15 PhD positions (Early Stage Researchers) of EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) within the... (# of pos: 15)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 31 May 2021

We are happy to announce the availability of 15 PhD positions (Early Stage Researchers) of EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) funded by the NanED (Electron Nanocrystallography) H2020 project, an EU Innovative Training Network of MSCA (Grant agreement n. 956099).

About NanED

The NanED Project (Electron Nanocrystallography) aims to train 15 PhD students (EarlyStageResearchers) that will form a new generation of electron crystallographers thereby paving the way for future development and establishing the method more broadly in the academic community and within the industry.

NanED includes all European scientists hitherto active in the development of electron diffraction methods for structural crystallography and a pool of large and small companies interested in instruments development and materials or pharmaceuticals production and analysis. Nine different countries are represented: Italy, Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and United Kingdom.

Electron diffraction for structural crystallography has grown considerably after the development of dedicated protocols for data acquisition and analysis, to the point where it was listed in Science magazine as one of the major scientific breakthroughs of the year 2018. The so-called "3D" electron diffraction (3D ED) is a novel method for atomic structure determination of inorganic, organic and macromolecular compounds when their crystal size falls in the scale of a few ten nanometer.

Up to now, the development of 3D ED has remained limited to a few laboratories and has been slowed by the lack of both dedicated instruments and young researchers trained in this field at PhD level. NanED aims to form a new generation of electron crystallographers, able to master and develop 3D ED techniques in an interdisciplinary and interconnected network, where competences and know-how of usually distant scientific sectors are shared and merged. NanED will boost the dissemination of 3D ED in academic and industrial laboratories, pushing Europe to be the leader for nanomaterial characterisation and development, with a noticeable and global economic impact.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for an ESR under the Horizon 2020 ITN Programme at the date of recruitment; in particular, they should be eligible to be appointed as an ESR by satisfying the following criteria:

to have less than 4 years research careers after Undergraduate/Masters graduation (this is cumulative research experience and does not include management/industrial or other work experience);

to not hold a PhD degree (PhD candidates under 4 years of registration and before completion may apply);

to not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the host country for more than 12 months (cumulative) in the three years immediately before their recruitment (meant as the first day of the employment of the researcher for the purposes of the action (i.e. the starting date indicated in the contract). Compulsory national service and short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


Job description

ESR 1

Project Title: Electron nanocrystallography of heterometallic MOF.

Objectives: Establish mechanochemical or solvothermal synthetic approaches that promote the formation of heterometallic systems. Establish a synergy between mechanochemistry and electron nanocrystallography. Design a protocol for crystallographic characterization of electron beam sensitive porous MOFs.

Hosting institution: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – Center for Materials Interfaces Pisa

Italy - Contact person: Mauro Gemmi (mauro.gemmi@iit.it )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.11.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 2

Project Title: 3D electron diffraction on organic nanocrystals

Objectives: Establish 3D ED data collection procedures suitable for very beam sensitive samples that guarantees quasi-kinematical ED intensities of structure solution quality. Test structure solution techniques on low quality and highly incomplete 3D ED data sets exploiting previous knowledge of the small molecules present in the crystal (simulated annealing). Develop merging strategies able to combine several partial 3D ED data sets from different crystals into one. Test dynamical refinement procedures on organic nanocrystals with the aim to distinguish between C, N and O and to determine the H positions.

Hosting institution: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – Center for Materials Interfaces Pisa

Italy - Contact person: Mauro Gemmi (mauro.gemmi@iit.it )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.11.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 3

Project Title: In situ 3D electron diffraction for following reactions in gas and electrochemical environments

Objectives: Establish optimal collection procedures for in situ 3D ED data in gas and liquid electrochemical environments. Use the procedures to determine the intermediate structures during reactions of technologically relevant compounds, such as lithium battery cathode materials, perovskites for electronic applications, solid oxide fuel cells, thermochemical energy storage, chemical looping and CO2 capture.

Hosting Institution: Universiteit Antwerpen (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/centres/antwerp-doctoral-school/ ). Contact person: Prof. Joke Hadermann (Joke.Hadermann@uantwerpen.be )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.10.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 4

Project Title: Accurate structure refinement from 3D ED data

Objectives: Test and optimize the dynamical refinement strategy for various types of materials and data collection methods. Generalize the dynamical refinement to include the effect of crystal imperfections, leading to the improvement of the fit to data from real crystal and to the accuracy of extracted structure models. Optimize the determination of absolute structure of non-centrosymmetric crystals, develop and verify the calculation of Flack parameter from 3D ED data.

