Lunds universitet, LTH, Kemiska institutionen (LTH)

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.

Description of the workplace

This project is a collaboration between Prof Karen Edler (Lund University), Dr Tom Arnold (ESS), Prof Bridget Murphy (Kiel, Germany) and Dr Chen Shen (DESY, Hamburg, Germany).

The Edler research group in the Centre for Analysis and Synthesis (CAS) aims to understand self-organisation in a range of materials primarily using scattering techniques. This project will explore surfactant assembly at the interfaces of deep eutectic solvent solutions using neutron and X-ray reflectivity and will primarily focus on the design and build of an automated sample changer to facilitate these experiments. The sample changer will be designed to be used at the FREIA instrument at the ESS neutron source, and to be compatible with the X-ray reflectivity beamline at the DESY synchrotron.


Subject description

This project will study amphiphiles at the air-solution interface in deep eutectic solvents to better understand emulsification and gelation in these novel green solvents. We will use neutron and X-ray reflectivity to characterise the interfaces in these systems as well as measurements of surface tension, interfacial rheology, emulsification tests and studies of the solid-liquid interface using QCM-D.

To facilitate the neutron reflectivity experiments on these systems, we aim to automate sample preparation, to improve reproducibility, especially of small volume samples. Therefore, this postdoc will also take part in the design and build of an automated/robotic sample changer for free-liquid sample environments and contribute towards enhanced software and reproducible data processing of high-throughput and time resolved studies.


Work duties

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral position is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position includes the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning. The purpose of the position is to develop the independence as a researcher and to create the opportunity of further development.

You will develop and test dispensing technology for viscous DES/amphiphile solutions, contribute to the design of the complete sample changing system, coordinate this work with ESS & DESY, participate in neutron and X-ray experiments and will take the primary responsibility for investigating amphiphile-DES systems. You will work in the Edler group labs in CAS, at Lund University but will also spend a substantial amount of time working at the ESS, with the technical team and Dr Arnold, to assist with building and installing the robotic sample changer on FREIA. Travel to Germany to work with our collaborators at DESY and in Kiel, as well as to attend neutron and synchrotron X-ray reflectivity experiments at the ILL, ISIS, Diamond and ESRF will also be required.

Work duties will include:

  • Assisting with the technical design and construction of a robotic/automatic sample changer for neutron reflectivity on open liquid samples.
  • Research on amphiphile self-assembly in deep eutectic solvents
  • Travel to neutron and synchrotron x-ray facilities to carry out neutron /X-ray reflectivity experiments.
  • Travel to Kiel and Hamburg for project meetings and to work with our collaborators on this project.
  • Teaching in the first, second and third cycles of studies.
  • Supervision of degree projects and doctoral students.
  • Actively seeking beamtime and external research funding.
  • Administration related to the work duties listed above.


Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position. The certificate proving the qualification requirement is met, must be received before the employment decision is made. Priority will be given to candidates who have graduated no more than three years ago before the last day for application. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.


  • PhD in materials, physical chemistry or related subjects including some background in chemical characterisation and safe working in a laboratory setting is required.
  • Experience with and understanding of techniques to study amphiphile solutions at interfaces, such as X-ray and neutron reflectivity, ellipsometry, QCM-D is required.
  • Proficiency in using suitable software for X-ray or neutron reflectivity data analysis is required.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Additional requirements:

  • Experience of working with deep eutectic solvents and/or ionic liquids is desirable.
  • Programming skills, particularly in Python, or any experience with motion control would be advantageous.
  • Experience in building or maintaining complex scientific equipment, particularly for X-ray or neutron scattering/reflectivity is desirable.
  • Ability to prepare research proposals, to conduct individual research work and to disseminate results by publication or presentations.
  • Ability to organise and prioritise own workload to meet required deadlines.


Assessment criteria

This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers. Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Demonstrated potential to publish in high quality, peer reviewed journals.
  • Teaching skills.

Other qualifications:

  • Experience in collecting X-ray and/or neutron scattering (particularly reflectometry) data and in using modelling techniques and software to analyse scattering data.
  • Experience in design and build of complex scientific equipment, particularly including motion control.
  • Experience in working with deep eutectic solvents or other viscous colloidal solutions.
  • Strong proficiency in spoken and written English.

Consideration will also be given to how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.


We offer

Lund University is a state authority, which means you get special benefits, generous holidays and a favorable occupational pension. 

Read more on the university's website about working with us.


Further information

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 3 years. Start date 2024-03-31 or as agree. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”).


How to apply

Applications are to be submitted via the University’s recruitment system. Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and how the research project corresponds to your interests and research background,
  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate or equivalent,
  • any other document to which you would like to draw attention (copies of grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.)  

Welcome to apply!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-03-31 or as agreed
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/419
  • Karen Edler,
  • Erik Andersson Jardby, erik.andersson_jardby@kilu.
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 13.Feb.2024
Last application date 12.Mar.2024 11:59 PM CET

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