Postdoc Position in Global Optimization of Atomistic Structure

Interested in combining reinforcement learning and density functional theory?

Starting Date and Period

Starting date is June 1st 2023 or sometime thereafter. Duration of the employment is two years.Come to Aarhus University for a two-year postdoctoral position and join a dynamic group, working on global optimization of atomistic structure. Among the methods developed in the group is GOFEE that employs Bayesian statistics to identify the most promising structural candidate among a set of candidates relaxed in a surrogate energy landscape (a machine learned potential). Another method, ASLA, constructs the structural candidates based on image recognition and reinforcement learning.Your role would be to use these methods in search for challenging nano-scale structure in materials and surface science projects and to extend the methods with new intriguing techniques. The latter could be generative adversarial networks (GAN) or other established schemes from data science, or they could be your own new ideas that are perhaps more domain specific. See for more information about previous projects performed in the group.

Your Profile

Applicants must hold a PhD degree in physics, chemistry, nanoscience, computer science or equivalent. Previous experience with machine learning methods and/or first principles energy calculations in physical chemistry is required. Experience with programming in python is highly desired.You can learn more about Bjørk Hammer’s group here. We offer a cutting-edge research environment where the combination of electronic structure and machine learning methods are used to further the capabilities in computational modeling.

Place of work and area of Employment

The place of work is Ny Munkegade 120, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.Further information may be obtained by e-mailing Bjørk Hammer ( Please use as e-mail subject: “postdoctoral position 23a”.


1st March 2023

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.

Letter of reference

If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range

Natural Sciences 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 Taxation 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 Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.

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.