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A 3-year PhD scholarship in synthetic inorganic chemistry is available at the Department of Chemistry, starting from May 1st, 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter. The project will be supervised by Assistant Professor Martin Nielsen and is funded by the VILLUM Foundation Young Investigator Programme. The successful candidate will join a young and ambitious, international research team, which is a part of the Organic and Inorganic Chemistry section at DTU Chemistry.


The research in the Nielsen group is focused on designing and synthesizing inorganic coordination complexes, for homogeneous organometallic catalysis in the broad field of sustainable chemistry.


This involves:

  • Inorganic syntheses of novel coordination complexes
  • In-depth structural and property characterizations of all new compounds
  • Testing and optimizing for catalytic activity

We study reactions relevant to e.g. bio feedstock valorisation and chemical hydrogen storage applications.


Responsibilities and tasks

You will be involved in all facets of the research towards developing new and efficient organometallic catalysts, for bio feedstock valorisation and chemical hydrogen storage applications.


In cooperation with Assistant Professor Martin Nielsen and his research group, your responsibilities and learning objectives will include e.g:

  • Research:
    • Rationally designing, synthesising, and in-depth characterizing novel coordination complexes.
    • Testing for catalytic activity in a range of chemical transformations relevant to sustainable chemistry.
    • Optimizing systems that show catalytic activity.
  • Management:
    • Planning and following up on your research projects.
    • Compiling and storing your scientific data in accordance with the FAIR Data principles.
  • Dissemination & communication:
    • Participating in international conferences.
    • Composing academic scientific manuscripts for publications.
    • Planning and taking part of active public outreach.
  • Mentoring & Teaching:
    • Daily mentoring of assigned student(s) of the Nielsen group.
    • Providing excellent teaching.


The successful candidate should have a Master’s degree in chemistry with a focus on synthetic inorganic chemistry or organometallic catalysis. Experience working with spectroscopy (e.g. NMR, FT-IR, X-ray crystallography) and chromatography analysis (e.g. HPLC, GC-TCD, LC-MS) is an advantage.


The successful candidate should thrive in a highly ambitious research group that aims to establish new research fields, and thus is prepared to take greater scientific risks than the general trend is in academia.


The successful candidate should be highly motivated, eager to seek and share knowledge, able to work independently in a dynamic group environment, and should be confident in both written and spoken English.


The applicant should strive towards scientific excellence, be ambitious and hard working. Only applicants who seek to be among the very brightest in their field and do science at the highest international level will be considered. 


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.


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 Assistant Professor Martin Nielsen, tel.: +45 2465 1045, e-mail:, or Head or Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Section, Professor Jens Øllgaard Duus, e-mail:


You can read more about DTU Chemistry at



Please submit your online application no later than 18 January 2019 (local time). 


To apply, please open the link "Apply online", and fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • A letter of motivation (cover letter)
  • Research plan (maximum 2 pages including graphics and references)
  • Curriculum vitae (including a list of publications and presentations, if any)
  • 2-3 recommendation letters or academic referees contact details
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Bachelor and/or MSc thesis

Please include ALL the bullet points as well as following their order.


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


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


DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.