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ChemJets2

Eight JUNIOR RESEARCHER positions

University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague opens new positions in:

 

Who can apply?

We are looking for postdoc/junior researchers from around the world who:

  • are max. 7 years after receiving PhD diploma in relevant field
  • were employed outside the Czech Republic for at least 2 years in the last 3 years
  • published at least 2 publications in the last 3 years
  • are interested in one of the 8 key research areas in chemistry (see below)
  • can start the 20-month fellowship on 1 September or 1 October 2020

What do we offer?

  • 20-month fellowship at UCT Prague, supported by EU funds
  • full-time contract
  • monthly salary of 2800 EUR + consumables
  • support of excellent mentor & integration in the research team
  • employee benefits (6 weeks of vacation, catering allowance, language courses, institutional childcare)
  • possibility to apply for own research projects and establish an independent research group
  • international creative environment
  • enjoyable city life in a tolerant and secure country with rich cultural and natural heritage
  • excellent transport connection with the whole world

Selection criteria

  • research excellence (publications, citations, projects, etc.)
  • clear vision and research objectives
  • know-how, international experience, skills, laboratory techniques
  • motivation, creativity, activity, flexibility, independence, responsibility
  • excellent knowledge of written and spoken English (level B2 or higher)
  • organisational, communication and presentation skills
  • ability and willingness to publish results in reviewed highly impacted journals
  • ability and willingness to prepare and submit a research project during the mobility

How to apply?

  • select one key research area in chemistry (see the list)
  • download and fill in APPLICATION FORM
  • submit your application via e-mail to anna.konecka@vscht.cz with “ChemJets2 application” in subject by Tuesday 14 April 2020 23:59 Brussels time
  • be ready for an individual skype interview with mentor between Mon-Thu 27-30 April 2020
  • final results of the selection process will be announced to all applicants in mid-May 2020

 

Research areas & mentors

MACROMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY: POLYMERIZATION CATALYSIS

Catalytic polymerization of CO2 with heterocycles

The project is focused on the utilization of CO2 as a non-traditional, renewable C1 building block for polymer synthesis. Polymers are prepared by catalytic CO2 polymerizations with strained heterocycles, like epoxides, which leads to the formation of aliphatic polycarbonates. The aim of the project is the development of new catalysts for CO2 activation and exploration of novel substrates as monomers.

Planned activities:

Design and synthesis of new catalysts for CO2 copolymerizations and their characterization, synthesis of polymers in pressure reactor, search for new substrates as comonomers for CO2, preparation of publications.

Specific requirements:

  • PhD in organic/organometallic/macromolecular chemistry
  • Experience with ligand and organometallic complex synthesis
  • Experience with Schlenk techniques
  • Experience with basic structural characterization methods (NMR, MS, IR, X-ray)

Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Jan Merna, merna@vscht.cz

group website

Publications:

Kember, M. R.; Buchard, A.; Williams, C. K., Catalysts for CO2/epoxide copolymerization. Chem. Commun. (Cambridge, U. K.) 2011, 47 (1), 141-163.

Paul, S.; Zhu, Y.; Romain, C.; Brooks, R.; Saini, P. K.; Williams, C. K., Ring-opening copolymerization (ROCOP): synthesis and properties of polyesters and polycarbonates. Chem. Commun. (Cambridge, U. K.) 2015, 51 (30), 6459-6479. Kozak, C. M.; Ambrose, K.; Anderson, T. S., Copolymerization of carbon dioxide and epoxides by metal coordination complexes. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2018, 376, 565-587.

Wang, Y.; Darensbourg, D. J., Carbon dioxide-based functional polycarbonates: Metal catalyzed copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides. Coord. Chem. Rev. 2018, 372, 85-100. Hošt’álek, Z.; Mundil, R.; Císařová, I.; Trhlíková, O.; Grau, E.; Peruch, F.; Cramail, H.; Merna, J., Salphen-Co(III) complexes catalyzed copolymerization of epoxides with CO2. Polymer 2015, 63 (0), 52-61.

Hošťálek, Z.; Trhlíková, O.; Walterová, Z.; Martinez, T.; Peruch, F.; Cramail, H.; Merna, J., Alternating copolymerization of epoxides with anhydrides initiated by organic bases. Eur. Polym. J. 2017, 88, 433-447.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

 

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CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY OF MATERIALS: INTERCALATION

Intercalation of water-insoluble compounds into the LDH hosts interlayer

Layered double hydroxides (LDH) with varied composition and charge density of hydroxide layers represent excellent host structures for intercalation of negatively charged anionic species. The project deals with intercalation of drugs poorly soluble or insoluble in water into the layered inorganic hosts. Methods for preparation of intercalates, the host-guest interactions, stability of drugs intercalated in the interlayer, and their back release will be studied.

