, building on existing software in the group. The project description is can be downloaded here.

The postdoc will work at the Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences, a Centre of Excellence established in 2017 by the Norwegian Research Council, shared by the Theoretical Chemistry groups at the University of Oslo (UiO) and UiT-the Arctic University of Norway.

The research at the Hylleraas Centre is dedicated to modelling chemical systems in complex and extreme environments, with a strong focus on the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. The centre activities are organized in six Research Themes, covering the different research lines present in the centre. The project Magnetic Chemistry will be carried out within the framework of the Research Theme 4: Extreme Environments. For more information about the Hylleraas Centre, please visit http://www.hylleraas.no

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

We seek talented young researchers with documented experience with quantum-chemistry method development in electronic-structure theory, including efficient implementation in computer programs. Experience with high-performance computing is preferred. A good knowledge of physics in general and quantum mechanics in particular is important.

  • Applicants must hold a PhD in a discipline pertinent to the proposed research. This includes Theoretical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Computer Sciences and Engineering, and related topics. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

We offer

  • salary NOK 523 200 - 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment
  • postdoctoral development programmes
  • attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The candidates need to enclose the following documentation together with the application:

  • Cover letter with a statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to the candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

For technical questions regarding the application system, please contact HR Adviser Ørjan Pretorius, [email protected]

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