Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Early Stage Researcher (ESR9) position - Characterisation of Bimetallic Catalysts for hydrogen production under in situ / operando Process Conditions (MSCA-ITN BIKE Project)

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    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
    ChemistryHeterogeneous catalysis
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    20/07/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Germany › Karlsruhe
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


For the Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP), we are currently seeking to recruit, starting October 1st 2019, limited to 36 months, a

Early Stage Researcher (ESR9) position (f/m/d)

Characterisation of Bimetallic Catalysts for hydrogen production under in situ / operando Process Conditions (MSCA-ITN BIKE Project)


The Chair in Chemical Technology and Catalysis lead by Prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt (http://www.itcp.kit.edu/grunwaldt/english) at the Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP) and the Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT) focuses on advanced preparation, testing and in-depth material characterization for applications embracing green chemistry, emission reduction and the use of renewable resources. The group has a strong research profile in fundamental understanding of catalytic performance by using operando characterization and high-output testing. The group operates an own beamline at the synchrotron radiation source in Karlsruhe. Structure-activity relationships are derived based on state-of-the-art spatially and time resolved spectroscopic methods as well as advanced X-ray imaging techniques for studying the catalysts under realistic reaction conditions. The outcome leads to the rational design of more efficient catalysts for specific reactions and chemical processes.


The successful applicant will carry out European Union-funded research within the “BIKE: Bimetallic catalysts Knowledge-based development for Energy applications” Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (lTN) project (Grant agreement no. 813748), which offers unique doctoral training and research opportunities. The BIKE project will develop the next generation of bimetallic catalyst for green and blue hydrogen production. The programme will combine a range of complementary, multidisciplinary research expertise comprising: computational predictive modeling; operando characterization of catalysts; tunable, robust, and scalable preparative methods of bimetallic nanoparticles; catalyst testing and operation; and reactor/process design. The BIKE network comprises 10 member institutions and partner organisations, spanning both academia and industry, located in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In total, 14 ESRs will be recruited across the BIKE network and each will conduct research on a specific, but closely related research area. The ESRs will work in areas spanning heterogeneous catalysis, green chemistry, hydrogen economy, and materials and chemical sciences within a framework of highly specialized research groups from leading European academic and industrial laboratories. The network will provide outstanding inter-disciplinary training opportunities through hands-on research projects, international lab exchanges, industrial secondments, and specialist workshops and conferences. ESRs are generously funded with many opportunities for travel and networking.


This full-time, fixed-term ESR position will be based at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, under the supervision of Prof. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt (http://www.itcp.kit.edu/grunwaldt/english) and will involve research and study in the areas of:

  • Development of in situ / operando cells for catalyst characterization during blue and green hydrogen production processes, based on our wide experience for studying catalysts at work under demanding conditions
  • In situ / Operando catalyst characterization by complementary spectroscopic methods in-house including the synchrotron radiation source in Karlsruhe as well as at the large scale facilities such as ESRF (Grenoble), PETRA III (Hamburg), and SLS (Villigen)
  • Development of predictive computational modeling of bimetallic catalysts


The ESR will collaborate in research, attend joint training events, and contribute to workshops and conferences across the BIKE network. The post-holder will be expected to register to study for a PhD (3 years) as an integral part of this ESR position. More information on the project and the network can be found on the corresponding homepage (https://www.bike-msca.eu). The ESR will be provided with a generous stipend to cover their living costs and travel for the duration of the 3 years; tuition fees will be paid for this period. They will also receive funds to support their participation in the BIKE-ITN European-wide research and training events. The network ESR/PhD students will receive training primarily through their host institute with additional training provided by visits to other host institutes and industrial partners in the network.

We offer an attractive and modern workplace with access to excellent facilities of KIT, diverse and responsible tasks, a wide scope of advanced training options, supplementary pension with the VBL (Pension Authority for Employees in the Public Service Sector), flexible working time models, a job ticket (BW) allowance, and a cafeteria/canteen.


We prefer to balance the number of employees (f/m/d). Therefore, we kindly ask female applicants to apply for this job.

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.


Please apply online (http://www.pse.kit.edu/job/1077/2019) until July 20th, 2019 using the vacancy number 1077/2019 and reference number 8. Personnel support is provided by Mr. Münch, Personalservice, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Campus Süd, Kaiserstraße 12, 76131 Karlsruhe For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, phone +49 721/608-42120.

More Information


Salary range (gross): from 45.262,80 € (without family allowance) to 51.262,80 € (with family allowance) per year

The funding for this Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher position provides for a remuneration starting from 45.262,80 € (gross) per year. Actual salary will depend on employer deductions, personal circumstances and the exchange rate applicable to the fellowship (if not paid in Euros). This amount includes an annual living allowance and a mobility allowance (to cover the expenses associated with working in a different country).

Allowance eligibility depends on the personal circumstances of the ESR:

Living Allowance: total amount 38.062,8 € per year. This figure is inclusive of the country coefficient of 97%.

Mobility Allowance: total amount 7200 € per year.

Family allowance: total amount 6000 € per year (eligibility depends on supporting evidence that at the time the ESR position starts the ESR is married, in a partnership equivalent to marriage in the country it was formalized or have dependent children).

Eligibility criteria

There are strict eligibility and residency requirements that must be met. Applicants must be either European citizens (from EU Member States or Associated Countries, but not residents of Germany), or from Other Third Countries (i.e. USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, China, etc.).


At the time of recruitment (i.e. first date of employment/signature of the contract), the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have less than 4 years research experience (measured from the time their Master’s or equivalent awarded degree).
  • Not have a doctorate/PhD.
  • Be a national of any country other than the country of the premises of the host organization to which they are applying (unless they have legally resided outside that country for at least 3 out of the last 4 years).
  • Not have resided in the country of the recruiting host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date (and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country) – unless as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention.

Additional comments

Further details can be found on our website: www.kit.edu.

Offer Requirements

    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent
    Other: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
    GERMAN: Basic


The following qualifications are required seeking your consideration for this position:

  • Excellent or very good Master’s degree (MSc) or equivalent such as MChem or MSci (but not BSc) in chemistry, material science, physics or a related field
  • Excellent knowledge in physical and inorganic chemistry
  • Good organizational skills, independent and self-responsible working
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Good computational skills including use of Microsoft Office (or equivalent) for text and data manipulation.
  • Demonstrated ability and self-motivation in heterogeneous catalysis/materials synthesis and characterization, together with ability to think analytically and creatively


Desirable criteria:

  • Experience in physical, inorganic and technical chemistry, as well as in catalysis, including wide knowledge from physics to engineering, publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Expertise in catalyst characterization by modern spectroscopic techniques such X-ray absorption spectroscopy, Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy
  • Knowledge in steam reforming and aqueous phase reforming processes for hydrogen production, sustainable hydrogen production processes
  • Previous experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment


Required Language(s):

  • English – It is a requirement that applicants can demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficient for them to derive the full benefit from the network training, and to embark on a PhD at a German university.
  • A basic working knowledge and experience of German represents an advantage.

Specific Requirements

Application Procedure

The subject of the application email must contain the following information:

"Characterisation of Bimetallic Catalysts for hydrogen production under in situ / operando Process Conditions – MSCA-ITN BIKE Project (Grant agreement no. 813748)”.


The application email must be accompanied by the following documents:

i) A standard application letter of no more than 2 pages (written in English) signed by the applicant indicating their full name, date and place of birth, citizenship, postal address, and emaiI address. The letter should clearly indicate the applicant’s motivation for applying for this ESR position and describe their relevant experience. Additionally, the applicant must explicitly declare that they fulfil the eligibility criteria set out in article 3.4 of the H2020 Guide for Applicants Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Innovative Training Networks (ITN), see:


ii) Contact information (including email addresses) of TWO academic referees.

iii) A detailed CV (of no more than 3 pages) in English illustrating the candidate's educational background, a list of undergraduate exam results and degrees held (with grades/rankings); a list of publications, poster and oral presentations (if any); academic prizes or scholarships, etc.; and scientific experience and skills. The document must be signed by the applicant. A template CV, which can be found at https://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/documents/curriculum-vitae/templates-instructions/templates/doc must be used.

iv) Where relevant, a copy of Master’s thesis or equivalent (in pdf format) including a 1 page summary written in English.

v) Scanned copies of academic transcripts and degree certificates for the higher education qualifications held.

vi) Official translation in English and equivalence certificate of the Master’s degree or equivalent will be required at the point of contract signature.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / ITCP
Engesserstrasse 18 / 20

EURAXESS offer ID: 422781


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