Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and global

Faculty of Technology and Society
The Faculty of Technology and Society (TS) offers education and research in computer science and media technology as well as engineering, natural sciences and applied mathematics. A characteristic of our research and teaching is the engagement of companies and other organizations as active participants. We are located in Malmö city center, close to Malmö Central Station.

The Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics
Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics unites interdisciplinary education and research in science, engineering and mathematics. We have active research groups in materials science, physics, applied mathematics, construction science, and mechanical engineering.

For more information about the activities at the department, please visit our website.

Job Description
Heterogeneous catalysts play critical roles in a variety of important technological processes, including large-scale chemical production and processing, exhaust gas treatment, and electrochemical energy conversion. The operation of these functional materials is based on reactions occurring at solid-gas and solid-liquid interfaces, and their performance is determined by the atomic scale surface structure under reaction conditions. Experimental characterization of the surface structures of catalytic materials under such conditions is a major challenge which is being addressed though the application of novel techniques based on synchrotron radiation at large facilities such as MAX IV. The current project concerns the application of X-ray-based techniques, including X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS), X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES), X-ray diffraction (SXRD), and ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS), to perform detailed characterization of well-defined model catalyst materials and relate this to their catalytic properties.

The aim of the current research program is to develop further our experimental capabilities for operando catalyst characterization, with a focus on applying XAFS and XES to study well-defined planar model catalysts based on single crystals and supported nanostructures. In connection with this project, we plan to hire a PhD student whose research should encompass both method development and the physics and chemistry of catalytic materials. The student will be responsible for or take part in:

  • Preparation and characterization of samples for synchrotron studies, including single crystal surfaces and nanomaterials.
  • Development and testing of environmental cells for in situ sample characterization by XAFS, XRD and complementary techniques.
  • XAFS, XRD and APXPS experiments at MAX IV and international synchrotron radiation facilities.
  • Analysis and modelling of spectroscopic and scattering data.

The student will be based at Malmö University, but will be enrolled in the PhD program in Physics at Lund University and will collaborate closely with researchers at LU’s Division of Synchrotron Radiation Research as well as with researchers at the MAX IV Laboratory and other institutions. The student will have the opportunity to attend courses and utilize experimental facilities in Lund.

Employment as a PhD student
An employed PhD student shall primarily devote time to his/her own research training. The PhD program is worth 240 higher education credits, or 4 years of full-time study. In addition, those appointed as doctoral students may be given teaching and/or technical/administrative duties at a level of at most 20% of full time. The position is then extended correspondingly, however not longer than corresponding to 5 years full time employment. Regulations regarding employment of PhD students can be found in Higher Education Ordinance 5 Chap. 1-7 §§. The PhD student will be employed and based at the Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics at Malmö University and will be admitted to research studies in Physics at the Science Faculty, Lund University.

Eligibility requirements for admission
To be eligible for PhD studies, a student must have:

1) a second-cycle higher education degree, or

2) completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits are second-cycle or 

3) in some other way, nationally or internationally, acquired equivalent knowledge.

Specific admission requirements
Applicants must meet the specific admission requirements for doctoral studies in Physics at Lund University, including:

  • completion of an independent project (e.g. a Master’s thesis or equivalent) in a relevant subject corresponding to at least 30 credits and
  • second-cycle qualification in Physics or a closely related field relevant to the project (e.g. chemistry, nanoscience, materials science).

Basis of assessment
Initial assessment concerns the general and specific eligibility requirements (above).

Further, according to Higher Education Ordinance 5 Chap. 5 §, importance is placed on the student’s ability to appropriate the advanced learning of the third-cycle PhD program. The previously written material and the dissertation plan are important indicators of this ability as well as research experience and documented relevant working life experience. Of special relevance is independently written material on an advanced level.

The student’s research program requires development of competence in a broad range of experimental methods and scientific areas, and thus a relevant background and demonstration of technical aptitude are essential.

The research work will be performed in a collaborative environment, and the ability to interact positively and work productively with other researchers is essential.

Previous experience in one or more of the following areas is an advantage:

  • Synchrotron-based methods for surface analysis using hard or soft X-rays.
  • Surface preparation and characterization using ultra-high vacuum techniques.
  • Characterization of the catalytic activity of solid materials.
  • Development of instrumentation for characterization of materials by X-rays.
  • Inorganic nanomaterial synthesis and characterization

Additional assessment criteria include demonstrated analytical and communication skills, and demonstrated fluency in written and spoken English.

Contact for further information
Head of Department Mats Persson, (+46)40-6657882,
Senior Lecturer Lindsay R. Merte, (+46) 704584375,

Malmö University kindly but firmly declines direct contact with recruiting and staffing agencies, as well as job advertising sellers.

Apply through Malmö University’s recruitment system by clicking the button “apply/ansök”. Please make sure your application is complete and correct according the application instructions. Deadline for application is not later than 2019-06-30.

The application should include the following documents:

  1. A personal letter in which the applicant gives a short description of him/herself and his/her research interests in relation to the position. (max 2 pages) including a short personal reflection on your motivations for pursuing a PhD degree in physics.
  2. CV
  3. Complete list of your publications and creative works relevant to the position (including scholarly as well as general-interest publications, advanced level independent thesis and reports).
  4. Master’s thesis or similar degree projects
  5. Copies of written work that you specifically wish to highlight (maximum 3 writings)
  6. Certificates and university transcripts, certifying your CV.
  7. References (at least 2; names, titles, contact information positions/relation. Please do not submit letters of reference).

Form of employment
Employment is full-time and time restricted according to Higher Education Ordinance 5 Chap. 7 §.

Malmö University is characterized by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal opportunities add value to our activities.

The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in Sweden at the start of the appointment.

2019-09-01 or as soon as possible after agreement.

Union representatives
Saco-S, Stefan Gustafsson,
OFR, Naser Eftekharian,  

PhD Student Union representative
Asimina Papoulia,

We look forward to receiving your application!