PhD student position in chemistry in Industrial Chemistry

Updated: 3 months ago

The Department of Chemistry is looking for a PhD student for a project on bio-based products from forest-industrial residual streams. Studies will include, e.g., fractionation and chemical analysis, enzymatic processes, and new bio-based products. Welcome with your application no later than June 21, 2023.

Study tasks

The doctoral studies aim at a doctoral degree where the main task is research within a project on the production of bio-based chemicals, fuels and materials from underutilized forest-industrial residual streams, such as bark and lignin. In addition to the research task, participation in postgraduate courses is also included.

You will be part of an international research group focused on forest industrial processes, biorefining, industrial biotechnology, and basic chemical and structural properties of plant biomass. Our research is carried out in laboratories at the KBC Chemical-Biological Center in Umeå (where we collaborate with, among others, the Umeå Plant Science Center , SBT , as well as with other groups at the Department of Chemistry ) and at the High Coast Innovation Park in Örnsköldsvik (where we collaborate with companies and research institutes within RISE , such as Processum Biorefinery Cluster and MoRe Research ). The research covers both basic and applied aspects of wood raw material and other forms of lignocellulose and is part of the strategic research initiative Bio4Energy and, more specifically, Bio4Energy's research platform with focus on Biopolymers and Biochemical Conversion Technologies .

The current research project focuses on underutilized forest-industrial residual streams, bark and lignin, which today are largely used as fuel but which in the future may increasingly be used for the production of liquid biofuels, other types of bio-based chemicals, and materials with new properties. The project will include extraction and chemical characterization of substances from bark, chemical and biochemical (enzymatic) modification of extractives and lignin, as well as studies of new areas of application for such substances. For example, the studies will provide knowledge about bio-based raw materials, extraction processes, advanced chemical analysis, enzyme technology, as well as forest-industrial processes and biorefinery development.


To be admitted for studies at third-cycle level you are required to have completed a second-cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in chemistry, you are required to have completed first-cycle courses of at least 90 ECTS credits within the field of chemistry or another subject considered to be directly relevant to the specialization in question. Of those 90 ECTS credits, at least 15 ECTS credits shall have been acquired at second-cycle level within the specialization or an equivalent subject.

Good knowledge of English, both spoken and written, is required.

Education in lignocellulose-related chemistry and chemical engineering, analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology is advantageous.

You will work both in group and independently. It is therefore important that you as a person are proactive, show independence towards set goals, and have a good ability to work together with others.

Terms of employment

The appointment aims at a PhD degree and the main task of the PhD student is to pursue their doctoral studies, which includes participation in research projects as well as postgraduate courses. In the assignments, teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) can be included. The employment is limited to four years full-time or up to five years when part-time teaching. The salary placement takes place according to the established salary level for doctoral employment. Place of study is Örnsköldsvik or Umeå.

A complete application should contain the following documents:

- A cover letter including a description of your research interests and motivation for applying

- A Curriculum Vitae

- Verified copies of degree certificates or equivalent, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades

- Name and contact information of at least two reference persons

Applications must be submitted via our e-recruitment system no later than June 21, 2023.

For more information, please contact Professor Leif Jönsson, telephone +46-(0)90-7866811, email

About us

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest departments within the Faculty of Science and Technology with approximately 200 employees, of which approximately 40 doctoral students, and a strong and expanding research. The Department has three major research areas: Biological Chemistry, Environmental and Biogeochemistry, and Technical Chemistry. We are also a strong partner in the KBC, Chemical-Biological Center. Information about the postgraduate education can be found on the Faculty of Science and Technology website: For more information about working at Umeå University,

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