Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellowship in Computational Chemistry

Deadline: 29.02.2020

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

Position as PhD Research fellow available at Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences / the Department of Chemistry.

The fellowship is for a period of 3 years. Starting date no later than 01.09.2020

More about the position

A PhD position for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) is open as a part of the CO2PERATE Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 859910.

The CO2PERATE consortium has a simple but essential vision: Training of European researchers in the synthesis of indispensable molecules from sustainable carbon sources and with sustainable catalysts. This will involve development of novel and industrially relevant methods for employing CO2 as a carbon synthon, alongside other renewable biomass, catalyzed by non-precious metals. The focus is on C-C bond formation with CO2, which is an important but insufficiently developed area. In order to achieve this goal, CO2PERATE unites 7 academic and 3 industrial nodes, which will provide the 15 ESR involved in the consortium with an interdisciplinary education in the design of homo- and heterogeneous catalysts, experimental and computational methods for reaction analysis, upscaling, radiolabelling and diverse industrial applications.

The position open at the Hylleraas Center will employ high-level computational methods, including both quantum mechanics and ab initio molecular dynamics, to study non-precious metal catalysts for the formation and incorporation of CO. These catalysts will be combined within nanoporous MOF materials, aiming at the design of new systems with enhanced activity and robustness.

This goal will be achieved by using the following approach:

a) the mechanistic study of reactions, in which both productive (in-cycle) and unproductive (off-cycle) mechanisms will be explored;

b) the simulation of spectra including NMR, IR, UV-Vis, EPR;

c) the application of microkinetic models to reproduce the experimental data available and determine the factors preventing the maximum performance of the catalyst;

d) the design of new multifunctional MOFs able to catalyze both conversion of CO2 to CO and carbonylation reactions;

e) the close collaboration with the experimental groups developing the systems under study.

This project will be performed under the supervision of Dr. Ainara Nova, and co-supervision of Dr. David Balcells and Prof. Michele Cascella. The project will involve two international secondments (2 months length each): 1) at Stockholm University under the supervision of Prof. Martín-Matute; and 2) at Haldor Topsøe A/S under the supervision of Dr. E. Taarning. During these secondments, the student will be trained on heterogeneous catalyst characterization and work on industrial carbonylation reactions.

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.

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry or related disciplines, with a grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system.
  • Applicants must have a documented training in computational chemistry.
  • Applicants should have completed their Master studies no longer than 4 years from the start of the fellowship.
  • Applicants cannot hold a PhD degree.
  • Candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization for > 12 months in the last 3 years prior to day employment starts.
  • The candidate must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Experience with molecular modeling of organometallic complexes and/or periodic systems is desired.

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 evt. and a Scandinavian language.

English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements:


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:



We offer

  • salary NOK 479 600 –523 200 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • 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 application must include

  • Cover letter. 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
  • 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).
  • Recommendation letters should not be uploaded during the application process, even though the application portal may request this.

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).

Recruitment process:

Applicants will be evaluated based on the required and desired qualification described above. The best-qualified candidates will be called in for an interview, which will be used to construct a prioritized list of candidates. The position will be offered following this list.

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 technical questions regarding the recruitment system, HR Adviser Ørjan Pretorius, e-mail: [email protected]

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