Main objectives:

Role of the postdoc is to develop and optimize methods for intercalation of water-insoluble compounds into the LDH hosts interlayer and characterize interactions between the host structure and intercalated components.

Planned activities:

Synthesis of LDH hosts with interlayer modified for the incorporation of water-insoluble components, drugs intercalation in non-aqueous media (organic solvents), characterization of obtained products by instrumental techniques, characterization of intercalated drugs stability against degradation, dissolution tests.

Specific requirements:

  • PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry or related disciplines
  • Experience with materials characterization methods (powder XRD, FTIR, UV/VIS, etc.)
  • Hands-on experience with synthesis of intercalated compounds is welcome

Mentor: Prof. František Kovanda, Frantisek.Kovanda@vscht.cz

group website

Publications:

Lennerová D., Kovanda F., Brožek J.: Preparation of Mg–Al layered double hydroxide/polyamide 6 nanocomposites using Mg–Al–taurate LDH as nanofiller. Appl. Clay Sci. 114: 265-272, 2015.

Kovanda F., Maryšková Z., Kovář P.: Intercalation of paracetamol into the hydrotalcite-like host. J. Solid State Chem. 184 (12): 3329-3335, 2011.

Jiřičková M., Demel J., Kubát P., Hostomský J., Kovanda F., Lang K.: Photoactive self-standing films made of layered double hydroxides with arranged porphyrin molecules. J. Phys. Chem. C 115 (44): 21700-21706, 2011.

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CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY OF MATERIALS: CHARACTERIZATION OF GLASS SURFACE

Characterization of glass surface

The glass surface is poorly described despite strong demands for enhancing glass usability by improving and/or tailoring its surfaces. Combination of the advanced microscopic and spectroscopic methods with theoretical approaches as thermodynamic modelling and Molecular Dynamics simulations aims to shed light on this challenging issue.

Main objectives and role of postdoc:

The candidate will fuse simple oxide glasses, characterize them, suggest and carry out suitable experiments and run the computer simulations. Later, the researcher will be encouraged to introduce new approaches to surface characterization and to create/refine models to describe the structure, thermodynamics, and properties of the glass surface.

Planned activities:

Characterization of pristine chemically and physically treated glass surfaces by SEM, IM, TOF-SIMS, EPMA, EBSD, and Raman microscopies/spectroscopies; classical molecular simulation of simple glass systems with a focus to surfaces; study of interconnections among properties, structure, thermodynamics, and kinetics of glass surface; suggesting computer and real experiments to establish the dominant forces determining the surface evolution under the external effect.

Specific requirements:

  • Experience in programming (FORTRAN preferably), microscopic and spectroscopic analytical techniques is advisable
  • Good knowledge of physical chemistry, solid-state chemistry and spectroscopy is expected

Mentor: Prof. Ondrej Gedeon, ondrej.gedeon@vscht.cz

group website

Publications:

O.Gedeon, Origin of glass fragility and Vogel temperature emerging from Molecular dynamics simulations, J. Non-Cryst. Solids 498 (2018) 109-117.  

Gedeon, Medium range order and configurational entropy of vitreous silica, Phys. Chem.Glasses – Europ. J. Glass Science and Technol. B 59 (2018) 27-33.

Gavenda, O. Gedeon, K. Jurek, Structural and volume changes and their correlation in electron irradiated alkali silicate glasses, Nuclear Instr. and Methods in Physics Research B 397 (2017) 15-26.

Zemek, P. Jiricek, J. Houdkova, K. Jurek, O. Gedeon, Lead-silicate glass surface sputtered by an argon cluster ion beam investigated by XPS, J. Non-Cryst. Solids 469 (2017) 1-6.

Romanyuk, P. Jiricek, J. Zemek, J. Houdkova, K. Jurek, O. Gedeon, Irradiation of potassium-silicate glass surfaces: XPS and REELS study, Surface and Interface Analysis, 48 (2016) 543-546.

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ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY: CATALYSIS FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS

Multifunctional Catalysts for Efficient Biomass Valorization

Significant attention and research efforts of the scientific community have been dedicated to the efficient valorization of biomass-derived oxygenates to advanced biofuels and petrochemicals. Efficient conversion of simple biomass-derived building blocks, such as different furanics, aldehydes/ketones, acids/esters and phenolics, requires a cascade of multiple conversion steps including, for instance, C-C coupling, dehydration and hydrogenation reactions relying on multifunctional catalysts instead of a cascade of single-function catalysts. Thus, the main motivation of the project is to design efficient multifunctional catalysts for multicomponent mixtures of biomass-derived oxygenates.

