The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is, with about 160 employees, one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences at Stockholm University. A significant part of the teaching activities is at the undergraduate level with courses in General, Physical, Inorganic, and Analytical Chemistry. The teaching at the graduate level focuses on the master programs in Sustainable Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. Research activities of MMK focus primarily on materials, and include different classes such as ceramics, glasses, self-assembled, porous materials, and soft matter. The projects often encompass synthesis, and characterization by X-ray, neutron diffraction, electron microscopy, electron crystallography, solid-state NMR, and computer modelling of materials with a potential for various applications. Research activities in the area of Analytical Chemistry focus on developing advanced analytical techniques for studies of organic compounds and biomolecules.
The PhD position is one of the 15 Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) positions within the NanED (Electron Nanocrystallography) project funded by EU Innovative Training Network H2020-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) program (Grant agreement n. 956099). NanED aims to form a new generation of electron crystallographers, able to master and develop 3D ED techniques in an interdisciplinary and interconnected network, where competences and know-how of usually distant scientific sectors are shared and merged. NanED will also establish a new standard of crystallographic training, closer to current industrial needs. Finally, NanED will boost the dissemination of 3D ED in academic and industrial laboratories, pushing Europe to be the leader for nanomaterial characterisation and development, with a noticeable and global economic impact. More information about NanED can be found at https://naned.eu/.
Project title: Development of high-throughput 3D electron diffraction methods and its application on new drug discovery
Project leaders (PI): Prof. Xiaodong Zou (main supervisor); Dr. Yi Luo (MMK, co-supervisor) and Dr. Stefan Norberg (AstraZeneca, Sweden, co-supervisor).
Prof. Zou’s research group is internationally leading in crystal structural analysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron diffraction (ED). Recent development of 3D electron diffraction (3D ED) has revolutionized the way of discovering new molecules and drugs. Atomic structures can be determined from tiny crystals with extremely low quantities, which is often the case for compounds of high commercial value and with medical applications. The rapid structure determination of organic molecules has attracted large attention and was identified by Science as one of the ten major scientific breakthroughs 2018 (https://vis.sciencemag.org/breakthrough2018/).
The objectives of the PhD project are to establish automation strategies and develop high-throughput serial (rotation) electron diffraction data collection; establish high-throughput protocols for data processing; apply machine learning and clustering algorithms for phase analysis and structure determination of pharmaceutical compounds, natural products and molecules with tiny quantity. The goal is to make 3D ED into an automated, fast and reliable technique for high-throughput phase and structural analysis. The candidate will be part of a large group and work with leading experts from academia and industry (AstraZeneca), including synthetic chemists, pharmaceutical solid-state chemists, and developers of crystallographic methods and software. She/he will participate in various training programs organised by NanED to gain broad knowledge and competence in the field.
The candidate should have a strong collaborative and communication skill, be self-motivated and a good team player. The applicant should also have excellent skills in the English language, both written and spoken. Knowledge on crystallography, programming or TEM are desired but not necessary. The candidate should have a Master or equivalent degree in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials Sciences. For more information see Zou’s homepage https://www.su.se/english/profiles/xzou-1.187418 and https://www.mmk.su.se/zou.
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.
In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Chemistry is valid. Those studies should include at least one specialized course or a thesis in the research subject. In order to facilitate the evaluation of merits and suitability for the PhD studies your curriculum vitae (CV) should contain information about the extent and focus of the academic studies. The quantity (as part of an academic year) and the quality mark of courses in chemistry and physics are of particular interest. Please, state titles of undergraduate theses and project works.
The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.
The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.
Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for an ESR under the Horizon 2020 ITN Programme at the date of recruitment; in particular, they should be eligible to be appointed as an ESR by satisfying the following criteria:
- to have less than 4 years research careers after Undergraduate/Masters graduation (this is cumulative research experience and does not include management/industrial or other work experience);
- to not hold a PhD degree (PhD candidates under 4 years of registration and before completion may apply);
- to not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in Sweden for more than 12 months (cumulative) in the three years immediately before their recruitment (meant as the first day of the employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action (i.e. the starting date indicated in the contract). Compulsory national service and short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
A short list will be set up and interviews with the top candidates will be carried out at the department or via internet.
Economic support for the PhD studies is guaranteed for full time studies during the time period agreed on in the individual study plan. The studies do normally mean four years full time studies. You are encouraged to contact the project leader for more information about the project.
Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: www.su.se/rules and regulations.
Terms of employmentOnly a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.
The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.
Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.
Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.
Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.
For more information, please contact the PI, Prof. Xiaodong Zou, email@example.com. For general information about the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, please contact the Head of the Department, Professor Gunnar Svensson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, email@example.com, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (SEKO), and PhD student representative, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.
Please include the following information with your application
- Your contact details and personal data
- Your highest degree
- Your language skills
- Contact details for 2–3 references
and, in addition, please include the following documents
- Cover letter
- CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
- Project proposal/Research proposal describing:
– why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
– what makes you suitable for the project in question
- Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
- Letters of recommendation (no more than 6 files)
- Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).
The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.
You are welcome to apply!