PhD scholarship in polymer electrolyte membranes for water electrolysis

Updated: about 1 month ago

The Section of Electrochemistry at DTU Energy carries out research on electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies, such as fuel cells, electrolysis cells, flow batteries, and novel types of electrochemical cells for power-to-X. Our research spans from synthesis, fabrication and characterization of electrochemical materials to advanced electrochemical testing. We work in close collaboration with colleagues in other sections and departments at DTU as well as with companies and research institutions in Denmark and around the world.

Water electrolysis will be a crucial technology in the green transition. Alkaline water electrolysis in particular enables cost effective and scalable production of hydrogen and other sustainable fuels and chemicals. Improving energy efficiency and rate capability are remaining challenges, and new advanced functional materials are needed to achieve this. We are coordinating a European project on this theme, and we are therefore recruiting a PhD student to reinforce our research and development of ion conducting polymer materials. 

Responsibilities and tasks

As a PhD student, you will join a team of organic chemists and polymer scientists at DTU Energy. Your research will mainly focus on synthesis of new ion conducting polymer-based materials, physicochemical characterization and electrochemical testing of the new materials. Your PhD project will be part of a new European consortium, consisting of 10 partners across Europe. The overall aim is to further develop a game-changing electrolyzer technology based on a membrane concept developed at DTU Energy. We expect you to contribute to reaching the ambitious common goals of the project, by closely collaborating with your colleagues and sharing materials, knowledge and ideas. 4 out of the 10 partners are polymer specialists and you will join effort with this strong scientific cluster within the project. More specifically, your responsibilities and tasks consist of:

  • Design and synthesis of alkali resistant polymers and membranes
  • Characterization and testing of the new polymer chemistries
  • Collaboration with project partners and contributing to reaching the common goals
  • Dissemination and communication

As a PhD student, you are also obliged to follow courses corresponding to 30 ECTS. A smaller part of your time will be allocated for various department duties, such as administrative task, teaching or student supervision.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree, preferably in experimental organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, macromolecular chemistry, materials science, or similar. In addition to the formal education, you need to have a true passion for chemical handcrafting. Good communication skills in English, both written and orally, are essential as well as a willingness to engage in a multi-national team.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .


The assessment of the candidates will be made by Senior Researcher David Aili and Professor Jens Oluf Jensen

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher David Aili ( or Professor Jens Oluf Jensen (

You can read more about DTU Energy at


Please submit your online application no later than 29 May 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. In a sustainable energy system a large part of the energy will be supplied by fluctuating sources such as solar and wind power. This makes it critically important to be able to convert and store the energy as needed. The researchers in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage work on technologies and materials for direct conversion and subsequent storage of different forms of energy.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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