Vacancy No.

Early Stage Researcher Position (f/m/d)

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a scientifically recognized research university in the Helmholtz association. The Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) of the KIT wants to fill one position as

Early Stage Researcher Position (f/m/d)

in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Project POLYSTORAGE-ETN, Grant Agreement No 860403.

POLYSTORAGE ETN aims to develop high-quality training opportunities for 16 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) (one financed with Australian funds) in the area of “Polymers for Next Generation Electrochemical Energy Storage”. The final objective is the training of materials scientists, who will be the future scientific leaders, to face some of the upcoming European energy and environmental challenges. Well-balanced combination of fundamental and basic material and polymer science with applied research in advanced energy storage devices is a key aspect of this training network. A comprehensive training programme has been designed at two levels including local activities, such as enrolment in PhD programmes, local courses, etc., and network-wide activities, such as sectorial secondments, six workshops, two schools and one final conference. The goal of the project is the exploitation of the high number of potential synergies between innovative polymers and next-generation energy storage technologies, such as post-lithium batteries, redox flow batteries, and all-polymer batteries. POLYSTORAGE assembles 12 beneficiaries (incl. 2 industries) and 13 partners (incl. 11 industries). POLYSTORAGE academic partners are internationally renowned for their research and training activities in polymer science (University of Jena (Germany), University of the Basque Country (Spain), University of Leuven (Belgium), University of Pau (France), Aalto University (Finland)) and energy storage (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Uppsala University (Sweden), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Imdea Energy (Spain), National Institute of Chemistry (Slovenia) and Deakin University (Australia)). The 13 industries offering complementary expertise are LITHOPS SRL (Italy), E22 Energy Storage Solutions (Spain), Scania CV AB (Sweden), Toyota Motor Europe (Belgium), Evonic Creavis GmbH (Germany), TCI Europe (Belgium), CALIX – Europe SARL (France), Chemspeed Technologies AG (Switzerland), NETZSCH Gerätebau GmbH (Germany), Solvionic S.A. (France), Repsol S.A. (Spain), Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (Japan) and Calix Limited (Australia). The industrial partners will have an active participation in the training activities and exploitation of the project results.

Description of Individual ESR project:

Title: Development of hybrid organic batteries with solid polymer electrolytes and redox polymer electrodes

Objectives: The main objective of this PhD study is the development of lab-scale prototype hybrid organic batteries containing solid polymer electrolytes and redox polymer electrodes. This project will include (i) identification of cell fabrication parameters leading to good cell performance and long cycle life, (ii) investigation of charge transfer at the electrode-electrolyte interface, (iii) fabrication of laboratory-scale prototype cells containing a redox polymer cathode, a solid polymer electrolyte, and a lithium metal anode.

Expected results: Fabrication of a lab-scale prototype cell containing a redox polymer cathode, a solid polymer electrolyte, and a lithium metal anode. Synergy between redox-active material development, polymer electrolyte development, and cell fabrication. Development of strategies for the optimisation of the interface between SPEs and electrodes.


Job description

Your tasks:

  • To undertake research, e.g., by planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcome of experiments, performing data analysis, desktop research etc.
  • To conduct experiments in the field of electrochemical energy storage, in particular lithium-ion batteries, with a focus on polymer electrolytes and novel battery systems
  • To participate in maintaining laboratory facilities and assist other members of the group by sharing knowledge and expertise. To collaborate with others to tackle interdisciplinary problems in close cooperation with experts from adjacent disciplines in chemistry and physics.
  • To actively participate within the research group, communicating and presenting research at meetings, through publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate, ensuring information is communicated to internal and external partners.
  • To contribute to research publications and presentations as required.
  • To analyse and communicate complex ideas, concepts and data using appropriate methods.
  • To resolve issues and support senior colleagues in devising procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
  • To generate research output and contribute to the development of independent and original ideas as appropriate.
  • To maintain and update area of specialist knowledge, researching and critically appraising relevant literature within the area.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate and that will enhance performance.
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.
  • To teach undergraduates in physical chemistry lab courses


Personal qualification


  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, material science, chemical / energy engineering or equivalent relevant research experience. The degree must be obtained before the beginning of the contract but you can apply before.
  • Expertise in electrochemistry and preferably in polymer chemistry.
  • Knowledge of research methods and techniques within specialist field.
  • Proven ability to analyse complex information and summaries appropriately.
  • Proven communication skills, including presentation to various audiences.
  • Excellent organisational and team-working skills.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and accuracy within work.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English


We offer:

  • To become part of a highly motivated, international project team
  • To benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences in addition to the individual scientific PhD project
  • Planned secondments:

In addition to the individual scientific project, the fellow will benefit from further continuing education, which includes secondments. In this project, the following secondments are planned: 7 months at Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) to be trained on synthesis and characterisation of self-assembled redox block copolymers and 3 months at NETZSCH Gerätebau GmbH (Germany) to conduct research in cell testing and thermal characterisation.

Organizational unit

Helmholtz Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage (HIU)

Starting date


Additional Information


ESR eligibility criteria

There are strict eligibility requirements for the ESR PhD positions. Please ensure that you qualify before applying, as ineligible candidates cannot be considered.


  • MUST be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This 4-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • MUST NOT have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their start date of the contract. Compulsory national service, short stays, such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

For more information on MSCA-ITN, visit

Applicants must confirm and be prepared to provide evidence that they meet the Marie Skłodowska -Curie eligibility criteria as specified above.

English language: It is a requirement that applicants will show that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficient for them to derive the full benefit from the network training, and to embark on a doctorate at a university.

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions. The successful candidates will receive a salary in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska -Curie regulations for early stage researchers.
Exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment.

The vacant position is limited to 3 years. The position offers the possibility to graduate as a PhD.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity as well as a good balance between university and family life.

As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to increase the number of women working in the field advertised.

Disabled persons are explicitly encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if appropriately qualified.

Have we piqued your interest? Then please submit your application including the following documents until 29/02/2020 via the application platform at (link to the platform) as well as to

-           Application form [link]

-           Motivation letter

-           Curriculum vitae of at most 3 pages. Europass C.V. format preferred


-           Transcripts and certifications from university:

-           Bachelor degree, including class ranking if possible.

-           Master degree (or equivalent), including class ranking if possible.

-           Names of at least two references who are willing to write a letter of recommendation on the candidate’s behalf (they may be contacted by us)

-           Any other relevant documents

Host institution and PhD enrolment:

                                    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) (

Main supervisor:          Prof. Dr. Stefano Passerini (

Start of employment:    01.05.2020

Application deadline:    29.02.2020


For any additional information, please contact Prof. Dr. Stefano Passerini (


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number .
Personnel support is provided by 

Mr Dolzinski
phone: +49 721 608-25030,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, severely disabled persons will be preferred.