Postdoctoral position in frontiers of materials NMR at the University of Oulu, Finland (2-3.5 years)

The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 16,000 students and 3,000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University are broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes (


The open postdoctoral position is in the broad field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), in one of the following specific topics:

1.      Ultrafast multidimensional Laplace NMR

2.      Nuclear magneto-optic spectroscopy

3.      Theory of paramagnetic NMR

4.      Computational NMR of materials systems


The position is located at the NMR Research Unit (, in the Faculty of Science. We are an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50 % with a PhD degree. We develop experimental, theoretical and computational research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programmes. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with six spectrometers (300 – 600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarisation), as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer centre (2,300 TFlop/s total capacity). Local Linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid, as well as Grid and Cloud Infrastructures are used for high-throughput production calculations.


Subject field and description of the position


The position is a part of the new Thule institute ( project Frontiers of Materials NMR, which has just received strategic funding from the University of Oulu. The four possible research directions of the position are briefly described in the following:


1.      In ultrafast multidimensional Laplace NMR, spatial encoding is used to correlate dynamic properties such as T1/2 relaxation times and molecular diffusion, to achieve unforeseen speed and applications potential in the chemical resolution and dynamics in macromolecular systems.

2.      In nuclear magneto-optic spectroscopy, we aim at combining nuclear site-specific information similar to but also adding to that of NMR, with a potentially much higher sensitivity due to optical detection of the changes in the polarization state of light travelling through a nuclear spin-polarized sample.

3.      In theory of paramagnetic NMR, we develop quantum-chemical methodology for the NMR parameters (nuclear shielding, spin-spin coupling and relaxation times) of electronically open-shell molecules and materials.

4.      In computational NMR of materials systems, we develop and apply molecular modelling (quantum chemistry and molecular simulation) to assign, analyze and predict the NMR spectral parameters of complex materials.


The length of the position is two years, with an option for extension up to additional 1.5 years. The project ends on December 31, 2020. The starting date is July 1, 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter.


Required Qualifications and assessment


The successful applicant must have a completed PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field. The applicants must show a visible scientific profile. They have to indicate which of the projects 1 — 4 their application should be considered for. Significant experience in the method development of experimental molecular spectroscopy (NMR and/or magneto-optic measurements) is to be documented for projects 1 — 2. Proficiency in the development and/or advanced application of computational methods in NMR theory is a prerequisite for a strong application in projects 3 — 4. All projects require computer experience and mastery of at least one relevant programming language (e.g., Fortran, C++, Python, Mathematica, Matlab).


A four-month trial period will be effective in the beginning of the two-year contract. Furthermore, the extension of up to 1.5 years will be effective if the goals defined in the beginning of the project for the initial two-year period are successfully implemented.


Fluent English, good communication skills and good teamwork skills are required. Further, demonstrated potential in acquiring supplementary (extramural) funding, and teaching experience will be taken as a merit when choosing the scientist. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include scientific publications, thesis supervision, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question, scientific work abroad, and other international activities.


As part of the NMR Research Unit, the duties also include supervising scientific research of BSc, MSc and PhD students. Participation in teaching within the physics curriculum and acquiring research funding are naturally expected.




The salary will be based on the levels 5 – 6 of the demand level chart for university-level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 3,500 – 4,000 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.


Application Procedure


The following documents must be attached to the application:

1) Brief curriculum vitae in English

2) List of publications in international peer-reviewed journals

3) Brief description of research merits

4) Brief (1 – 2 pages) research and action plan in English

5) Contact information of two persons whom may be asked to give a statement of the candidate


Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using electronic application form by 15.5.2017.




The top candidates for the post may be interviewed and asked to present their plans for running the post successfully.


For further information regarding the filling of this post:


Professor Juha Vaara, head of the NMR Research Unit, NMR theory group, University of Oulu, tel. +358-40-196 6658, email: juha.vaara(at)

Docent Ville-Veikko Telkki, Experimental NMR group, University of Oulu, tel. +358-29-448 1309, email: ville-veikko.telkki(at)

Head of Administration Tiina Pääkkönen, Faculty of Science, email: tiina.paakkonen(at)


Link to application: