Archive for the ‘Open Positions’ Category

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD fellowship is available at SCM (Amsterdam) for a theoretical physicist or chemist with a talent for method and software development, to develop and implement multiscale simulation force fields methods tailored for molecular network materials (MOFs).

The EU-funded position offers attractive salary and benefits and SCM and the Theoretical Chemistry group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam form a stimulating experienced research environment. The project will also involve close collaboration with the well-known Center for Molecular Modeling (CMM) of Ghent University, institution which is intended to award the PhD.

Candidates should hold an MSc degree in Chemistry, Physics or Engineering Physics, and have proven algorithm and software development skills combined with a solid knowledge of computational chemistry methods. Eligibility rules set a maximum of four full-time years research experience after the MSc degree, and candidates cannot be in possession of a PhD degree.

The tentative start date is around June 2015.

Applications are welcomed at as soon as possible (deadline March 20th 2015).

For further details on the position and application procedure, see:

The group of Prof Marie-Pierre Gaigeot, Paris, offers 2 PhD positions funded by 2 ANR grants, both employing First Principles Molecular Dynamics (FPMD) simulations:

– FPMD of alumina oxides/liquid water interfaces for applications in heterogeneous catalysis (ANR SLIMCAT)

– FPMD of ionic liquid water/air interfaces for applications in the environment (ANR DYNAWIN)

Backgrounds in chemistry, physics, chemical-physics or physical-chemistry, and a strong expertise in theoretical and computational chemistry (such as ab initio calculations and/or molecular dynamics simulations) will only be considered. Knowledge of at least one programming language (fortran, C, or scripting languages) would be welcome.

The PhD will be conducted in the LAMBE UMR8587 Laboratory at the University of Evry val d’Essonne, member of the new University Paris-Saclay.

Starting date: October 2015

Candidates should submit a CV, summary of marks from L3, M1 and M2 levels (or the equivalent for non european candidates), a letter of motivation and the names and contact emails of 2 referees to Applications should mention ANR DYNAWIN or ANR SLIMCAT in your email, depending on your interest. Once the pre-selection is done, you will be interviewed (possibly by skype) for the final decision. If you are not a M2 Master student for the 2014-2015 academic year, please do not apply.

Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne (ICB)

UMR 6303 CNRS-Université de Bourgogne

Dijon, France

Title: Development of an ultra-short terahertz source and application to molecular processes

Project: Terahertz waves (THz) have many applications ranging from imaging spectroscopy, near-field microscopy, opto-electronics, nonlinear optics and plasma physics. In particular, the ultrashort pulses in the terahertz domain (wavelength of around 0.3 mm, pulse duration of about one picosecond) have applications such as time-resolved spectroscopy for the study of vibrational modes and rotation of molecules or the measurement of the carrier lifetime in semiconductors. This type of pulse can also be an effective way to control and/or measure the orientation and alignment of molecules. The research team “Femtosecond Lasers and intense process” (PFL) is developing a system for generating terahertz pulses from a laser system emitting femtosecond pulses. It is based on the generation of plasma in a gas with a two-color pulse (800 and 400 nm). The generated THz pulses have duration less than a picosecond and a spectral range covering approximately 0 to 4 THz. The peak electric field is in the range 10 to 100 kV / cm. The generation device will be supplemented by an electro-optical device to measure the pulse shape in the time domain and also to measure the effects induced in molecules.The objective of the project is the completion of this broadband terahertz source (optimization and accurate characterization of terahertz pulses) and its application to molecular processes. The expected results relate firstly to optimization of orientation and alignment of molecules and also control of their movement (vibration/ rotation) by shaped pulses.The first experiment will be the orientation of polar molecules with these THz pulses in the gas phase. Other applications will then be considered, as the control of aligned and oriented molecules with shaped pulses. In the latter case, the pulse shaping will be produced by spectral modulation of the initial infrared femtosecond pulse with traditional modulation techniques based on liquid crystal devices.

The position (one year contract) is available from now and the contract should start before end of december 2015.

Contact: Bruno Lavorel

Specific subject description: Time-resolved studies of atoms and molecules with ultrashort pulses in the extreme ultraviolet range

Job assignments: The work within this position will be performed at the Lund High power laser facility and will mainly involve experimental work.
The project will include the following tasks:
– To develop an attosecond pulse source with high photon energy and/or high repetition rate
– To use these pulses for time-resolved studies of atoms and molecules with electron spectroscopy
The postdoctoral fellow is expected to interact with the master students and the PhD-students in the research group and contribute to meetings and seminars. Teaching might also be part of the job.

