Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

Our planet has more organic carbon in its fragile soil layers than all the carbon on land and atmosphere combined. The Department of Chemistry are now hiring a PhD student to research the molecular interactions between natural organic molecules and mineral surfaces, using both molecular simulations and experiments.

About the project
Improving our understanding of the contributions of mineral surfaces to overall organic C input, fertility and stabilization – at the molecular scale – is needed since climate change, water shortage, soil degradation and food insecurity are critical environmental challenges for present and future generations on this planet. This project therefor aims to improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes between different organic molecules and sheet silicate mineral surfaces – on the molecular scale.

Working tasks
The PhD candidate will be a member of a molecular geochemistry group ( and perform research using in particular molecular dynamics simulations on so-called supercomputers such as the Kebnekaise computer at HPC2N/SNIC. To complement the theoretical simulations efforts different experiments using various diffraction, spectroscopic and electron imaging techniques will also be used in the project.

The PhD candidate will thus acquire a unique skillset with both high-performance computing using MD simulations of both organic and inorganic systems, as well as expertise in using modern experimental chemical and surface characterisation methods.

To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level you are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in chemistry, you are required to have completed first-cycle courses of at least 90 ECTS credits within the field of chemistry or another subject considered to be directly relevant to the specialization in question. Of those 90 ECTS credits, at least 15 ECTS credits shall have been acquired at second-cycle level within the specialization or an equivalent subject.

Good knowledge of the English language, both written and spoken is required. Experience of programming in MATLAB, python or similar is considered as merit. You have a genuine interest in environmental- and/or geochemistry. It is important that you enjoy working both independently and have good collaboration skills. Furthermore, you are a creative person with a high problem-solving analytical ability.

Terms of employment
The appointment aims at a PhD degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies, which includes participation in research projects as well as postgraduate courses. In the assignments, teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to the equivalent of four years full-time or up to five years when part-time teaching. The salary placement takes place according to the established salary level for doctoral employment.

A complete application, written in English or Swedish, should contain a Curriculum Vitae, a cover letter including a description of your research interests and motivation for applying for this position, verified copies of degree certificates or equivalent, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades, name and contact information of at least two reference persons.

Applications must be submitted via our e-recruitment system. The last day to apply is May 14th, 2021.

For more information please contact (preferably by email) Associate Professor Michael Holmboe, +46 90 786 68 61,

About us
The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest departments within the Faculty of Science and Technology with approximately 200 employees, of which approximately 40 doctoral students, and a strong and expanding research. The Department has three major research areas: Biological Chemistry, Environmental and Biogeochemistry, and Technical Chemistry. We are also a strong partner in the KBC, Chemical-Biological Center. Information about the postgraduate education can be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology website: For more information about working at Umeå University,

We welcome your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment As soon as possible or by agreement
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-631-21
  • Michael Holmboe, 090-7865248
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 22.Apr.2021
Last application date 14.May.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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