Hosting Institution: Institute of Physics of AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic. Contact person: Dr. Lukas Palatinus (palat@fzu.cz )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.09.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 5

Project Title: Charge density analysis from 3D ED data

Objectives: Optimize data collection and data reduction strategies necessary for obtaining data suitable for charge density studies, analyze the accuracy required to provide charge density refinement. Perform multipole refinements on a number of test samples from both organic and inorganic materials, compare the results with reference charge density studies from x-ray diffraction data. Apply the method to the analysis of interesting structures of organic and inorganic materials

Hosting Institution: Institute of Physics of AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic. Contact person: Dr. Lukas Palatinus (palat@fzu.cz )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.09.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 6

Project Title: Fine structure of 2D materials studied by 3D ED

Objectives: Developing the concepts of 3D ED for low-dimensional materials: optimizing data collection protocols from 2D crystals (step-wise scans, continuous rotation), experiments at different temperature; structure factor calculation for 2D crystals (including non-monoatomic layers, e.g. MoS2, Bi2Se3); development of models for out of plane atomic displacements in 2D crystals (layer corrugation) and calculation of their signature in 3D ED data.

Hosting Institution Ulm University – Contact person: Prof. Ute Kaiser (ute.kaiser@uni-ulm.de )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.07.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 7

Project Title: Quantitative analysis of ePDF

Objectives: Optimizing the data collection protocol for ePDF: exposure series, camera length, diffraction pattern shift / mosaic data collection, energy filtering, effect of the acceleration voltage; robust algorithms for data denoising and background treatment; development of the models for the instrumental contribution into a PDF; partitioning of a PDF into the structural and instrumental contribution; refinement of ePDF; mathematical concepts for PDF for textured samples, PDF on 2D crystals and 2D amorphous materials, PDF on polycrystalline assembly of nanoparticles; mapping of nano crystalline / poorly crystalline / amorphous materials for heterogeneous mixed systems or samples with heterogeneous degree of crystallinity.

Hosting Institution: Ulm University – Contact person: Dr. Tatiana Gorelik (tatiana.gorelik@uni-ulm.de )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 1.07.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 8

Project Title: Structural investigation of cement hydration mechanism by electron crystallography

Objectives: Investigation of cement in its production process and throughout its hydration to produce concrete covers the exploration of a variety of new exciting crystal structures thus, supporting the urgent need to reduce CO2 emission. For this, the development and optimization of sample preparation strategies for hydrated samples, strategies for the acquisition of diffuse scattering of beam sensitive nano particles as well as in-situ investigation of hydration process is necessary. Existing routines for the combination of simulation and experiment of diffuse scattering need to be adapted for quantitative analysis of the disorder.

Hosting Institution: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (https://www.ak-kolb.chemistry.uni-mainz.de/join-the-group/ ) – Contact person: Prof. Ute Kolb (kolb@uni-mainz.de )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.08.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 9

Project Title: Electron crystallographic applications for defect structures of nano crystals

Objectives: The project focus is on the investigation of applied materials in the field of battery research and glass ceramics from the medical field in the form of agglomerated powders and thin films. Therefore, crystal tracking routines for the acquisition of 3D electron diffraction data from powder and thin films as well as routines for the quantitative analysis of the diffuse 3D scattering of defects of different dimensions need to be developed. To optimize the quantitative analysis of defect structures, physical effects such as inelastic scattering but also the handling of external intensities of neighboring particles must be taken into account.

Hosting Institution: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (https://www.ak-kolb.chemistry.uni-mainz.de/join-the-group/ ) – Contact person: Prof. Ute Kolb (kolb@uni-mainz.de )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.08.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 10

Project Title: Development and application of electron crystallography methods for studying protein-ligand interactions

PhD Objectives: Conduct a proof of principle study on resolving protein-ligand interactions by using 3D electron diffraction based methods. Develop protocols on sample handling, cryo-EM specimen preparation, data collection and processing, and structure refinement for studying protein-ligand interactions. Develop new software and hardware to improve throughput and reliability of 3D electron crystallography methods in order to realize fragment-based lead screening.

Hosting institution: Stockholms Universitet – Contact person: Hongyi Xu (Hongyi.xu@mmk.su.se )

Application deadline: 23.04.2021

Expected starting date: 01.06.2021 or later

Contact details for application: https://www.su.se/english/about-the-university/work-at-su/available-jobs/phd-student-positions-1.507588?rmpage=job&rmjob=14564&rmlang=UK

ESR 11

Project Title: Development of high-throughput serial (rotation) electron diffraction and its application for phase and structural analysis of pharmaceutics and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)PhD Objectives: Establish automation strategies and develop software for high-throughput serial (rotation) electron diffraction (SerialED/RED) data collection by combination of electron beam scanning and crystal tracking. Establish high-throughput protocols for data reduction and indexing that are optimised for electron diffraction data. Establish machine learning and clustering algorithms for phase analysis and structure determination. Develop metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as new “crystalline sponges” for structure analysis of natural products and molecules with tiny (nano-/pico gram) quantity. Establish protocols for determination of phase analysis and structure determination of pharmaceutical compounds.