More details on this position and eligibitlity requirements here:

A PD (2-3 years) position in dynamics of molecule-surface reactions at Leiden University:

Electronically non-adiabatic effects on reactions of molecules with metal surfaces.

A post-doc (2-3 years) position is available starting April 1st 2015, in the theoretical chemistry group of Leiden University (NL).

The research will focus on electronically non-adiabatic effects (such as of electron-hole pair excitation) on reactions of molecules with metal surfaces, for a few selected systems.  One aim of the project is to come up with accurate potential energy surfaces for such systems within the semi-empirical framework of specific reaction parameter DFT. Here, a challenge will be to develop accurate SRP density functionals in dynamics calculations in which non-adiabatic effects on the dynamics are already taken into account.

The project is funded by the ERC, under an ERC advanced grant for Geert-Jan Kroes.

Applicants for the post-doc position should have experience with either electronic structure calculations on molecules interacting with metal surfaces, or with dynamics calculations on such systems. The candidate should have a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Physics, or Applied Mathematics. Experience with computer programming and with running calculations on parallel computers will be counted as advantages. The position is open to all nationalities.

The appointment will be for an initial period of 1 year with extensions possible to 2 and 3 years in total, respectively, depending on the progress of the research. The envisaged starting date is on or after 1 April 2015.

To be considered for the project, applicants should send an application letter, CV, and publication list, and should ensure that three letters of recommendation are sent to Prof. Dr. Geert-Jan Kroes, by email ( Selection of candidates will start on March 19, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

Geert-Jan Kroes Leiden Institute of Chemistry Gorlaeus Laboratory P.O.Box 9502 2300 RA Leiden The Netherlands Tel. +31-71-5274396

2 fully funded PhD positions are available in the CFEL/DESY Theory Division, Hamburg, to work in the area of theoretical chemical dynamics / theoretical chemical physics. 

(1) Investigation of correlated nuclear and electronic dynamics in finite systems described with the Hubbard Hamiltonian
(2) Development of direct nuclear quantum dynamics algorithms based on localized basis functions

The two PhD positions are funded for a period of three years. 

DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centers and a member of the Helmholtz Association. DESY develops, builds, and operates large particle accelerators used to investigate the structure of matter.

The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which is located on the DESY campus in Hamburg, is a joint enterprise of DESY, the Max Planck Society (MPG), and the University of Hamburg. CFEL is designed to advance science with next-generation light sources.

Our group, the CFEL Theory Division (, develops theoretical and computational tools to predict the behavior of matter exposed to intense electromagnetic radiation. We employ quantum-mechanical and classical techniques to study ultrafast processes that take place on time scales ranging from picoseconds to attoseconds.

If you are interested and would like to apply or to have more information on the positions, please contact Dr. Oriol Vendrell <>.


Fully funded PhD position: Structure-function relationship in chemical reactions using controlled molecules and cold ions 

We have investigated the structure-function relationship of conformer-selected complex molecules. In collaboration with the Willitsch group in Basel we have performed a pioneering benchmark experiment to investigate structure-dependent chemical reactivities. We have determined the conformer-specific rate constants for the reactions of cis- and trans-3-aminophenol with Ca+ ions localized in a so called Coulomb Crystal.

 In this project the candidate will extend our benchmark studies to the investigation of conformer specific reactivity studies of complex chemical reactions, such as cycloaddition / Diels-Alder reactions. This involves the selection of suitable reactants, the experimental verification of relevant molecular properties in deflection and spectroscopy experiments, and the measurement of conformer specific reactivities. Moreover, detailed analysis requires some programming, simulations of the selection process, and some quantum-chemical calculations.

This project will require repeated travel to our collaborators at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

 A successful candidate will have a background in physical chemistry, molecular physics, or a related field.

 Science, 342, 98–101 (2013)
Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 133003 (2008)
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 4900 (2009)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jochen Küpper
Funding: HGF/DESY 

See for links and further information.


