Postdoc in Experimental Physical Chemistry Department of Chemistry Aarhus University Department of Chemistry Denmark

Job description/research project/research area
The candidate is expected to take a leading role in a novel research program, supported by a Villum Investigator Grant, in which femtosecond and picosecond laser pulses are used to study unimolecular and bimolecular chemical reactions using molecules and molecular complexes embedded in superfluid helium droplets. Specific projects include but are not limited to time-resolved imaging of molecular structure during photoinduced dimerization, exciplex formation and chiral transformations. Also, development of new techniques, based on strong laser pulses, to control the rotation and spatial alignment of molecules in helium droplets will be an important goal. This could include the application of an optical centrifuge to bring molecules to extreme rotational states, and the exploration of how angular momentum, initially deposited as rotation in molecules, transfers to the many-particle bath of helium excitations on ultrafast time scales.  The majority of the experiments will take place in our laboratories at Aarhus University but activities at free electron laser facilities are also planned.
The candidate is expected to engage in the education of students at all levels, i.e. PhD, master and undergraduate, through research-based training. In practice, this means leading groups composed of a few students in different projects and includes guiding them during experiments, data analysis and in the writing of research articles.
The candidate is also strongly encouraged to contribute (somewhat) to teaching in undergraduate and graduate courses. Concrete examples include integrating experimental exercises in the course ‘Reaction Dynamics’ and renewing the experimental program on polarization and phase retarders in the course ‘Lasers and Optics’
Maintenance of instruments
The candidate will be responsible for making sure that various experimental apparatus in the laboratories is maintained and serviced with timely care. In particular, this includes various vacuum components such as turbopumps, foreline pumps, and pulsed molecular valves.
The candidate is expected to take a lead in writing research articles based on the results obtained in the various projects. In addition, the candidate may contribute to the writing of review articles on laser-induced alignment of molecules in helium nanodroplets and applications hereof. This includes both articles aimed at specialist journals as well as at popular science journals / magazines.
The candidate will be responsible for the content of the group webpage. This includes ensuring that the different research activities in the group are well-portrayed on the webpages. The webpages should address both specialists and also reach out to non-specialists notably students in elementary schools and high schools.
Scientific management 
The candidate will be responsible for arranging weekly group meetings. The group meetings should be at a high scientific level and be based on members of the group presenting new results, ideas or interesting articles from the literature.
From time to time, the group meetings will be held jointly with colleagues from collaborating groups at Aarhus University or from DESY/CFEL in Hamburg.

Your profile
Applicants should hold a PhD in experimental physics or chemistry.
The candidate must be able to document extensive experience with most of the following: 

  • Spectroscopy of molecules in helium nanodroplets or of molecules in supersonic beams
  • Ultrahigh vacuum technology
  • Ion and electron detectors
  • Preferentially amplified femtosecond laser systems or other laser systems.
  • Writing of scientific articles

In addition we want a candidate that is:

  • Scientifically and technically at a high level
  • Innovative
  • Able to work hard when it is needed
  • Motivated and enthusiastic about science, research and education 

In short, we are looking for a bright, talented person that possesses the professional and technical skills needed to conduct research at a high level. Equally important, we want somebody who is very motivated, driven and passionate about science and who is able to convey that motivation and joy of working to the students in the group.
The candidate must be fluent in the speaking and writing of English.

Extension: The position can be extended for an additional two years, i.e. 4 years in total.
Who we are/ The department
The Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University is one of the leading European chemistry departments with research programs that range from medicinal chemistry to theoretical chemistry. It has a permanent staff of 30 full and associate professors, a support-staff of ~25 people, ~100 PhD-students and 50 postdocs, and about 400 students.

The place of work is: Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 140, 8000 Aarhus C.

Contact information: Professor Henrik Stapelfeldt, +45 871 55974,

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

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