Job opening for a PhD position in photocatalytic and polymer chemistry


Stellenangebot vom 31. März 2020

We are currently looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic early career researchers to join our group, to work on a new class of hybrid photocatalytic materials. Recently, we have been combining small molecule photocatalysts with classical polymers (C. Ferguson et al., Angew. Chem., 2019,; C. Ferguson et al., J. Mater. Chem. A., 2020, This synergistic combination creates a photocatalytic classical polymer that is highly photocatalytically active, and yet easily recoverable. We are looking to implement this material into the following fields:

  1. Photocatalytic polymers for the production of pharmaceutically relevant compounds.
  2. Interfacial photocatalysis with amphiphilic photocatalytic polymers as a new tool for organic synthesis.
  3. Employment of responsive photocatalytic classical polymers for photodynamic therapy and in situ drug production.
  4. Production of enzyme mimics based on photocatalytic polymers and their use in synthetic biology.

About the project

Within this research project, the successful candidate will design, synthesize, and characterise new photocatalytic polymers. This will include organic synthesis of photocatalytic and classical monomers, and polymer synthesis using controlled radical polymerisation techniques such as RAFT and ATRP. The efficiency of the photocatalytic materials for various targeted applications will be determined. You will be part of the Physical Chemistry of Polymers department at the MPI-P, led by Prof. Dr. Katharina Landfester (

Job requirements

For the PhD position, we seek enthusiastic and motivated candidates with an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science, or similar. You must have experience with organic synthesis and/or polymer science. Prior experience in the field of catalysis would be an asset. The working language at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research is English. Therefore, good communication skills in English (both written and spoken) are required.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities, and especially encourages them to apply. The Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

The position is available now, but the starting date is negotiable. Remuneration will be according to the collective wage agreement for the public service (TVöD), pay level E 13 (50 percent).

Applications should be sent by e-mail to: Dr. Calum Ferguson, should indicate in the object line “Application: photocatalytic classical polymers”, and should include:

  1. A letter of interest (max. 1 page), clearly stating the specific interest of the candidate to join the group and work on this project, his/her career goals, etc.
  2. CV
  3. Grade transcripts or equivalent record of excellent academic performance, clearly indicating courses taken and grades in each course (for MS and BS)


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