Doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry
University of Münster Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy

45,000 students and 8,000 employees in teaching, research and administration, all working together to shape perspectives for the future – that is the University of Münster (WWU). Embedded in the vibrant atmosphere of Münster with its high standard of living, the University’s diverse research profile and attractive study programmes draw students and researchers throughout Germany and from around the world.

The International Research School of Battery Chemistry, Characterization, Analysis, Recycling and Application (BACCARA), which is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and established at the University of Münster, Germany, by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy and the MEET Battery Research Center, is seeking to fill

12 Doctoral Research Associate Positions
Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in
(salary level TV-L E 13, 67%)

commencing on 01 October 2021. We are offering twelve part-time positions (67%), fixed-term for 3 years.

Your tasks:

These positions are tied to working towards a doctorate. The International Graduate School "BACCARA" offers a modern, comprehensive and interdisciplinary training program that enables its doctoral students to successfully carry out their research work while fostering personal development, thus preparing them for future successful careers in industry, administration/politics and academia.

Several scientists from the University of Münster have teamed up in order to focus their complementary expertise on battery chemistry, characterization, analysis, recycling and the applications for batteries along the battery value chain. The interdisciplinary research activities, from which you can choose a topic for your doctorate, are centred on theory and modelling, material synthesis, catalysis, analysis and characterization, battery cell, recycling, sustainability and life cycle analysis.

•Theory and Modelling

Theoretical work is conducted on very different length- and time-scales: ab initio methods for thedescription of reaction processes, for the determination of electrochemical stabilities and theoptimization of force fields; molecular dynamics simulations for improved understanding ofstructural and kinetic processes in electrolytes in particular also close to interfaces; machinelearning concepts for improved analysis of experimental and simulated data.

•Material Synthesis

Within this research focus, new molecules and solid materials are to be synthesized in a targetedmanner in order to positively influence key performance parameters such as internal resistance,temperature windows, battery life and intrinsic cell safety. The development of improved andsustainable synthesis pathways is also an important element. Furthermore, surface chemistry andphysical properties play a decisive role in the establishment and optimization of new cellchemistries and battery cell production e.g. increased adhesion between the active material andcurrent collector foil, or better binding of binder molecules to the surface of the active materialparticles.

• Catalysis

In the field of lithium-ion batteries, catalysed reactions are of particular interest. The time- and cost-intensive formation step after assembly and during the first charge is essentially based on a polymerization reaction of electrolyte constituents and lasts from several hours to days. Polymer-based Solid State Batteries (SSBs) represent a broad field of research for catalysis research. Catalytic reactions for improved and sustainable synthesis of polymer electrolytes are to be researched and optimized within the framework of the research school. In addition, the understanding of catalytic decomposition processes can lead to an increase in the service life of materials and products, as well as a reduction in risks.

• Analysis and Characterization

Individual molecular and solid materials, as well as the complex system "battery cell", require a broad portfolio of methods and proven experts for local and global material analysis in order to characterize different interfaces and interphases and investigate the micro- and nanostructures of pure substances and composites. Reaction mechanisms and complex interactions in the overall context of electrochemical systems have to be elucidated and, as a result, targeted modifications have to be made so as to improve stability and performance and continue to meet ever-increasing requirements. In addition, analytical investigations provide valuable information about details of dynamic processes, ion mobility and structure-property-performance relationships. Finally, model materials, e.g. pure materials, single crystals, or thin film electrodes allow mechanistic investigations that are difficult to perform with complex materials and electrodes.

• Battery Cell Technology

On the one hand, the battery cell serves as a technological demonstrator for developed materials. All developments of the previously described research disciplines converge in this research area. They are thoroughly electrochemical with regard to their interaction with the "battery cell" system and subjected to an in-depth post-mortem analysis (field of activity: "analysis and characterization") in order to elucidate reaction mechanisms and damage patterns. These findings are reflected back to the respective focal points and the materials are iteratively optimized. On the other hand, the field of activity of “battery cells” is an independent, highly interdisciplinary research subject. The battery cell combines scientific and engineering challenges and represents an interface technology where the complex interplay of mechanical-structural, chemical and morphological characteristics is investigated. All developments in the fields of activity above converge in the "battery cell" research area.

• Recycling, Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis

The successful and sustainable recycling of a battery cell begins with the design of the materials and the manufacture of the components. According to the so-called "Design for Recycling" practice, innovative materials and processes are researched that enable the use of materials and, in the best-case scenario, individual components (e.g. electrodes) with minimal performance losses. Life cycle analyses can also be used to develop processes that enable the most energy-efficient separation and recovery of the individual cell materials, either as components or as raw materials. In addition, the findings are to be reflected in material synthesis and the battery cell topic complex in order to pave the way for the development of battery cells, constituent components and materials that are as sustainable as possible.

Further information about the International Graduate School BACCARA can also be found on our homepage:

Our expectations:

  •  A master’s degree in chemistry or a related field
  •  Documented knowledge in one of the above-mentioned topics
  •  An independent, structured approach to research work
  •  High motivation, initiative and team spirit
  •  Excellent command of the English language
  •  German language skills are not required as we offer German courses as part of the program

Advantages for you:

We will provide a structured 3-year, cutting-edge PhD training program in and beyond the fields mentioned above. PhD students are encouraged to choose their own field of research in close cooperation with their supervisor. In addition, courses in electrochemistry and a program of workshops, lectures and conferences, partly organized by the students themselves, are part of the training provided. We are offering a competitive, interdisciplinary environment with a track record of intense collaboration. In addition to individual training through research, our program includes further opportunities such as an introduction to electrochemistry and battery technology, retreats, international conferences and symposia.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.

The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions.

Please send the duly completed application form (available in the Downloads Section at, your complete CV and a cover letter outlining your motivation (maximum 1 page) by e-mail, as a single PDF file, with the subject heading “BAC-COH21-2” to Dr Kerstin Neuhaus email: before 13 June 2021. Please do not use any other mail address.

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