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Doctoral Research Associate Position (f/m/d) Chemistry
International Graduate School BACCARA - University of Münster
Public job advertisement
45,000 students and 8,000 employees in teaching, research and
administration, all working together to shape perspectives for the
future – that is the University of Münster (WWU). Embedded in the
vibrant atmosphere of Münster with its high standard of living, the
University’s diverse research profile and attractive study programmes
draw students and researchers throughout Germany and from around
The International Research School of
Battery Chemistry, Characterization,
Analysis, Recycling and Application (BACCARA),
which is funded by the
state of North Rhine-Westphalia and established at the University of
Münster, Germany, by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the
MEET Battery Research Center, is seeking to fill
12 Doctoral Research Associate Positions
(salary level TV-L E 13, 67%)
commencing on 01 October 2021 We are offering twelve part-time
positions (67%), fixed-term for 3 years.
These positions are tied to working towards a doctorate. The International
Graduate School „BACCARA“ offers a modern, comprehensive and
interdisciplinary training program that enables its doctoral students
to successfully carry out their research work while fostering personal
development, thus preparing them for future successful careers in
industry, administration/politics and academia.
Several scientists from the University of Münster have teamed up in
order to focus their complementary expertise on battery chemistry,
characterization, analysis, recycling and the applications for batteries
along the battery value chain. The interdisciplinary research activities,
from which you can choose a topic for your doctorate, are centred
on theory and modelling, material synthesis, catalysis, analysis and
characterization, battery cell, recycling, sustainability and life cycle
Theory and Modelling
Theoretical work is conducted on very different length- and timescales:
ab initio methods for the description of reaction processes,
for the determination of electrochemical stabilities and the optimization
of force fields; molecular dynamics simulations for improved
understanding of structural and kinetic processes in electrolytes
in particular also close to interfaces; machine learning concepts for
improved analysis of experimental and simulated data.
Within this research focus, new molecules and solid materials are
to be synthesized in a targeted manner in order to positively
influence key performance parameters such as internal resistance,
temperature windows, battery life and intrinsic cell safety. The
development of improved and sustainable synthesis pathways
is also an important element. Furthermore, surface chemistry
and physical properties play a decisive role in the establishment
and optimization of new cell chemistries and battery cell
production e.g. increased adhesion between the active material
and current collector foil, or better binding of binder molecules to
the surface of the active material particles.
In the field of lithium-ion batteries, catalysed reactions are
of particular interest. The time- and cost-intensive formation
step after assembly and during the first charge is essentially
based on a polymerization reaction of electrolyte constituents and
lasts from several hours to days. Polymer-based Solid State
Batteries (SSBs) represent a broad field of research for catalysis
research. Catalytic reactions for improved and sustainable
synthesis of polymer electrolytes are to be researched and
optimized within the framework of the research school. In addition,
the understanding of catalytic decomposition processes can lead
to an increase in the service life of materials and products, as well
as a reduction in risks.
Analysis and Characterization
Individual molecular and solid materials, as well as the complex
system „battery cell“, require a broad portfolio of methods
and proven experts for local and global material analysis in order
to characterize different interfaces and interphases and investigate
the micro- and nanostructures of pure substances and composites.
Reaction mechanisms and complex interactions in the overall
context of electrochemical systems have to be elucidated and,
as a result, targeted modifications have to be made so as to
improve stability and performance and continue to meet everincreasing
requirements. In addition, analytical investigations
provide valuable information about details of dynamic processes,
ion mobility and structure-property-performance relationships.
Finally, model materials, e.g. pure materials, single crystals, or thin
film electrodes allow mechanistic investigations that are difficult to
perform with complex materials and electrodes.
Battery Cell Technology
On the one hand, the battery cell serves as a technological
demonstrator for developed materials. All developments of the
previously described research disciplines converge in this
research area. They are thoroughly electrochemical with regard
to their interaction with the „battery cell“ system and subjected
to an in-depth post-mortem analysis (field of activity: „analysis
and characterization“) in order to elucidate reaction mechanisms
and damage patterns. These findings are reflected back to the
respective focal points and the materials are iteratively optimized.
On the other hand, the field of activity of “battery cells” is an
independent, highly interdisciplinary research subject. The battery
cell combines scientific and engineering challenges and represents
an interface technology where the complex interplay of mechanicalstructural,
chemical and morphological characteristics is investigated.
All developments in the fields of activity above converge in the
„battery cell“ research area.
Recycling, Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis
The successful and sustainable recycling of a battery cell begins
with the design of the materials and the manufacture of the
components. According to the so-called „Design for Recycling“
practice, innovative materials and processes are researched that
enable the use of materials and, in the best-case scenario,
individual components (e.g. electrodes) with minimal performance
losses. Life cycle analyses can also be used to develop processes
that enable the most energy-efficient separation and recovery of
the individual cell materials, either as components or as raw
materials. In addition, the findings are to be reflected in material
synthesis and the battery cell topic complex in order to pave the
way for the development of battery cells, constituent components
and materials that are as sustainable as possible.
Documented knowledge in one of the above-mentioned topics
An independent, structured approach to research work
High motivation, initiative and team spirit
Excellent command of the English language
German language skills are not required as we offer German courses
as part of the program
Advantages for you:
We will provide a structured 3-year, cutting-edge PhD training
program in and beyond the fields mentioned above. PhD students are
encouraged to choose their own field of research in close cooperation
with their supervisor. In addition, courses in electrochemistry and a
program of workshops, lectures and conferences, partly organized
by the students themselves, are part of the training provided. We
are offering a competitive, interdisciplinary environment with a track
record of intense collaboration. In addition to individual training
through research, our program includes further opportunities such as
an introduction to electrochemistry and battery technology, retreats,
international conferences and symposia.
The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and
is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics.
Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female
candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements
will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal
The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with
disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who have
equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions.
Please send the duly completed application form (available in the
Downloads Section at https://www.uni-muenster.de/Baccara), your
complete CV and a cover letter outlining your motivation (maximum 1
page) by e-mail, as a single PDF file, with the subject heading
“BAC-COH21-2” to Dr Kerstin Neuhaus email: firstname.lastname@example.org
before 13 June 2021. Please do not use any other mail address.