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PhD Research Fellowship in Catalysis, University of Oslo, Norway



September 01, 2015


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1 PhD fellowship within the iCSI, Center for research based innovation is available at theCenter for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Norway.

The PhD fellowship is for a period of 3 or 4 years.

The position is funded as part of the Industrial Catalysis Science and Innovation for competitive and sustainable process industry (iCSI) center for research based innovation. Employment is pending the completion of the required contracts between the center participants.

The desired starting date is no later than 4 January, 2016.

Application deadline is 1 September, 2015.

Job description

The fellowship is based at the Catalysis Group and associated with the Center for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN,) and the iCSI center for research based innovation, established by the Research Council of Norway. The research tasks will be carried out in close collaboration with industrial partner Haldor Topsøe A/S, located in Lyngby near Copenhagen, Denmark, and secondments with industry are likely.

The vision of SMN is to contribute to the increase of Norway's production through research on materials science and nanotechnology on functional materials, and ensure a level of quality that ensures the recognition of SMN as a leading center amongst the Nordic countries, as well as internationally, within selected fields. The main objective of iCSI is to boost industrial innovation and competitiveness as well as to provide efficient, low-emission process technology. This will be done through:

  • Improved understanding of the kinetics and chemistry of the catalytic processes of the industrial partners as a basis for performance enhancement and process optimization.
  • Synergy between applied and basic research, competence-building and education through interaction between industry, research institutes and universities.
  • Development of new materials and methods (experimental and theoretical) that strengthen the industrial value creation and impact the research frontier.

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.


In the cover letter to your application, please specify how your background and competence is suited to meet the challenges of the project. Try to answer the question: How will you contribute?

Introduction to the position

The position is an element in an on-going, larger effort related to the energy challenges of the late and post fossil fuels society. More specifically, the project is related to the synthesis and characterization of nanostructured microporous solid catalysts such as zeolites and spectroscopic and mechanistic investigations of heterogeneous catalytic processes facilitated by such materials.

Acidic zeolite catalysts find widespread industrial application in refinery and petrochemical processes such as catalytic cracking and conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons. Metal containing zeolites are currently investigated as catalysts for reactions such as reduction of nitrogen oxides (de-NOx), natural gas aromatization, and alkane oxidation. The intention is that the candidate will work in close collaboration with the project postdoctoral fellow in order to reach the overall objective of developing structure-performance relationships for such processes.

PhD Candidate – Measurements of catalyst activity

The candidate will perform measurements of the activity of metal containing solid, porous zeolite catalysts and carry out investigations of reaction mechanisms. Experience within practical heterogeneous catalysis is required. Practical experience with measurements of gas phase reactions occurring over a solid catalyst, and the use and operation of gas chromatographs, mass flow controllers, Swagelok components etc. is considered highly beneficial.

If the successful candidate has a good knowledge of one Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish), the fellowship will be for a period of 4 years, with 25% compulsory work (teaching responsibilities at the Department of Chemistry). Otherwise, the fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with no compulsory work.


Applicants must hold a Master's degree or equivalent in materials science, chemistry, or chemical engineering.

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. The Candidate for this fellowship will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of his or hers class with respect to academic credentials.

The successful candidate is expected to be willing and able to take on tasks for the benefit of the research group. Personal suitability and co-operation skills will receive special attention in the selection process. Applicants may be called in for 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 seehere and here.

A good command of English is required.


Pay grade: 50 - 57 (NOK 430 500 – 483 700 per year)

The application must include:

  • Application letter, including a statement of interest (related to research topic above)
  • 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 candidate, email and telephone number)
  • Candidates are encouraged to provide example software code or links to codehosting repositories (not required)

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In accordance with the University of Oslo’s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

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