Hosting institution: Stockholms Universitet – Contact person: Xiaodong Zou (Xiaodong.zou@mmk.su.se )

Application deadline: 23.04.2021

Expected starting date: 01.06.2021 or later

Contact details for application: https://www.su.se/english/about-the-university/work-at-su/available-jobs/phd-student-positions-1.507588?rmpage=job&rmjob=14567&rmlang=UK  

ESR 12

Project Title: Electron crystallography of nanodomains in functional materials

Objectives: Preparation of ceramics with submicronic grains using micro-wave and SPS sintering. Development of a dedicated protocol for sample preparation to investigate submicronic grains in dense ceramics. Preparation of thin films and heterostuctures of transition metals oxides using pulsed laser deposition. Development of a dedicated protocol for sample preparation based on FIB technology to optimize 3D ED data collection on thin films. Determine the minimal beam size at which it is possible to collect 3D ED data suitable for the structure analysis of nanodomains. Compare structure obtained from 3D ED with atomic-scale structures obtained from electron microscopy images (HRTEM and/or STEM-HAADF).

Hosting Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Laboratoire de Cristallographie et Science des Matériaux. Contact person : Dr. Philippe Boullay (philippe.boullay@ensicaen.fr )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.10.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 13

Project Title: Electron crystallography of nanoparticles

Objectives: Determine the minimal beam and crystal size at which it is possible to collect 3D ED data suitable for structure solutions and refinements. Develop a specific experimental set up for 3D ED data collection with parallel nanobeams. Compare the structure obtained from Rietveld refinement on powder x-ray data with dynamical refined structure from 3D ED data. From electron powder diffraction (ring patterns) of nanoparticles aggregates to 2D ePDF.

Expected results

Standard protocols for 3D ED analysis of nanoparticles. Standard protocols for ring patterns and ePDF data collection and analysis. Application of the developed protocols for the structure determination of nanoparticles of fundamental and industrial interest (thermoelectric, zeolites, energy materials).

Hosting Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Laboratoire de Cristallographie et Science des Matériaux. Contact person : Dr. Philippe Boullay (philippe.boullay@ensicaen.fr )

Application deadline: 31.05.2021

Expected starting date: 01.10.2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 14

Project Title: Phasing of electron diffraction data

Objectives: Implement data collection strategies that allow experimental phasing of electron diffraction data by scanning crystals with a nano-beam (ptychography) and by measuring rotating crystals in imaging mode. Develop algorithms and software to exploit the unique information provided by these modes of data collection for determining phase probabilities of nano-crystal electron diffraction data. Specific problems in nanobeam diffraction: determine/refine beam location parameters; dealing with tilted crystals of limited thickness, resulting in moiré patterns. Specific problems in real space tomography: refining the shift parameters of image data obtained at different tilt angles; dealing with the focal gradient that will cause apparent phases differences between the top and bottom of the crystal. Extend the nano-beam diffraction method to non-crystalline samples of macromolecules.

Hosting Institution: Universitat Basel (https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/phd/international-phd-program/phd-progr... https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/phd/international-phd-program/phd-fellowships/ ) - Contact person: Prof. Jan Pieter Abrahams (jp.abrahams@unibas.ch ) and Karen Bergmann (karen.bergmann@unibas.ch )

Application deadline: 15.05.2021

Expected starting date: 15th of June 2021 – 1st October 2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings

ESR 15

Project Title: Optimal data acquisition of biological samples

Objectives: We will identify optimal data acquisition parameters for two types of data collection, specific for biological samples: rotation and nanobeam ED (optimization of serial ED is a task of ESR11). For both methods, we will consider the effects of the following beam parameters: di-/convergence angle, beam size, electron flux, illumination time. We will identify optimal detectors for combinations of beam parameters in rotation and nanobeam mode, comparing Eiger (Dectris/PSI), Jungfrau (PSI), Medipix3 and Timepix3 (both CERN/ASI). Where possible and appropriate, we will combine these tests with a range of relevant settings of a CEOS energy filter, in order to explore the effect of removal of inelastic scattering. Since there is theoretical proof that removal of inelastic scattering can increase the dynamic component of protein diffraction data, we will also include the effect of crystal thickness in this comparison.

Hosting Institution: Universitat Basel (https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/phd/international-phd-program/phd-progr... https://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/phd/international-phd-program/phd-fellowships/ ) - Contact person: Prof. Jan Pieter Abrahams (jp.abrahams@unibas.ch ) and Karen Bergmann (karen.bergmann@unibas.ch )

Application deadline: 15.05.2021

Expected starting date: 15th of June 2021 – 1st October 2021

Contact details for application: https://naned.eu/openings


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