PhD Position in Synthetic Chemistry and Sustainable Catalysis

University of Bern
September 30, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Position in Synthetic Chemistry and Sustainable Catalysis


The University of Bern is the third largest university in Switzerland, providing outstanding research and service facilities. Academic excellence has earned Bern an international reputation, and the city is listed among the cities with best life quality in the world. The Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, research group of Prof. Dmitry Katayev, is currently accepting applications for PhD position in synthetic organic chemistry. The position is full-time (100%) for a period of 4 years in the frame of the project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Content of the Project Nitro compounds serve as key building blocks and intermediates in synthesis and form the core scaffold of a vast number of materials, dyes, agrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Electrophilic aromatic nitration is arguably one of the most extensively studied chemical transformation, however despite the importance of this process and the tremendous value of nitro-derived molecules, a mild and practical approach towards their synthesis remains a fundamental challenge for synthetic chemists. The use of organic nitrating reagents in combination with sustainable energy sources have the potential to address this challenge. To learn more about our research, please visit our group website www.

Your responsibilities

The project will focus on the synthesis of novel classes of functional group transfer reagents and the study of their activation pathways under various catalytic manifolds to develop robust, mild, and efficient concepts towards nitration of carbon-hydrogen bonds of substrates, ranging from common feedstocks to complex molecules and organic materials. A wide array of chemo- physical tools (EPR, UV-Vis SEC, AAS, AES, NMR, etc.) will be utilized to deeply grasp the nature of such transformations. If you are interested and willing to explore all the potential of environmentally friendly nitration chemistry, apply and join us!

Your profile

We are looking for a candidate who is ambitious, creative, motivated for research with a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry, and have:

  • Completed MSc degree (or to be completed soon) or equivalent in chemistry (with excellent grades) with focus on organic synthesis, catalysis, photochemistry, electrochemical synthesis
  • Very good skills in synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds under oxygen and moisture free conditions, advanced Schlenk techniques, characterization of molecules with standard analytical tools (NMR, IR, UV/Vis, GC, LCMS, CV, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction)
  • Independent thinking, design and planning complex synthetic sequences, passion and ability to work in a team
  • Excellent English language skills (written and oral), German language is a plus
  • What we offer

  • State-of-the-art laboratory and university infrastructure
  • Working in an international, friendly, supportive and inspiring environment
  • Opportunities to attend national and international conferences, teaching, and coaching
  • To be a part of a collaborative networking
  • Start and employment

  • Starting date: October-November 2023
  • Application deadline: September 30, 2023
  • Please send your application documents to

    [email protected]

    including a motivation letter, a research summary of your past accomplishments (max. 2 pages with chemical illustrations), a CV, a transcript of the grades, and contacts of at least 2 referees as a single PDF file. Applications that are not submitted as a single file will not be considered.

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