Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

PhD scholarship in Homogeneous Catalysis

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

A 3-year PhD fellowship is available in homogeneous catalysis at the Department of Chemistry, DTU from September 1, 2020 or soon thereafter. The fellowship is funded by an alliance research project grant from the Technical University of Denmark

The project involves a collaboration between KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Technical University of Denmark. The aim is to elucidate the mechanisms for new (de)hydrogenation reactions catalysed by first-row transition metal complexes with tetradentate ligands. The work will include experimental investigations at DTU and theoretical studies at KTH. The ultimate goal is to develop sufficiently accurate theoretical models, which will make it possible to design improved catalyst complexes in silico and in this way determine the optimum ligand structures.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student will spend 2 years at DTU and 1 year at KTH. At DTU, the student will perform kinetic experiments with labelled substrates to elucidate the rate-determining steps and spectroscopic measurements to identify catalyst intermediates. At KTH, the student will carry out DFT calculations to determine Gibbs free energies for intermediates and transition states to determine the most viable catalytic cycles. The calculated pathways will correlated with the experimental data and will be used to design improved catalyst structures, which will be prepared and tested experimentally at DTU.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Mårten Ahlquist (KTH) and Professor Robert Madsen (DTU).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Robert Madsen, tel.: +45 4525 2151, e-mail:

You can read more about the Department of Chemistry at

Please submit your online application no later than 1 August 2020 (23:59 local time). Apply at

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.