Postdoctoral Researcher in Advanced NMR for Sustainability

University of Oulu Faculty of Science

One Postdoctoral Researcher and Two Doctoral Students in Advanced NMR for Sustainability

The North changes the world – more sustainable, more intelligent, more humane. We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Kvantum Institute is one of the four strategic focus institutes supporting high-quality research, coordinating multidisciplinary research activities and doctoral training. Kvantum’s science-based expertise meets global challenges in the focus areas Sustainable materials and systems and Changing climate and northern environment. The Institute promotes interdisciplinary networking of research groups as well as co-operation between groups and national and international partners.

We are now looking for

one Postdoctoral Researcher and two Doctoral Students.

The positions are related to the “Advanced NMR for sustainability” project funded by the Kvantum institute, and it is located at the NMR Research Unit, in the Faculty of Science.

Description of the Positions

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the most powerful methods in chemical analysis. “Advanced NMR for sustainability” project aims at development and application of advanced experimental, computational and theoretical NMR methods for sustainable materials research. We will exploit the high sensitivity and efficiency of so-called ultrafast Laplace NMR (UF-LNMR) in the characterization of various materials such as sustainable cements with low CO2 emissions and recyclable superabsorbents used for recovering oil and chemical spills. We will develop hypersensitive, non-toxic NMR sensors for sustainable materials, catalysis and biomolecules. We will create entirely new branch of spectroscopy relying on optical detection of nuclear magnetization and making it use for chemical analysis. Furthermore, we aim at multiscale modeling of entire experimental processes. The simulations provide microscopic, molecular-level interpretation for all experimental work in the project.

The selected Postdoctoral Researcher is supposed to contribute at least one (preferably several) of the topics listed above. The full-time position is for two years beginning on January 1, 2021.

The selected Doctoral Students are supposed to contribute at least one of the topics listed above. The full-time positions are for four years beginning on January 1, 2021.

Description of the research group

NMR Research Unit ( is an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50% with a PhD degree. We develop experimental, theoretical and computational research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programs. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with five high-field spectrometers (300-600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarization), two portable low-field instruments as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer centre (12 PFlop/s total capacity). Local linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure are used for high-throughput production calculations.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral Researcher position: The successful applicant must have a completed PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field. The PhD degree must have been received no more than 10 years ago. The applicants must show a visible scientific profile. Significant experience in the method development of experimental NMR spectroscopy and/or some of the following computational methodologies: (1) electronic structure calculation, (2) molecular dynamics simulation and (3) spin dynamics simulation, is to be documented. The project requires scientific computing experience and mastery of at least one relevant programming language (e.g., Fortran, C++, Python, Mathematica, Matlab).

Fluent English, good communication skills and good teamwork skills are required. Further, demonstrated potential in acquiring supplementary (extramural) funding, and teaching experience will be taken as a merit when choosing the scientist. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include scientific publications, thesis supervision, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question, scientific work abroad, and other international activities.

As part of the NMR Research Unit, the duties also include supervising scientific research of BSc, MSc and PhD students. Participation in teaching within the physics curriculum and acquiring research funding are naturally expected.

Doctoral Student positions: The successful applicant must have completed MSc (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field, with very good/excellent grades, by the application deadline. Experience in experimental or computational NMR spectroscopy is to be documented.

Fluent English, as well as good communication and teamwork skills are required.

The selected candidates will carry out her/his doctoral studies within the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in:

When assessing the applicants’ qualifications, issues to be considered will include the grades obtained during BSc and MSc studies, suitability of the earlier studies for embarking on a PhD degree programme in physics, prizes received during undergraduate studies, scientific publications and presentations, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question and international activities.

The doctoral student will carry out research work within the NMR Research Unit under the guidance and supervision of one or more of the senior researchers, publish research results in leading international scientific journals, attend doctoral courses and complete her/his doctoral thesis within 4 years. Other duties include teaching undergraduate courses (5% of the total of 1,612 working hours per year) and supervising undergraduate theses. In addition, she/he may be obligated to participate in administrative tasks of the Research Unit and University.

What we offer

You will become a part of a highly talented research group, that is working on strategically and globally significant research area
You will receive support from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your studies and research
In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as occupational healthcare and affordable sport services
A salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): A Postdoctoral Researcher will be based on demand level 5 – 6 and a Doctoral Student level 2 – 4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Typical starting salary for a Postdoctoral Researcher is approx. 3400€ per month (before taxes) and for a Doctoral Student approx. 2350€ per month (before taxes). A trial period of six months will be applied.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by November 1st, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1) A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here

2) Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity

3) List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland

4) A research plan, max. 3 pages (Postdoctoral Researcher position only)

5) Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original doctoral degree certificate (Postdoctoral Researcher position) or of the original Master's degree certificate (Doctoral Student position) and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

6) Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through portal will be considered.
Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

Further information

Professor Ville-Veikko Telkki, NMR Research Unit, University of Oulu, tel. +358-29-448 1309, email: ville-veikko.telkki(at)

City of Oulu

The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Find out more about Oulu: