University of Bergen (UIB)

PhD position in homogeneous catalysis

University of Bergen (UIB)

Bergen, Norway

PhD position in homogeneous catalysis

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PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD position in homogeneous catalysis at the Department of Chemistry. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department). The position is funded by the University of Bergen.

About the project/work tasks:

The research group develops catalysts for environmentally friendly and economically viable removal of the oxygen functionalities of lignin-derived bio-oil to give biofuel. In the PhD project, oxygen will be removed as water by transferring hydrogen from an organic donor molecule. Transfer hydrogenation has the potential to perform the oxygen removal selectively and we will develop catalysts for this purpose. In general, the research group designs catalysts with the help of mechanistic insight and predictions from quantum chemical calculations, and the catalysts are subsequently synthesized and tested in the group’s own laboratory.

We are primarily seeking a PhD student with the right background and motivation for both computational and experimental work. In other words, such a candidate would both predict, computationally, new catalysts and follow up the most promising predictions with synthesis and testing. In case no candidate with a strong dual background and motivation is available, candidates with experimentally oriented background and interests will be considered for an experiment-only PhD project. We will then seek to have the predictive computations performed by other group members. A more detailed description of the position is available.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or the equivalent in chemistry, or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • Candidates should have a solid background in organometallic chemistry in general, with emphasis on synthetic aspects. However, candidates whose experience from synthesis is limited to organic compounds only, may also be considered.
  • Experience with standard structural characterization techniques such as NMR and MS is required.
  • Experience with other characterization techniques such as IR, GC, GC-MS, and elemental analysis is an advantage.
  • Candidates who apply for the position to do a combined computational/experimental PhD project (as described above) should additionally document knowledge of quantum chemical methods (e.g., coursework on quantum chemical theory) and/or experience with applied quantum chemistry.
  • Applicants must have well-developed critical thinking and writing skills
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential for scientific career will also be considered and given substantial weight.

About the PhD position (applies to university PhD positions):

About the PhD position: The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed across the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department, and will be decided upon appointment.

The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

About the research training: As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within two months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer:

  • a good and professionally challenging working environment
  • salary at pay grade 54 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 10) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 479 600,-. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • a brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master’s thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or official confirmation that the master’s thesis has been submitted
  • relevant certificates/references
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

General information:

For further details about the position, please contact
Prof. Vidar R. Jensen, Department of Chemistry,
phone +47-55583489 / e-mail:

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. We therefore strive to achieve age and gender balance among employees. It is also a goal to recruit candidates with immigrant backgrounds.People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.


Life as a PhD candidate at UiB

Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

About The University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad. 

There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments. 

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