Main objectives and role of postdoc:

  • Rational design of multifunctional catalysts
  • Synthesis of multifunctional catalysts
  • Characterization of multifunctional catalysts
  • Evaluation of multifunctional catalysts in the model reaction system including C-C coupling and (partial) hydrodeoxygenation
  • Interpreting the structure-activity relationships as a way to improve the catalyst design

Planned activities:

  • Design and synthesis of multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts
  • Detailed characterization of synthesized catalysts
  • Activity, selectivity and stability testing of the synthesized catalysts
  • Analysis of the catalyst synthesis-structure-properties and structure-properties-activity-selectivity relationships
  • Research project proposal preparation

Specific requirements:

  • Practical experience in heterogeneous catalysis
  • Hands-on experience with synthesis/preparation of heterogeneous catalysts
  • Knowledge of catalyst characterization methods
  • Hands-on experience with assessment of the performance of heterogeneous catalysts

Mentors: David Kubička, PhD, MBA and Assoc. Prof. Pavel Šimáček

David.Kubicka@vscht.cz  Pavel.Simacek@vscht.cz

Department website, Google Scholar

Publications:

R Ramos, Z Tišler, O Kikhtyanin, D Kubička, Towards understanding the hydrodeoxygenation pathways of furfural–acetone aldol condensation products over supported Pt catalysts, (2016) Catalysis Science & Technology 6 (6), 1829-1841

R Ramos, Z Tišler, O Kikhtyanin, D Kubička, Solvent effects in hydrodeoxygenation of furfural-acetone aldol condensation products over Pt/TiO2 catalyst, (2017) Applied Catalysis A: General 530, 174-183

R Ramos, JM Hidalgo, M Göpel, Z Tišler, F Bertella, A Martínez, O Kikhtyanin, D Kubička, Catalytic conversion of furfural-acetone condensation products into bio-derived C8 linear alcohols over NiCu/Al-SBA-15, (2018) Catalysis Communications 114, 42-45

L Hora, V Kelbichová, O Kikhtyanin, O Bortnovskiy, D Kubička, Aldol condensation of furfural and acetone over MgAl layered double hydroxides and mixed oxides, (2014) Catalysis Today 223, 138-147

D Kubička, L Kaluža, Deoxygenation of vegetable oils over sulfided Ni, Mo and NiMo catalysts, (2010) Applied Catalysis A: General 372 (2), 199-208

D Kubička, J Horáček, M Setnička, R Bulánek, A Zukal, I Kubičková, Effect of support-active phase interactions on the catalyst activity and selectivity in deoxygenation of triglycerides, (2013) Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 145, 101-107

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MICROBIAL ECOLOGY: BIOINFORMATICS

Bioinformatic analyses of microbial ecological data

With the advent of molecular microbiological techniques, microbial ecologists can now conduct detailed investigations into the composition and functional traits of microbial communities without the need to isolate individual species. Application of high-throughput DNA sequencing to the analysis of all genomes contained within an environmental sample, i.e. metagenomics, has opened new avenues of microbial ecological research. Metagenomics has not only significantly contributed to our understanding of factors which influence microbial diversity, but has also resulted in the recovery of phylogenetically novel taxa and/or novel metabolic pathways. Stable isotope probing (SIP) is a molecular technique where isotope-labelled substrates are pulsed into an environment and, when combined with metagenomics, can directly link members of the environmental community to metabolic activity and functional capacity. The goal of our research is to use metagenomics, metataxonomics (which relies on the amplification and sequencing of taxonomic marker genes), and possibly other omics techniques, in tandem with SIP to better understand: (i) microbial ecology of selected extreme habitats, including thermal or radon water springs or mofettas; (ii) the specific links between secondary plant metabolites, including lignin and its degradative intermediates, and the biodegradative and growth-promoting potential of microbial communities.

Main objectives and role of postdoc:

Our goal is to understand: (i) microbial ecology of selected extreme habitats, including thermal or radon water springs or mofettas; (ii) the specific links between secondary plant metabolites, including lignin and its degradative intermediates, and the biodegradative and growth-promoting potential of microbial communities.

Responsibilities of the post-doctoral fellow will include the analysis of high-throughput sequencing data for the sake of taxonomic and (meta)genomic analyses, including the application of established bioinformatic protocols, as well as the development of novel bioinformatics tools and pipelines.

