PhD student in Solid-State NMR at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm

The Department of Materials- and Environmental Chemistry (MMK) is one of the largest departments at the Faculty of Natural sciences with about 140 employees. The extensive research activities of MMK, hosting the Berzelii Center EXSELENT for development of nanoporous materials for catalysis, span over Materials and Solid-State Chemistry focusing on different classes of materials; e.g. ceramics and glasses, self-assembled and porous materials, and soft matter. The work often encompasses synthesis, characterisation by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, NMR studies, modelling with computer simulations of materials with a potential for various applications. Environmental aspects are an important part of the research activities.

Project description

Project title: Solid-state NMR studies of bioactive phosphate cements

Ref. No: SU FV-2106-16

Supervisor: Prof.  Mattias Edén,

Our research is focused on developing and applying solid-state NMR spectroscopy for structural investigations of disordered inorganic materials, such as glasses and porous materials. The present PhD project is one part of a research program funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, involving groups at MMK, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institute, and Gothenburg University. The main goal is to develop new injectable calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) representing the next-generation of “smart” bone/tooth implants: they naturally integrate with the surrounding tissue, while also promoting new bone growth through the release of active dopants, such as Si, Sr, pyrophosphate, and phosphoserine species. After mixing and injecting the CPC precursors into a bone/tooth void, they harden into cements thatslowly degrade while releasing the active dopants.

A rational design of optimal CPC formulations demands an improved understanding of how the precursors interact after mixing towards the hardened cement, and how its subsequent release of the bone-promoting species may be actively controlled. The present PhD project will address such questions by employing both routine and advanced solid-state NMR techniques formonitoring how the various poorly ordered calcium phosphates react and transform over time and how this process may be tailored by the choice of initial precursor formulations, as well as other parameters, such as pH and temperature. 

Solid-state NMR is a powerful and versatile characterization technique that is ideally suited for atomic scale structural probings of disordered materials. We particularly encourage students with background in Physical Chemistry or Chemical Physics to apply. The ideal candidate is a self-motivated person with a passion for solving challenging scientific problems. Previous experience with solid-state NMR is considered as an advantage, but is not necessary.

The NMR studies will be performed in conjunction with computer modeling to be carried out at MMK. Depending on interest, the more theoretically geared PhD student may also participate in the modeling work, which will involve molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and density functional theory (DFT) calculations.

The following links provides further information:

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry:

Mattias Edén’s Research Group page:

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Materials Chemistry is valid. Those studies should include at least one specialized course or a thesis in the research subject. In order to facilitate the evaluation of merits and suitability for the PhD studies your curriculum vitae (CV) should contain information about the extent and focus of the academic studies. The quantity (as part of an academic year) and the quality mark of courses in chemistry and physics are of particular interest. Please, state titles of undergraduate theses and project works.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle program may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. A committee will go through the applications and rank after the applicants capacity to benefit from a PhD education. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in both Swedish and English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position. A short list will be set up and interviews with the top candidates will be carried out at the department or via internet.

Economic support for the PhD studies are guarantied for full time studies during the time period agread on in the individual study plan. The studies does normally mean four years full time studies. You are encouraged to contact the project leader for more information about the project. For general information about the Department of Materials- and Inorganic Chemistry please contact Professor Gunnar Svensson (head of department),

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20% of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


For more information, please contact the project leader Professor Mattias Edén, phone +46 8 16 23

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST), telephone: 
+46 8 16 20 00 (operator), Gunnar Stenberg (SEKO), telephone: +46 70 316 43 41, and PhD student representative,

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system by clicking the "Apply" button. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data*
  • Your highest degree*
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter*
  • CV* – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Letter of intent (no more than 3 pages) describing: 
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement 
    – why and how you wish to complete the project 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements* (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Other documents you want to include.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are obligatory.

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.