PhD Position in Solar Energy Conversion and Storage

Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy and the Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Energy Devices (SDU CAPE), invite applications for a fully funded PhD fellowship in “Synthesis and development of organic small-molecules for photovoltaics”. The PhD position(s) is part of the new cross-disciplinary SDU Climate Cluster Elite centre for ‘Solar Energy Conversion and Storage (SOLEN)’. The starting date is 1 September 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter, for a three or four year (4+4) period. Application deadline: 7 June 2023.

What we offer 

The PhD position is a part of the new SDU Climate Cluster (SCC) Elite centre SOLEN, which aims to design, develop, and bring forward new sustainable solar energy conversion and storage technologies using a strong cross-disciplinary approach. For this PhD position, the activities focus on designing and synthesizing new organic molecules with suitable energy levels for donor or acceptor components in organic photovoltaics. Fabrication and characterization of thin films will also be investigated in collaboration with SDU CAPE.

The majority of your working time is devoted to your own research studies at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy (Odense). However, it is expected that you will spend approximately one year at SDU CAPE (Sønderborg) fabricating and analysing thin-films for organic solar cells. As a PhD student you are expected to develop your own ideas and communicate scientific results in English. We offer a fully funded PhD position for the duration of three or four years. 

The successful applicant will be enrolled as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of Science.

What we expect

Candidates who have a previous Master’s degree in a field relevant to the mentioned PhD project may seek the fellowships (material science, chemistry and similar). Candidates who have finished the first year of their Master’s programme may also apply for a four year PhD. 

Preferred candidates have experience with the following:  

–    Organic synthesis

–    Molecular modelling,

–    Thin-film photovoltaics). 

Due to the strong cross-disciplinary nature of the work, the candidate is expected to have excellent collaboration skills. A very good capability of communicating scientific results in English, both orally and in writing, is required.

Workplace description / research environment 

SDU Climate Cluster’s (SCC) mission is, through interdisciplinary research, to contribute to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. That is a society where no more greenhouse gas is emitted than is absorbed. SOLEN is a new Elite Centre of SCC that spans across four faculties at SDU, to foster in a cross-disciplinary manner new solar energy conversion and storage technologies based on green and sustainable solutions. The PhD position is hosted at Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, SDU Odense, but one year is expected to be carried out at the Mads Clausen Institute, SDU Faculty of Engineering, which is an international research centre working in the field of green energy technologies from scalable thin films. The position includes strong collaborations, research visits and co-supervision with the SOLEN research teams at the other faculties, which encompass Professor Morten Madsen and Associate Professor Vida Engmann SDU CAPE), Professor Kerstin Fischer (SDU IDK), Professor Brooks Alexandra Kaiser (SDU MERE), along with further collaborators at the Mads Clausen Institute as well as internal collaborators.

We offer a modern, inclusive, international, and interdisciplinary working environment with state-of-the-art facilities as well as a strong tradition of international collaboration. Our ambition is to recruit, develop, and retain talented scholars committed to both academic excellence and departmental development.

Having a focus on green energy technologies – improving performance and device stability, SDU offers full access to state-of-the-art laboratories for synthesis and characterization.

Contact information

Further information about this position is available from Associate Professor Steffen Bähring, e-mail:

Please be aware that we will not accept any e-mail applications, as all applications must be submitted through the SDU online recruitment system.

If you experience technical problems, you must contact

Application, salary etc.

Appointment as a PhD Research Fellow is for three (students who have completed their MSc) or four years (students who have not yet completed theirMSc). Employment stops automatically at the end of the period. The holder of the scholarship is not allowed to have other paid employment during the three-year period.

The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement on salaried PhD scholars between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at this university in accordance with faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application must be in English and made in the form of a Declaration of Interest including the following:

• A research proposal/description of your approach to the above project (max one page excluding references)

• A letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. two pages) (please attach this under box “Application form”)

• Detailed CV, including personal contact information

• Copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades

• At least two signed reference letters. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use e-mail: mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Further information about the PhD study can be found at the homepage of the University.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.