PhD position in Rational Catalyst Design - Aalto University, Finland

A PhD position is available in the Surfaces and Interfaces at the Nanoscale (SIN) group ( led by Prof. Adam Foster at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. The project is part of the H2020-NMP research project ”Towards Replacement of Critical Catalyst Materials by Rational Design of Novel Transition Metal Nanoparticles (CritCat)”, coordinated by Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and including a consortium of European universities, research organizations, and companies.

The H2020 project aims to provide solutions for the substitution of critical metals, especially rare platinum group metals (PGMs), used in heterogeneous and electrochemical catalysis. The successful candidate will be involved in linking DFT simulations of bimetallic transition metal clusters on supports and gas-phase reactions to materials screening activities via machine learning methodologies. The work will involve close collaboration with other theory colleagues in Aalto and TUT, and a modelling software company in London.

The SIN group is part of the Centre of Excellence for Computational Nanoscience (COMP) at Aalto ( The centre consists of over 100 researchers, forming nine focused research groups. COMP’s research strategy is based on the development and application of advanced theoretical and computational methods for condensed-matter and materials physics and chemistry, especially in nanosciences and nanotechnology.


The successful candidate will have an applicable master’s degree, and demonstration of excellence in several of the areas relevant for the position (e.g. physics, computing, chemistry). Experience of computational physics simulations and scientific programming are also desirable. The candidate must have a high motivation for research, show evidence of good written and oral communication skills in English, and enjoy working in an international and cross-disciplinary team. The standard contract periods are 4 years for PhD students. Typical gross salary ranges at the Aalto School of Science are 2300-2900 €/month for PhD students. Full social benefits are included.


The call is open and the position can be filled as soon as a proper candidate is found – the starting date should be around June 2016, but is fairly flexible. The deadline for the first round of applications is March 25th 2016.

Application (in English) should consist of

• Application letter
• Scientific CV
• Names and contact details of two referees
• Transcripts of studies.

Inquiries can be sent to but please apply through the link at the bottom of this page.

Aalto University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity

Application details

March 7, 2016
Application deadline:
March 25, 2016

Apply here

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