PhD Research Fellow in Materials Science - Zero emission aluminium production

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 19 Dec 2022

19th December 2022

  • English


The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has a vacancy for a

PhD Research Fellow in Materials Science - Zero emission aluminium production
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About the job

A PhD research fellow position in materials for a new zero emission aluminium production process is available. The PhD candidate will be part of our team at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at NTNU, and work on the ZEAL research project financed by The Research Council of Norway and Hydro.

The ZEAL project is a part of Hydro’s development path for HalZero – zero-emission electrolysis process which is an important part of Hydro's climate strategy to create a sustainable aluminum process for the future.  The HalZero process is based on aluminium chloride electrolysis with CO2 capture and recycling as an integrated part of the process. In the ZEAL project, four PhD candidates at Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering will work closely together on different topics related to the new process in collaboration with their supervisors, Hydro and SINTEF .

This PhD candidate will focus on the materials for the new process. The PhD candidate will learn to develop and characterize materials for harsh conditions, determine reactivity, stability, and suitability of materials for the new process. For the position as a PhD candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. Additional information about the research group can be found here .

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will through experimental studies and thermodynamic calculations participate in the development of reliable and long-life materials for the HalZero process together with the ZEAL team. The PhD student will plan and conduct experiments according to the project objectives with support from the supervisors and the team. The experimental work includes testing of material candidates at relevant conditions in the production process and characterisation of the materials using advanced methodology. The results of the project are expected to be published in scientific journals and at conferences as well as presented to research partners in the ZEAL project.

Required selection criteria
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in materials science and engineering or inorganic chemistry, including thermodynamics and materials chemistry
  • You must be familiar with materials characterisation techniques, e.g., X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program in Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Chemistry or equivalent, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master students who expect to complete their studies by summer 2023 are encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the Master's degree is finished.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty of Natural Sciences doctoral program
  • You must be able to communicate fluently in English and have good communication skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

A strong background and hands-on experience in high-temperature materials chemistry and thermodynamic calculations is desired. In addition, the ideal candidate has a strong background in materials science and a good understanding of running complex experiments. Knowledge of a Scandinavian language is considered as a plus.

Personal characteristics

The candidate should:

  • be creative and innovative
  • take responsibility for own progress and can work independently
  • be able to collaborate closely with other members of the research team
  • be diligent and able to show initiative on behalf of own work
  • be structured, targeted and solution-oriented
  • have personal skills like a positive and friendly attitude and contributing to a sustainable social environment

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years (which can be extended to 4 years with teaching duties).

Starting date: 01.08.23
Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Materials Science and Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.


The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants , and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or Norwegian.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • A cover letter describing the personal motivation, summarising scientific work, and how the applicant sees her/his background suitable
  • A draft research proposal (1 or 2 pages) for the PhD study, presenting ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of three referees.
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work.
  • Documentation of English language proficiency.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.


The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.


As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Mari-Ann Einarsrud, telephone +4748136521, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Marie Kristiansen, email:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  Please refer to the application number NVD-381/22 when applying.

Application deadline: 19.12.2022.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.


Department of Materials Science and Engineering  

We are Norway's leading educational and research environment in materials engineering, materials chemistry and materials science.  In collaboration with business and industry, we are a driving force for the development of innovative materials as well as new applications and manufacturing processes.  Activities in our disciplines are vital for the green shift. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences .

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19th December 2022


NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




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