PhD student in Materials Chemistry

at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry. Closing date: 5 November 2019.

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences with about 150 employees. The teaching focuses on general chemistry, inorganic, material chemistry and analytical chemistry. Research activities of MMK in the areas of Materials and Solid-State Chemistry focus on different classes of materials; e.g. ceramics and glasses, self-assembled and porous materials, and soft matter. The work often encompasses synthesis, characterization by X-ray and neutron diffraction and electron microscopy, NMR studies, modelling with computer simulations of materials with a potential for various applications. Research activities of MMK in the areas of Analytical Chemistry mainly focuses on developing advanced analytical techniques and methods for determination of organic compounds and biomolecules. This includes the whole Analytical Chain from sampling and clean-up, to chromatography, mass spectrometry and data analysis. Environmental aspects are also an important part of the research activities.

Project description
Project title: Using Ionic Liquids as Neoteric Crystallization Media.

Supervisor: Professor Anja-Verena Mudring, anja-verena.mudring@mmk.su.se.

Ensuring good health and well-being, which is one of the central UN global sustainable development goals, requires potent drugs for the treatment of diseases. A critical step in drug development is its formulation, which involves crystallization of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Most APIs are able to adopt in different solid forms (polymorphs). Each of the forms has its own bioavailability, hence, effectiveness to act as a drug. For that reason, each new form has to receive regulatory approval, but also can be patented individually. Using ionic liquids (ILs, room temperature molten salts which result through a combination of large organic cations and anions) instead of conventional solvents opens completely new opportunities for influencing the crystallization process. Supramolecular interactions between the IL and the API lead to changes in the free energy barriers of crystallization, which determine which polymorph forms.

Understanding how an IL interacts with an API in the crystallization process is the key for the deliberate engineering of an IL for robust and reliable crystallization of the most potent API form. The research tasks include the study of crystallization of APIs from various ionic liquids using. For this, thermal analysis and vibrational spectroscopy will be used. A special emphasis will be on the employment of advanced X-ray diffraction techniques, such as in-situ powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction. These experiments will be carried out in-house as well as large scale facilities such as MAXIV (www.maxiv.lu.se). The project is situated at the interface of materials science and solid state chemistry.

The successful candidate will become part of an international interdisciplinary working research team. Research activities of the Physical Materials Chemistry group, led by Prof. Dr. Anja-Verena Mudring, focus on the exploration of different materials for a sustainable society (for energy conversion and storage, for energy efficient lighting, magnetic refrigeration, catalysis and human health). The activities range from materials design, environmentally benign synthesis and processing as well as advanced characterization and modeling. For more information see www.mudring.org.

The successful candidate should have a background in chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, crystallography or a related subject. The project involves crystallization and crystal growth studies, the application of several characterization methods, such as NMR, MS, vibrational spectroscopy thermal analysis as well as X-ray diffraction techniques. The opportunity to apply computational modelling to the project tasks will be given. Experience in those methods is beneficial, although not strictly required.

Qualification requirements
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.

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 are guaranteed for full time studies during the time period agreed on in the individual study plan. The studies does 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 employment
Only 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 Professor Anja-Verena Mudring, telephone: +46 8 16 12 52, anja-verena.mudring@mmk.su.se. For general information about the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, please contact the Head of the Department, Professor Gunnar Svensson, gunnar.svensson@mmk.su.se.

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, saco@saco.su.se, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, alejandra@st.su.seseko@seko.su.se (SEKO), and PhD student representative, doktorandombud@sus.su.se.

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 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – 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: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

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PhD student in Materials Chemistry



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