PhD scholarship position – Computational Design of Bimetallic Nanoparticle Catalysts for Bio-Methane Steam Reforming (MSCA-ITN BIKE Project)

tirsdag 04 jun 19

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Frist 30. juli 2019
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An EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) position is available in the area of the computational design of bimetallic nanoparticle catalysts for bio-methane steam reforming in the section for Atomic Scale Materials Modelling at the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.


This full-time, fixed-term ESR position starting from September 1st2019 will based at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Kgs. Lyngby, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Heine Anton Hansen and Prof. Tejs Vegge and will involve research and study in the areas ofadvanced computational methods in theoretical catalysis and global optimization techniques employing e.g. statistical mechanics, evolutionary algorithms, and machine learning. The ESR will collaborate in research, attend joint training events, and contribute to workshops and conferences across the BIKE network.  The post-holder will be expected to register to study for a PhD (3 years) as an integral part of this ESR position.  The ESR will be provided with a generous stipend to cover their living costs and travel for the duration of the 3 years; tuition fees will be paid for this period.  They will also receive funds to support their participation in the BIKE-ITN European-wide research and training events.  The network ESR/PhD students will receive training primarily through their host institute with additional training provided by visits to other host institutes and industrial partners in the network. 

Responsibilities and tasks 

The successful applicant will carry out European Union-funded research within the “BIKE: BImetallic catalysts Knowledge-based development for Energy applications” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (lTN) project (Grant agreement no. 813748), which offers unique doctoral training and research opportunities. The BIKE project will develop the next generation of bimetallic catalyst for green and blue hydrogen production. The programme will combine a range of complementary, multidisciplinary research expertise comprising: computational predictive modelling; operando characterization of catalysts; tunable, robust, and scalable preparative methods of bimetallic nanoparticles; catalyst testing and operation; and reactor/process design. The BIKE network comprises 10 member institutions and partner organizations, spanning both academia and industry, located in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  In total, 14 ESRs will be recruited across the BIKE network and each will conduct research on a specific, but closely related research area. The ESRs will work in areas spanning heterogeneous catalysis, green chemistry, hydrogen economy, and materials and chemical sciences within a framework of highly specialized research groups from leading European academic and industrial laboratories.  The network will provide outstanding inter-disciplinary training opportunities through hands-on research projects, international lab exchanges, industrial secondments, and specialist workshops and conferences.  ESRs are generously funded with many opportunities for travel and networking.


Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.


There are strict eligibility and residency requirements that must be met. Applicants must be either European citizens (from EU Member States or Associated Countries, but not residents of Denmark), or from Other Third Countries (i.e.USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, China, etc.). 


At the time of recruitment, (i.e.first date of employment/signature of the contract) applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Have less than 4 years research experience (measured from the time their Master’s or equivalent degree was awarded).
  • Not have a doctorate/PhD.
  • Be a national of any country other than the country of the premises of the host organization to which they are applying (unless they have legally resided outside that country for at least 3 out of the last 4 years).
  • Not have resided in the country of the recruiting host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.
Essential criteria: 
  • Master’s degree (MSc) or equivalent such as MChem or MSci (but not BSc) in physics, chemistry, materials science or a related field
  • Experience in electronic structure or atomic scale simulations
  • Good organizational skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Good computational skills including use of Microsoft Office (or equivalent) for text and data manipulation. 
  • Demonstrated ability and self-motivation in computational physics or chemistry, together with ability to think analytically and creatively
  • High professional level
Desirable criteria:
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience with programming languages
  • Previous experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment
Required Language(s):

1)    English – It is a requirement that applicants can demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficient for them to derive the full benefit from the network training, and to embark on a PhD at a Danish university.

2)    A basic working knowledge and experience of Danish.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applications will be made by Head of Section, Professor Tejs Vegge and Associate Professor Heine A. Hansen


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 period of employment is 3 years.


Salary range€ 60174 to € 63174 per year

The funding for this Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher position provides for a remuneration starting from € 60174 per year.  Actual salary will depend on employer deductions, personal circumstances and the exchange rate applicable to the fellowship (if not paid in Euros). This amount includes an annual living allowance and a mobility allowance (to cover the expenses associated with working in a different country).


Allowance eligibility depends on the personal circumstances of the ESR:


Living Allowance: total amount € 52974 per year. This figure is inclusive of the country coefficient of 135%.

Mobility Allowance: total amount € 7200 per year.

Family allowance: total amount € 3000 per year (eligibility depends on supporting evidence that at the time the ESR position starts the ESR is married, in a partnership equivalent to marriage in the country it was formalised or have dependent children).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Heine A. Hansen, E-mail:


You can read more about Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at


More information about the ITN BIKE programme, the open positions and host organizations is available on the project’s dedicated website:


Please submit your online application no later than 30 July 2019 (local time)


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:


The application must be accompanied by the following documents: 


i)      A standard application letter of no more than 2 pages (written in English) signed by the applicant indicating their full name, date and place of birth, citizenship, postal address, and emaiI address.  The letter should clearly indicate the applicant’s motivation for applying for this ESR position and describe their relevant experience.  Additionally, the applicant must explicitly declare that they fulfil the eligibility criteriaset out in article 3.4 of the H2020 Guide for Applicants Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Innovative Training Networks (ITN), see:


ii)    Contact information (including email addresses) of TWO academic referees.


iii)   A detailed CV (of no more than 3 pages) in English illustrating the candidate's educational background, a list of undergraduate exam results and degrees held (with grades/rankings); a list of publications, poster and oral presentations (if any); academic prizes or scholarships, etc.; and scientific experience and skills. The document must be signed by the applicant.  A template CV, which can be found at be used.


iv)   Where relevant, a copy of Master’s thesis or equivalent (in pdf format) including a 1 page summary written in English.


v)    Scanned copies of academic transcripts and degree certificates for the higher education qualifications held.


vi)    Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here


vii)  Official translation in English and equivalence certificate of the Master’s degree or equivalent will be required at the point of contract signature.


Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.


Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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


The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, polymer solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity, thermos electrics, sustainable synthetic fuels, and batteries. Additional information about the Department can be found on 


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