PhD position in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Methane Activation. Before June 1st, 2020.

A predoctoral contract to carry out a PhD at the interface of nanomaterials and catalysis. The project will be implemented at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ, Valencia).

The research institution

The Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ) is a joint research center of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), located in the excellent and vibrant UPV Campus at the coast side in Valencia (Spain). It is an international reference center in the area of catalysis and new materials which hosts 33 staff scientists alongside >75 PhD and postdoctoral researchers, and holds the Severo Ochoa Excellence Accreditation, which recognizes and supports Spanish research institutions, from all scientific and technological areas, which demonstrate international scientific leadership through high-impact scientific innovations. The institute has also a long tradition of R&D and technology transfer activities in cooperation with industrial partners. The center is a multidisciplinary institute which offers high-quality training and outstanding research facilities. Web:

The project. The research project is a research effort at the interfaces of material science, nanotechnology and chemical technology. The project aims to gain molecular level understanding on the activation and conversion of methane (from unconventional natural gas and biogas) on the surface of metal nanoparticles. The candidate is going to get acquainted in the controlled synthesis of nanomaterials, physicochemical surface, spectroscopic and electron microscopy characterization methods, and evaluation of solid catalysts. Recent Open Access scientific publications from the host group can be consulted online to get an idea of the research interests and approaches.

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The PhD thesis is going to be associated to the «Sustainable Chemistry» doctorate program of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Web: The candidate will have the opportunity to interact with international collaborators and be encouraged to spend research time at a foreign partner research institution, thus qualifying for a doctorate degree with international mention.

Candidate qualifications. Candidates should hold a BSc degree in Chemistry, Material Science, Chemical Engineering or a related discipline. Candidates should also hold (or be about to obtain) a MSc degree. Skills in material science and catalysis are appreciated, but not mandatory. Good written and oral communication skills in English are necessary.

Conditions: Salary ca. 24000 €/year (brutto), 1 year extendable to 4 years.

Prospective starting date: September 2020.

Contact. CV, academic transcript (including Bachelor) and motivation letter should be sent per email to Dr. Gonzalo Prieto ( before June 1st, 2020.