PhD Student (f/m/d) in Electrochemistry

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH
91052, Erlangen-Ost (DE)
Salary group EG13 (TvöD Bund)
September 27 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
All Industry
Job Type

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) investigates and develops materials for a sustainable energy supply of the future. For this purpose, we operate the synchrotron facility BESSY II as well as several core labs for investigating materials. BESSY II attracts users from all over the world with its unique experimental facilities. With approx. 1,200 employees, HZB is today one of the largest non-university research centres in Berlin. More information:


... is the formula for our successful human resources policy. We offer wide-ranging internal and external qualification opportunities for our employees, including special support for junior scientists. Our family-friendly workplace policy includes flexible working hours and telework arrangements. HZB values diversity as driver for successful scientific collaborative work and promotes a supportive working atmosphere for people from all backgrounds.

PhD Student (f/m/d) in Electrochemistry

Reference No.: CE 2021/23

If your application is successful, you will be part of the Dynamic Electrocatalyst Interfaces group
Our research interests are primarily in the field of electrochemical performance of materials used in electrochemical energy conversion and storage, in particular water electrolysis systems for hydrogen production. We do interdisciplinary fundamental research with the focus on understanding the complex interplay between composition/electronic structure of the materials and their impact on the mechanisms of catalytic reactions. The group works in close collaboration with the Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN) and the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and based in Erlangen.

The available PhD position is related to our research activities on electrochemical water splitting. In this project we aim at advanced understanding fundamentals of the hydrogen evolution reaction and degradation mechanisms in cathode catalysts. The eventual goal is development of active and stable electrocatalysts based on mechanistic insights provided by sophisticated coupling of novel electrochemical techniques with online analytical tools.

Topic of the doctoral thesis: Stability and Mechanism Study of Electrocatalysts for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

You will be a member of the Graduate School "Materials for Solar Energy Conversion (MatSEC)".
Your place of work is Erlangen.

Your tasks:

  • Execution of experiments (electrochemical measurements of performance of the hydrogen evolution reaction catalysts using advanced electrochemical methods)
  • Coupling electrochemical methods and analytics
  • Collaboration with partners within HZB, HI ERN and FAU. Analysis and communication of the obtained experimental data
  • Writing papers and presenting the results at conferences
  • Representing of the research group in project meetings


  • Excellent master or university degree in Physical or Analytical Chemistry
  • Experience in fundamental and/or applied electrochemistry, physical chemistry and analytics is mandatory
  • Previous experience in application of mass spectrometry based techniques for detection of volatile species is desired
  • Strong interest in pursuing research in a multidisciplinary project related to the optimization of electrocatalysts for water electrolysis. High motivation for pursuing a PhD within 3 years
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team, ability to show initiative and work independently
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English and German

Our offer:

  • A lively scientific environment within the centre and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the HI ERN, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and numerous partners in Germany and abroad
  • An excellent international environment to perform sound, high-quality research at the international level
  • Daily, hands-on experience in worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • Active participation in project meetings, as well as on national and international conferences to present the results and to develop further competences
  • Strong support and mentoring for setting up a future career in science and/or the industry
  • A comprehensive further training programme
  • Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and private life. Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD)

Fixed term contract for 36 months. The salary is based on the Collective Agreement for the German Public Service (TVöD-Bund).

How to apply:

Attachments: motivation letter, CV, transcript of grades, references
We look forward to receiving your application via our application management system by 19.10.2021. For reasons of data protection regulations, we are unfortunately unable to consider applications that reach us by email or by mail in the application process.

We strive to increase the proportion of female employees and are therefore particularly pleased to receive applications from women. Disabled applicants with equal aptitude are given Preference.

Apply here:

Dr. Olga Kasian
Telefon: +49 211 6792724