Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

The present project area lies within colloid and interface science, a sub-discipline of physical chemistry. Focusing on the interaction of nanomaterials with lipid membranes, the project also includes aspects of biology and biophysics.

Work duties

The purpose of the project is to elucidate mechanisms underlying oxidative degradation of key components in bacterial cell walls, notably phospholipids and lipopolysaccharides, as well as how this translates into antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects of photocatalytic nanomaterials. Addressing this, photocatalytic nanoparticles will be investigated regarding their effects on bacteria-mimicking phospholipid membranes and bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Scattering and surface chemistry techniques will be employed to investigate structural and compositional effects on exposure to photocatalytic nanoparticles in the absence and presence of illumination. The physicochemical results will be correlated to antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cell toxicity effects of the photocatalytic nanoparticles. In addition, loading the particles with antimicrobial peptides will be used to boost selectivity for bacterial cell walls. Through this, we aim to contribute to a mechanistic understanding of how photocatalytic nanoparticles can be designed to potently destabilize bacterial membranes without causing adverse effects, e.g., related to oxidative destabilization of human cell membranes or release of inflammatory lipopolysaccharide fragments.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in physical chemistry and the project focus area if he or she has: 

  • Obtained a relevant Master´s degree prior to the starting date
  • The ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Drive and ability to travel for performing experiments at collaborators and large-scale facilities.
  • Additional requirements:
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

The ideal candidate for this project has hands-on experience with research within colloid and interface science, and a background in surface chemistry, physical chemistry, or biophysics. Experience with surface chemistry methodologies for investigating self-assembly systems (SAXS) and biological systems at interfaces (QCM-d, ATR-IR, neutron reflectometry, ellipsometry) is an advantage.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study. 
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. 
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD programme, 
  • Relevant work experience,
  • Previous publications, 
  • The grade point average achieved, 
  • Other professional activities and achievements,
  • Language skills.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment 
Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at the Faculty of Science consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2022-04-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/493
  • Martin Malmsten, +45 31 49 92 03
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
Published 25.Feb.2022
Last application date 29.Mar.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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