PhD Position in Electrochemistry / Physical Chemistry

The recently founded "Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies" (HI ERN) is as IEK-11 a part of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The institute works in close collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The collaboration between the partners is focussed on the research areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy and solar fuels, as well as for hydrogen technologies, therefore covering novel approaches for conversion and storage of CO2 neutral energy.

The successful candidate will be part of the Electrocatalyst Stability group led by Dr. Serhiy Cherevko of Electrocatalysis research unit of the HI ERN. Our research interests are primarily in the field of electrochemical stability of materials used in electrochemical energy conversion, i.e. fuel cells and water electrolysis, and photoelectrochemistry. We focus on understanding the complex interplays between materials properties and electrochemical environment and their influences on materials degradation, in both fundamental and applied research. Together with other groups in the Electrocatalysis unit, we benefit from utilization of internationally unique material and process characterization methods which are based on the sophisticated coupling of novel electrochemical techniques with online analytical tools. Thereby the aim is to significantly contribute to the development of electrochemical energy conversion as a future key player for electromobility and the energy policy in general.

We are offering a

PhD Position in Electrochemistry / Physical Chemistry

Activities and responsibilities

Your Job:
The available PhD position is related to our research in the area of platinum fuel cell electrocatalyst degradation. Your tasks include the following:
  • Further development of the existing electrochemical / massspectrometry setup to enable measurements on Pt single crystals
  • Electrochemical measurements of Pt single crystals oxidation and dissolution
  • Planning and execution of experiments
  • Collaboration with project partners involved in in-situ electrochemical X-ray synchrotron measurements
  • Assisting non-electrochemist partners with electrochemical measurements
  • Analysis and communication of the obtained experimental data
  • Writing papers and presenting the results in conferences
  • Representing of the institute in project meetings

Qualification profile

Your Profile:
  • Excellent university degree in Chemistry / Physics / Material Science or a relevant discipline
  • Previous experience in electrochemistry and one (or more) of the following is desirable: electrochemistry at single crystal electrodes, fundamental research in fuel cells, coupled electrochemical/non-electrochemical techniques
  • Strong interest in pursuing research in a multidisciplinary project related to platinum oxidation and dissolution in fuel cell relevant conditions and electrocatalysis in general
  • High motivation for pursuing a PhD within 3 years
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to show initiative and work independently
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English


Our Offer:
  • A lively scientific environment within the institute and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and numerous partners in Germany and abroad
  • An excellent international environment to perform sound, high-quality research at the international level
  • Daily, hands-on experience in worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • Active participation in project meetings, as well as on national and international conferences to present the results and to develop further competences
  • Interaction and cooperation with world-leading industrial partners
  • Strong support and mentoring for setting up a future career in science and/or the industry
  • A comprehensive further training programme
  • Various opportunities to reconcile work and private life
  • Limited for 3 years with possible longer-term prospects
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the applicant's qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks, salary grade 13 (75%) TVöD-Bund
Place of employment: Erlangen

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably via our online recruitment system on our career site until 27.03.2019, quoting the reference number 2019-078.

Questions about the vacancy?
Contact us by mentioning the reference
number 2019-078:
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we cannot accept applications via

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: 2019-078

About Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Das Forschungszentrum Jülich leistet als Mitglied der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft wirksame Beiträge zur Lösung großer gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen in den Bereichen Information, Energie und Bioökonomie. Es bearbeitet vielfältige Aufgaben im Forschungsmanagement und nutzt große, oft einzigartige wissenschaftliche Infrastrukturen. Arbeiten Sie zusammen mit rund 5.900 Kolleginnen und Kollegen...

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