Prospective members and collaborators
As a new research group, we certainly look for motivated candidates to join the team.
Here are some info and ideas you might find useful.
Prospective BSc and MSc students Back to top
There is always something to try and explore. Since we try to focus on relatively simple syntheses we can always design BSc or MSc projects of various lengths and towards various directions: synthesis, characterization, catalysis, etc. What we value is motivation, curiosity and ability to work in a team. No need to have hard skills on any of the topics we like to explore, as long as you have a drive to learn, to think, to ask questions, to be curious, to understand, to explore, to receive feedback. However, we also want it to be done in the optimal conditions, so the best is always to reach us early. It is (almost) never too early to plan things. Do not hesitate to get in touch.
Prospective and visiting PhDs students Back to top
We are always happy to hear from prospective PhD candidates or visiting PhD students. Bear in mind that funding opportunities (for your salary and research) are best secured with candidates in mind and when projects are well-planned in advance. So do not hesitate to reach us early. It is (almost) never too early to plan things.
The PhD experience. What we value is motivation, curiosity and ability to work in a team. No need to have hard skills on any of the topics we like to explore, as long as you have a drive to learn, to think, to ask questions, to be curious, to understand, to explore, to receive feedback, to be honest, to share and to be open. You must also be ready to fail and be challenged. Regardless of your goal: career in a company, creating your own job, staying in academia, or simply figuring out which option might be best or remains to be created, the PhD is a learning experience. You may be familiar with Research and Development, R&D. Well, a PhD is a lot about research, and researching does not always mean finding, so it can be frustrating. However, a PhD is maybe even more about development. Development of new ideas, new concepts, new tools, new knowledge and/or new know-how, new thoughts but also development of yourself as an individual.
Any PhD is a strong commitment. You need to consider that you will spend about 3 years in a given work environment, on a given project (usually with sub-projects). This is often the longest you would have worked on the same topic to date, with a team and supervisor that you will need to (have to) interact with. A lot of the PhD experience is to learn how to work and communicate with others, in the group, the section, the department, the university, the scientific community and ultimately the world (no kidding). So it is a good idea to make sure there is a match. If you talk with former PhD students (and we strongly encourage you to do so), you will hear all sort of stories, depending on places in the world, universities, research areas, supervision style and types of projects. We are well aware that you will certainly (and, sadly, easily) find colleagues or friends with very negative experiences, across a range of topics. We are aware that most PhD students go through (unnecessary) traumatic times and disillusion. This statement may scare you. However, please consider that we are here being honest. This statement is also to stress our awareness on the general (sadly, too close to average) situation across academia.
Every PhD experience is unique. We are also aware that we are humans and there is no universal recipe to make things right: inter-personal elements can impact your work and your well-being. Every PhD project is unique. Moreover, the factors that affect you might not be the same for other PhD students. Every PhD student is unique. And we will learn on the go how to work together. We believe that being aware of potential pitfalls and challenges, learning how to identify them early on, and openly raising them timely is a first step to address them and solve them smoothly. This is valid in research and science in general, but in human society as well.
What to expect. The question that remains is how to avoid the situation of a bad PhD experience. Fortunately, there are many good examples to follow. Also Denmark is one of the happiest country in the world. Aarhus is a lively place to be, by the seaside, with plenty to do and well connected to the rest of Europe and Denmark. So we have quite a few tips and good reasons to create a work environment that is both challenging and rewarding at the intellectual and personal level. If you decide to join use, be ready to be challenged and to fail (we learn by failing, otherwise there will be no research needed and we would know everything already) but most of all, be ready to be listened to and supported, to have and share fun doing research. Do not hesitate to get in touch.
Prospective postdocs Back to top
We are always happy to hear from prospective postdoc candidates. Bear in mind that funding opportunities (for your salary and research) are best secured with candidates in mind and when projects are well-planned in advance. So do not hesitate to reach us early, even before the end of your PhD. We support applications to national funding and Fellowships (e.g. Marie Curie Fellowships) but as any funding opportunity, it is best secured if handled and planned early. What we value is motivation and ability to work in a team.
There are two cases for postdocs:
(1) We sometimes look for specific skills, see collaboration section below, that you might have and you would like to apply to our research, possibly in collaboration with your previous group(s).
(2) We sometimes need experienced researchers, not necessarily with a specific set of skills but rather scientists with knowledge on how to carry out research in general. We are also happy to hear from postdoc candidates simply interested or curious about our work and/or with some ideas to explore.
We are well aware that a postdoc is a critical point in a career and sometimes a buffer zone between a choice academia versus industry (we have been there). Any individual choice from you is fine with us, as long as you feel open to talk about options and your plans, so that we can best support you and best work in the interest of the projects and resources invested.
As a rule, although every case is different in research, we pair up postdocs and PhD students and each postdoc has a clear umbrella of projects she/he/they manages and collaborates on. This is done to ensure that PhD students learn from more experienced researchers but also to provide training and supervising experience to the postdocs. Do not hesitate to get in touch.
Prospective collaborators Back to top
There is always so much to do and we certainly cannot do it all alone. We are very open to learn from others with more experience in a field.
Understanding the formation mechanism of nanomaterials is key to develop nanomaterials with tuned properties. In recent years, in situ studies aim to understand the formation of nanomaterials as the synthesis proceeds. This requires access to dedicated facilities and expertise in data analysis, that we partially have, but that remains best performed with experts. We are therefore very open to collaborations on these techniques, such as in situ or operando TEM, SAXS, WAXS, XPS, XRD, XAS, PDF or others (like coupled ICP-MS-FTIR-TGA analysis) on our various model systems.
Machine learning is playing an increasing role in nanomaterial science and catalysis. Although we have very limited knowledge on it, we have a range of systems that could be relevant for fruitful collaborations. For instance towards high throughput syntheses detailed below. Ulitmately this will lead to self/data driven material / catalysts discovery.
AutomationHand to hand with machine learning is the development of large datasets. This can be best achieved by the automation of a range of chemical steps (synthesis, workout, sample preparation, testing, etc.). We are always happy to hear ideas and suggestions in this direction.
With the increasing number of nanomaterials produced and implemented in our daily life, legitimate concerns are raised on their impact on the environment. In particular, since we focus on surfactant-free nanoparticles, we believe we could provide materials with unique features for toxicology tests.
Although we believe we know what we are doing, we cannot get the bigger picture without external input and discussions. Therefore, we welcome ideas, comments, suggestions, challenges from companies and start-ups. In our experience, this input often leads to important fundamental questions and open new doors to research, while addressing and hopefully solving ‘real-life’ challenges you may have, in order to tackle questions that matter.