Planned activities:

  • Analysis of high-throughput sequence date from a range of sequencing technologies – Illumina, Nanopore
  • Assembly and annotation of whole genomes
  • Binning of MAGs from metagenomic and metagenomic-SIP data
  • Functional analysis of whole genomes, MAGs, metagenomes and DNA-SIP metagenomes
  • Multivariate statistical analyses
  • Preparation of publications
  • Presentation of results at lab seminars and conferences

Specific requirements:

  • PhD in Microbial Ecology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics or related disciplines
  • Experience in metagenomic data analysis, taxonomic marker analyses
  • Publications in the field of microbial ecology and/or bioinformatics
  • Proficiency with Linux system and shell scripting
  • Demonstrated ability to use a range of established bioinformatics tools as well as the development of novel pipelines
  • Knowledge of multivariate statistical analyses
  • Ability to process and visualize data in R/Python environment
  • Familiarity with microbial metabolic pathways and phylogeny
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a diverse and fast-paced team

Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Ondřej Uhlík, ondrej.uhlik@vscht.cz

Google Scholar, website

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METABOLOMICS AND BIOMONITORING

Development of advanced analytical strategies and big data handling approaches in metabolomics

The project will focus on metabolites that represent the ultimate response of biological system to various factors. As metabolites are fairly different not only in their structure, thus in physico-chemical properties, but also show dynamism in time and space, strategies applicable for their measurements remain the challenge. Currently, gas / liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry are extensively used in untargeted metabolomics, which involves the profiling of small metabolites in biological samples. The main objective of the project will be the implementation of a comprehensive workflow both for application of the advanced instrumental techniques and for proper, high throughput processing of raw datasets generated by measurements. The optimized approaches will be employed within several case studies concerned with various biological samples.                                                                                                   

Role of postdoc:

The main goal of the postdoc will be taking an active role in the development of novel metabolomic approaches for biological samples measurements. Specific attention will be paid to implementation of big data handling strategies that should use vendor neutral data file formats and freely available data processing tools in order to be readily implemented on datasets acquired from instruments of different vendors.

Planned activities:

  • Proposal of effective matrix-dependent metabolomic workflows
  • Characterization sample sets using metabolomic fingerprinting / profiling, data assessment and interpretation, including (bio)markers identification
  • Networking with young scientist working in similar research field around the world
  • Publishing obtained data and findings in the peer-reviewed journals and presenting them at international conferences

Specific requirements:

  • Knowledge of biotic samples handling (biotic fluids/tissues, plant matrices, food) strategies
  • Experience in application of chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry in analysis of food, human and other biotic samples
  • At least a basic knowledge of multi-dimensional statistics

Mentor: Prof. Jana Hajslova,  jana.hajslova@vscht.cz

department website

Publications: Please go to publications

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MATERIAL SCIENCE: GAS SEPARATION

Preparation and study of properties of bi-functional nanocomposite materials for efficient targeted separation of gases and vapors

The project will focus on the preparation of new bi-functional composite materials (based on polymers and / or carbon materials), their characterization (SEM, XRD, TGA, XPS, etc.) and testing of permeation and sorption properties. The influence of preparation conditions and experimental conditions and the effect of nano-additives (magnetic 3D structured nanoparticles with catalytic effect) on the structure and overall separation performance of composite membranes will be studied. Based on the obtained results, the transport of gases and vapors through these materials will be studied and modeled. A unique developed and patented device for controlled deposition of magnetic and magnetically responsive nanoparticles into membranes during their preparation will be used for the preparation of composite materials and will provide the appropriate methodology for other prepared membrane materials as well.

Role of postdoc:

The main goal of the postdoc is to prepare, characterize and test new bi-functional composite materials for targeted membrane separations.

Planned activities:

  • Preparation of new composite bi-functional membranes from polymers, carbon-based materials and special nanoadditives
  • Characterization and testing of composite membranes by analytical and other experimental apparatuses
  • Determination of results and modelling of the transport through membranes
  • Publishing obtained data and findings in the peer-reviewed journals and presenting them at international conferences

Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Karel FRIESS, karel.friess@vscht.cz

group website, Google Scholar

Specific requirements:

PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Material science, Membrane Science or Chemical Engineering

Publications:

Boháčová et al., Applied Materials Today 15, 335-342, 2019

Lanč et. al., Journal of membrane science 570, 522-536, 2019

Lanč et al., Polymer 144, 33-42, 2018

Bouša et al., Chemistry-A European Journal 23 (47), 11416-11422, 2017

Friess et al., Journal of membrane science 415, 801-809, 2012

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COLLOIDAL ENGINEERING & NANOMATERIALS

Controlled assembly of nanoparticles into functional materials and their application

The proposed project is building on the successful development of methodology using the process of nanoparticle assembly into 3D nano- and micro-materials. The project will extend this knowledge towards the development of novel materials suitable for separation of biomolecules, bio-/photo-catalysis, hydrogen storage, scaffolds for tissue engineering and controlled drug delivery. Material backbone will be prepared by nanoparticle assembly using polymeric or inorganic materials followed by suitable surface functionalization (i.e. biomolecule receptor, enzyme immobilization, MOF decoration, incorporation of photocatalytic material). Consequent characterization (SEM, nitrogen sorption, Hg porosimetry, XRD, TGA, XPS etc.) will serve as a basis for the optimization of the synthesis process and testing of the final material.

Role of postdoc:

The postdoc will be responsible for the synthesis of suitable nanoparticles, optimization of assembly process and functionalization of the final material. Once prepared, she/he will perform material characterization and testing. She/he will collaborate with PhD students working on related research topics as well as co-supervise Bc/MSc thesis dedicated to the project research topic.

Planned activities:

  • Preparation of nanoparticles (NPs) to be used as building blocks for the synthesis of 3D structures
  • Optimize assembly (self-assembly) process for the preparation of material with desired properties (e.g. porosity and pore size distribution, cluster size, shape and composition)
  • Development of surface functionalization using suitable chemistry allowing attachment of desired molecules/end groups
  • Characterization of prepared material properties using a combination of techniques (SEM/TEM, DLS/SLS, nitrogen sorption, Hg porosimetry, XRD, TGA, XPS etc.)
  • Testing the applicability of prepared material for separation of biomolecules, conversion of molecules using immobilized enzymes or photocatalyst, formation of 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering or controlled drug delivery
  • Co-supervision of Bachelor and/or Diploma thesis related to the project research topic
  • Preparation of two to four scientific publications in the impact factor journals, at least in two of them junior researcher will be the first author

Mentor: Prof. Miroslav Šoóš, miroslav.soos@vscht.cz

group website

Specific requirements:

The candidate is expected to have proven knowledge in the following area:

  • Organic/polymer chemistry/material synthesis
  • Material characterization using at least some of these techniques: SEM, DLS/SLS, nitrogen sorption, Hg porozimetry, XRD, TGA, XPS etc.
  • Functionalization of material surfaces allowing attachment of biomolecules and charged end groups

Publications:

Kutorglo E. A., Hassouna F., Beltzung A., Kopecký D., Sedlářová I. and M. Šoóš, Nitrogen-rich hierarchically porous polyaniline-based sorbents for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, Chemical Engineering Journal 2019, 360, 1199-1212

Kim H., Hassouna F., Muzika F., Arabacı M., Kopecký D., Sedlářová I. and M. Šoóš, Urease adsorption immobilization on ionic liquid-like macroporous polymeric support, Journal of Materials Science 2019, 54, 14884–14896

Kutorglo E. A., Hassouna F., Kopecký D., Fišer L., Sedlářová I., Zadražil A. and M. Šoóš, Synthesis of conductive macroporous composite polymeric materials using porogen-free method, Colloids and Surfaces A. 2018, 557, 137-145

Lamprou A., Gavriilidou A. F. M., Storti G., Soos M. and M. Morbidelli, Application of Polymeric Macroporous Supports for Temperature-Responsive Chromatography of Pharmaceuticals, Journal of Chromatography A 2015, 1407, 90–99

de Neuville B. C., Lamprou A., Morbidelli M. and M Soos, Perfusive ion-exchange chromatographic materials with high capacity, Journal of Chromatography A 2014, 1374, 180–188

Lamprou A., Kose I., Pen͂a Z. A., Storti G., Morbidelli M. and M. Soos, Macroporous Polymer Particles via Reactive Gelation under Shear: Effect of Primary Particle Properties and Operating Parameters, Langmuir 2014, 30, 13970-13978

Lamprou A., Kose I., Storti G., Morbidelli M. and M. Soos, Synthesis of Macroporous Polymer Particles using Reactive Gelation under Shear, Langmuir 2014, 30, 6946–6953

Codari F., Moscatelli D. S., Furlan M., Lattuada M., Morbidelli M and M. Soos, Synthesis of Hetero-Nano-Clusters: The Case of Polymer-Magnetite Systems, Langmuir 2014, 30, 2266−2273

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Updated: 18.2.2020 13:04, Author: Anna Konecká

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