Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry (Nfak)

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

Physical Chemistry involves research relating to molecular issues. The experimental and theoretical methods used often originate from physics. The emphasis in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry is on research, both experimental and theoretical, within surface and colloidal chemistry and with a special focus on self-aggregating systems. The systems studied include tensides, polymers and biomolecules.

Bile salt surfactants and oppositely charged polymers interact strongly in water, leading to a spontaneous co-association and the formation of mixed aggregates with an unique supramolecular and chiral structure. The research project is expected to provide fundamental understanding on the intermolecular interaction in polymer-bile salt systems. It aims specifically to understand how external stimuli and the physical and chemical properties of the constituents influence the formation, structure and chiral properties of the mixed aggregates. The overall aim with the research is to identify new bile salt sequestrants, which are used in the treatment of bile salt related diseases and hypercholesterolemia, and new drug carriers.

Work duties

The PhD position is placed at the Division of Physical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science ( Supervisor for the PhD position will be Prof. Karin Schillén.

The research project involves experimental studies of the co-association in different polymer-bile salt systems. Part of the research will be carried out at a national state-of-the-art infrastructure for electron microscopy, nCHREM (, where instrumentation is included for cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and tomography. The studies also include the use of other state-of-the-art techniques, such as light-, X-ray and neutron scattering, calorimetry, circular dichroism spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The project will be carried out within an international research collaboration.

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 include teaching, and other departmental duties, e.g., instrument responsibilities (light scattering instruments) (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

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

  • 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 if the applicant has:

  • A minimum of 120 credits are to derive from chemistry courses, of which at least 30 credits from a second-cycle degree project in the chosen specialisation or closely related specialisations. The specific entry requirements can also be fulfilled through an equivalent programme. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Completed courses in Surface and Colloid Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, or equivalent.
  • Good knowledge and practical skills in one or several of the following experimental techniques: light, X-ray and neutron scattering, advanced microscopy.

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:

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

Other assessment criteria:

  • The ability to work in the laboratory will be essential, and experience in experimental work is meritorious, especially experience of experimental studies of self-assembling or co-assembling systems of polymers and/or surfactants is a big advantage.
  • Experience in different calorimetry methods.
  • Being able to quickly assimilate new techniques and knowledge is an advantage.

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. The research project will be carried out in close collaboration with international researchers.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. 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.).

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies.

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment As agreed
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/1043
  • Karin Schillén,, +46462221439
  • Erik Andersson Jardby,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 04.Apr.2024
Last application date 31.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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