KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC) is a research center which started in 2009 and is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. WWSC is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Chalmers, KTH and Linköping University striving for scientific excellence, and the overall aim is to develop new materials from trees. The mission of the center is to create knowledge and competence as a basis for eco-friendly materials for the future.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Biotechnology

Wood is a formidable composite material with unique biological functions and outstanding properties to be exploited in material applications. Hemicelluloses act as the ‘molecular glue’ interacting with cellulose and lignins, contributing to wood integrity and recalcitrance. The dynamics of hemicelluloses in hydrated form and the interactions with other wood polymers are still controversial. The research program will decipher the molecular structure of wood hemicelluloses and their effect on the interaction with cellulose surfaces and lignin. The effect of hydration and the surrounding environments on the conformation and aggregation will also be investigated. Fundamental understanding of the hemicellulose role in plant cell walls is important in all facets of the WWSC, from wood disintegration, enzyme activity and solubility, to controlled chemical modification processes and technical properties in advanced materials. To resolve these fundamental questions on the structure and function of hemicelluloses, the PhD candidate will integrate advanced molecular characterization by mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, molecular dynamic simulations, microscopy and scattering techniques. Studies in real wood samples will be compared with model biological systems. The applicant should have a Master’s degree in biotechnology, biochemistry, or chemical sciences and engineering. Previous knowledge/experience in the field of lignocellulose biomass, polysaccharide (bio)chemistry, and/or macromolecular/polymer science is an advantage.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization.
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe´s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • Membership in the graduate school WWSC Academy, where ca 60 PhD students have been educated over the last 10 years and afterwards found attractive jobs both in academia, start-ups and industry.

Eligibility

To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

Selection

In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

The applicant must be able to speak and write scientific English, and speak English fluently.

The applicant should have documented skills in summarizing research results in written and oral presentation.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.

Application

Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about Processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

 

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt överenskommelse
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2018-1960
Contact
  • Francisco Vilaplana, franvila@kth.se
Published 06.Dec.2018
Last application date 16.Jan.2019 11:59 PM CET

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