Scholarship for a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry / Chemical Physics 

within the Center of Molecular and Materials Modelling (CM3) at Hasselt University, under supervision by Prof. Dr. Michael S. Deleuze (awards by the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists and by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts), and in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Jeng-Da Chai (awards from the World Academy of Sciences and the International Society for Theoretical Chemical Physics) at the National Taiwan University. The scholarship is available for a period of 4 years. It consists of a first appointment of 2 years, followed by a prolongation of 2 years unless negative evaluation of the first period. The scholarship is subject to social security. Important computer facilities and a supporting international research environment are available for the candidate (for more information on our research activities, visit the website:

The candidate will prepare a PhD thesis within the framework of a project entitled “Quantum chemical study of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and graphene nanoislands using Density Functional Theory with fractional orbital occupations“, with financial support by the University of Hasselt. This project focuses on conceptual developments, code implementation within the quantum chemical Q-Chem 4.0 package of programs, quantitative parametrizations, testings and applications of a new quantum chemical method for studying the electronic structure, spin states, as well as the electric properties of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as molecular models of finite graphene nanoislands and extended graphene nanoribbons, taking care of multi-reference (static correlation) effects, of structural and topological defects, of spin-orbit coupling interactions, and of the increasing influence of the basis set with increasing system size.

Master (5 years) or equivalent diploma (bvb. DEA) in chemistry, physics, or materials sciences, or civil engineering in chemistry, physics, or materials sciences. Students who will complete their study this year can also apply.


  • Specific research interests and skills in theoretical and computational sciences.
  • Ability for team work and for solving computer problems.
  • Communication skills (both oral and written).
  • Fluency in English.
  • Strong research interests in general.
  • Skills in didactics.


Prof. Dr. Michael S. Deleuze, tel +, fax +,


You can only apply online via de web site of Hasselt University (; vacancy 145/35/021) and this by Monday 1st June 2015 at the latest.

Time-resolved x-ray spectroscopy, with laboratory and large scale x-ray sources  We develop and use time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy to probe site specific atoms in complex light activated molecular systems. Along the idea “seeing is believing” the goal is to trace  the electronic and structural changes with ultrafast time-resolved methods using optical and X-ray radiation to understand and finally optimize the function of the essential components. Beside large scale facilities like free electron Laser (FEL) we use a novel in-house developed table-top X-ray spectroscopy setup to explore the secrets of nature. In this setup a high power laser focused on a water jet produces a short (ps) ~30 Million degree hot plasma that emits broadband X-ray radiation. This radiation is analyzed with a novel cryogenic detection system developed by our partner NIST. We are part of a number of consortia and large collaborations with amble opportunity for international experience. Salary is according to EU standards for a full position. The perfect candidate has experience with a subset of the skills:  X-ray spectroscopy, Laser spectroscopy, Ultrafast spectroscopy, Data fitting with different tools, Programming in Python/C/Matlab/similar, Practical electronics, Photochemistry, Machining and construction of scientific apparatus, Inorganic and organic chemistry. Last day of application is the 28th of February 2015

Contact: Ass. Prof. Jens Uhlig Funding: Faculty See for links, further information and the official application.

Recent publication on the setup:
Uhlig, J. et al. Table-Top Ultrafast X-Ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometry for Molecular Structure. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 138302 (2013).

The structure function relationship is an important fundamental concept in the molecular sciences. In this project attosecond electron dynamics of complex molecules will be investigated for different structural isomers of complex molecules. In close collaboration with theory, this will provide a direct measurement of the structure-function relationship with respect to the electronic, i.e., chemical, properties of the molecules.

The early-stage researcher (ESR) will be an integral part of the MEDEA network and will be the driving force of the experiments to investigate conformer-specific attosecond dynamics in complex molecules. The work will be performed primarily at DESY/CFEL and in close collaboration with the network nodes at Politecnico di Milano and Aarhus University as well as the partner node in Heidelberg, which will provide theoretical support. Moreover, collaboration with as well as a secondment at the industrial partner Photek is foreseen.

The project does include significant outreach activities. This includes the teaching of high-school students by the ESR, using the Photonics Explorer toolkit provided by the network/EYEST.

A successful candidate will have a background in experimental physics or a related field. Salary is according to EU standards for a full position.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 133003 (2008)
Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 023001 (2009)
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 48, 4900 (2009)
arXiv:1409.2836 [physics] (2014)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jochen Küpper
Funding: EU ITN – Marie Curie Action MEDEA