Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in chemistry; characterization and applied heterogeneous catalysis

Deadline: 09.06.2020

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.

Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) is an interdisciplinary focus field for material and energy research at the University of Oslo. SMN has focused on basic research in renewable energy and environmentally friendly use of fossil energy sources. The center consists of research groups from the Department of Physics (Fi) and Chemistry (Ki), has about 100 employees from around the world and manages more than 80 projects funded by the EU, the RCN and others.

Job description

Position as PhD Research Fellow in chemistry available at the Center for Materials Science and Nanotechnology/Department of Chemistry. Employment is pending the completion of the required contracts between the centre participants and the funding agency.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

Starting date no later than 01.10.2020.

More about the position

The fellowship is based at the Catalysis Group and associated with the centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN, http://www.mn.uio.no/smn/). The Catalysis section is studying the correlation between catalyst composition and their effects on chemical reactions. The catalysts can be of organic and/or inorganic origin. The Catalysis section has approximately 40 members, subdivided into three groups: the zeolite group synthesizes and characterizes zeolite and zeotype materials and studies catalytic reactions over those materials; the MOF-group does the same with metal-organic frameworks; the homogenous catalysis group synthesizes metal-organic complexes and studies their catalytic reactions.

The vision of SMN is to contribute to an increase of Norway's production through research on materials science and nanotechnology on functional materials, and ensure a level of quality that further builds the recognition of SMN as a leading centre amongst the Nordic countries, as well as internationally.

Employment at the Catalysis Group will allow the successful candidate the opportunity to work in a highly cross-disciplinary field in an internationally competitive research group with a high degree of international collaboration. Research in the Catalysis Group comprises extensive international collaboration, and research visits to partners in Europe is an integrated part of PhD training and research.

Introduction to the position

This position is part of the TomoCAT project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway. The project is a collaboration between the University of Oslo (project owner), the University of Torino, and the Danish industrial partner Haldor Topsøe A/S. The overreaching objective of TomoCAT is to develop the tools that might pave the way for a more efficient utilization of industrial catalysts. Such catalysts are always or shaped into millimeter sized catalyst objects suitable for large scale industrial use. The key feature of TomoCAT is to achieve a description of how various chemical phenomena, such as cata-lyst deactivation, occur in these shaped objects, resolved both in time and space. Time in this context means the time of use in an industrial process, whereas space means spatial resolution across shaped catalyst objects. This requires a combination of catalyst preparation, extensive basic and spectro-scopic characterization and performance measurements in the home laboratory, as well as utilization of national research infrastructures and very advanced synchrotron methods for 3D imaging and to-mography.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition is to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. 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.

The candidate will perform measurements of the activity of solid, porous zeolite catalysts and carry out extensive characterization of fresh and used catalyst samples, using both ex situ, but in particular also in situ methods. The candidate will also participate in campaigns to synchrotron facilities in order to take part in advanced measurements. Secondments with partners is planned as part of the project activities.


  • Master's degree or equivalent in materials science, chemistry, or chemical engineering (mini-mum grade B, ECTS grading scale)
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Nor-wegian educational system
  • Practical experience with measurements of gas or liquid phase reactions occurring over a solid catalyst, and the use and operation of gas chromatographs, mass flow controllers, Swagelok components etc. is required.
  • Experience with in situ characterization of heterogeneous catalysts with methods such as such as infrared or Raman spectroscopy, diffraction, UV-Vis spectroscopy during operation is re-quired.
  • Experience with synchrotron experiments is desirable
  • Experience with catalyst preparation is desirable

Candidates without a Master’s degree must specify when their final exam will be completed.

PLEASE NOTE: In the cover letter to your application, please specify how your background is suited to meet the challenges of the project and be specific about how your competence meets those requested. Try to answer the question: How will you contribute?

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • the average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English. Additionally a Scandinavian language is of advantage.
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries. Language certificate (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.) must be presented latest at the stage of the interview.


The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see:


Personal skills

  • Ability to conduct high-quality independent research within a broad collaboration
  • Interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Self-motivation, creativity, genuine curiosity about the subject, work discipline, professional ethics, and ambition

We offer

  • Salary NOK 479 600 – 523 200 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • 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 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 Universty'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 Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship 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 appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

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

Contact information

For further information please contact:

For question regarding our application system, please contact HR Adviser, Ørjan Pretorius, [email protected]

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