National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

NUIG 214-19, 2 Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN Early Stage Researcher, Solar Energy Conversion to Chemicals, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway

National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway)

Galway, Ireland

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time, three-year fixed term position as a PhD student with the School of Chemistry at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

This position is funded by Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN programme and is available from 1st September 2020 to contract end date.


SOLAR2CHEM will train 15 early stage researchers to fill the existing gap in the European industrial landscape in the area of solar chemicals production and usage in technical, economic and policy aspects. The consortium is formed by 12 beneficiaries including 9 academic and 3 non-academic organisations plus 8 partner organisations to cover a full training programme on scientific, technical and personal development skills which will include secondments in current world leading countries (Japan, US, Australia) to gather the necessary knowledge and implement it in Europe.



Job Description:

The successful candidates will work under the supervision of Dr Pau Farràs within the ChemLight group ( to develop projects on metal oxide nanoparticles for water electrolysis, and the preparation and study of first row transition metal complexes for selective epoxidation of organic substrates. The candidates will be part of an European-wide network and will conduct two placements at leading organisations worldwide. The candidates will be enrolled in the PhD programme at NUIG and will take part in the training programme of SOLAR2CHEM.




We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic early stage researchers with a strong interest in solar energy conversion technologies with emphasis on chemistry and materials sciences. The successful applicant will:


  • ·         Complete a research proposal for the work package to contain research objectives, description of research, methodology, proposed completion timeframe, originality of contribution and societal impact.
  • ·         Develop a Personal Career Development Plan outlining training and support needs, and update this regularly based on training completed.
  • ·         Complete annual summaries of research findings for submission to the European Commission, publication on the SOLAR2CHEM website and dissemination to relevant stakeholders.
  • ·         Develop an Impact Action Plan to ensure the research achieves maximum societal impact and provide annual updates on steps taken to implement this plan.
  • ·         Disseminate and communicate the research findings to relevant stakeholders.
  • ·         Prepare regular research updates for the SOLAR2CHEM website and social media accounts.
  • ·         Participate in network-wide training events in the course of the project and complete any additional training required to successfully carry out the research proposal.
  • ·         Prepare a manuscript for submission as a PhD thesis at NUI Galway.
  • ·         Contribute to ongoing and related research projects in the ChemLight group
  • ·         Work with the PI in preparing funding proposals related to the ESR’s area of research.



Qualifications/Skills required:

Candidates will be required to meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria: (


Essential Requirements:

  • Must have had less than four years full-time equivalent research experience and must not have already obtained a PhD
  • Must not have resided in the (host country) Ireland for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the appointment.
  • Must fulfil the entrance requirements for the Structured PhD programme at NUI Galway. To be eligible for admission to the PhD programme, a candidate must normally have a high honours standard in a relevant academic discipline at primary degree level or equivalent
  • Excellent communications skills in English both written and verbal.
  • Ability to produce scientific outputs for publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Evidence of ability to work independently and collaboratively within an internationally diverse team.
  • Excellent online literature searching and retrieval skills & ability to research effectively on the Internet and navigate new sites.
  • Evidence of conducting qualitative and/ or quantitative research in real world settings.
  • Evidence of excellent organisation skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet competing priorities
  • Highly motivated, with excellent organisation skills and with strong attention to detail and quality.
  • Are willing to travel to attend secondments, training and academic events.


Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in nanomaterials synthesis
  • Familiar with the preparation and characterisation of organometallic complexes.
  • Programming skills



Salary: Remuneration is in line with EC rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN projects:



Start date: Position is available from 1st September 2020


Continuing Professional Development/Training:

Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.  


Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway


For information on moving to Ireland please see


Further information about the ChemLight group is available at Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to



NB: Gárda vetting is a requirement for this post



To Apply:

Applications should include the following documents:


  • A one-page letter motivating a) why you want to be part of SOLAR2CHEM; b) why are you applying for this specific position; c) why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position;

  • A list of three achievements in your life that you are proud of;  

  • A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, relevant other activities and coordinates of up to three referees; 

  • An academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education;

  • A copy of academic works such as papers or M.Sc. thesis; 

  • A high TOEFL (> 90 or 100) or IELTS (> 6.5 or 7) score certificate.


The documents should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Further information on the process can be found at


Please put reference number NUIG-214-19 in subject line of e-mail application.


Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Tuesday, 31st December 2019


Interviews to be held in Galway (Ireland) on 25-27th March 2020


We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post.


This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 861151


All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment


National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.


Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

NUIG 214-19, 2 Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN Early Stage Researcher, Solar Energy Conversion to Chemicals, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway