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Advertising division: IEK-11 - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
Reference number: 2021D-191

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Would you like to contribute to the energy transition in Germany through your work? Then the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (for Renewable Energy) (HI ERN) is the right place for you! The HI ERN forms the core of the close partnership between Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy, and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg at the Erlangen site. The collaboration relates to the areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy systems and hydrogen as a storage and carrier medium for CO2-neutral energy. Support us researching and developing solutions for the climate-neutral, sustainable, and cost-effective utilization of renewable energies. For more information on HI ERN and its main research areas, please visit https://www.hi-ern.de

We are offering a

PhD Position - Heterogeneous Catalysis for Electrocatalytic Valorization of Biomass-Derived Feedstock

Your Job:

You will be part of the Electrocatalysis research department (https://www.hi-ern.de/hi-ern/Electrocatalysis), which research area is an investigation of fundamental aspects of the electrolyte-electrode interface during applied processes of conversion of electrical to chemical energy. Our aims are to develop an efficient methodology for the electrochemical transformation of readily available feedstock (bio-mass) to value-added or fuel products. Besides commonly used offline analytical methods, in the department of Electrocatalysis, a unique platform for online (real-time) analysis of electrochemical processes is developed, proving to be a powerful analytical support for the conducted research. Your tasks in detail:

  • Design, synthesis, and characterization of catalytic materials
  • Utilization of the obtained materials as electrocatalysts
  • Validation of online and offline analytical methods
  • Analysis of the activity, selectivity, and stability of electrocatalysts
  • Scientific discourse of the obtained experimental data
  • Writing papers and presenting the results in conferences
  • Representation of the institute in project meetings
  • Collaboration with partners within HI ERN and outside

Your Profile:

  • Excellent master’s degree in Chemistry, Material science, Chemical engineering, or a comparable discipline
  • Experience in material science, organic chemistry and desirable knowledge of basic electrochemical methods
  • Exceptional organizational skills, ability to show initiative and work independently
  • Outstanding cooperation and communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English
  • Strong motivation for pursuing a PhD within three years in a multidisciplinary project related to the investigation of electrode-electrolyte interfaces

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • A vibrant scientific environment within the institute and opportunities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Research Centre Jülich, the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen and numerous partners in Germany and abroad
  • An excellent international environment for in-depth, high-quality research at an international level and daily, practical experience with electrochemical characterisation techniques that are unique worldwide
  • Active participation in project meetings, as well as national and international conferences for presentation of results and further development of competences
  • Interaction and cooperation with world-leading industrial partners and strong support and mentoring to build a future career in academia and/or industry
  • A comprehensive professional development programme
  • 30 days of annual leave
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service


The position is initially for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75 % of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“).

Place of employment: Erlangen

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.
We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Additional Information

We look forward to receiving your application until 20.12.2021 via our
Online-Recruitment-System!

Questions about the vacancy?
Get in touch with us by using our contact form.
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.