Research Associate, CEROP project

The Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium, CERIC–ERIC, is an integrated multidisciplinary Research Infrastructure open for basic and applied research in all fields of materials and biomaterial sciences and nanotechnology. CERIC has been established by integrating advanced research facilities based in 8 countries (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania and Slovenia) into a unique European entity supporting the creation of basic and applied knowledge and promoting the mobility of researchers in an international multicultural scientific environment.

The position is available for the CERIC-ERIC project CEROP - Deciphering single-atom catalysis in Pt/ceria systems via advancing the CERIC operando methods.
The present project deals with application of operando experimental and theoretical methods that yield information on catalyst interactions with realistic gaseous or liquid environments on disentangling the physics and chemistry behind the exceptional activity of ceria based catalysts with atomically dispersed ionic platinum. A broad range of operando methods is available, and, within the project, will be further developed in project partner laboratories, the Surface Physics Laboratory at the Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, the synchrotron SAXS beamline at Elettra Sincrotrone, Trieste, Italy, operated by the Graz University of Technology, Austria, and the synchrotron XAFS beamline at Elettra Sincrotrone, Trieste, Italy.

Job description:

The successful candidate will be involved in the activity of CEROP project and he/she will be based in Trieste, Italy. She/he will collaborate with the CNR-IOM DEMOCRITOS staff in order to accomplish the theoretical program of CEROP. In particular, she/he will be responsible for the development and application of computational modeling techniques based on density functional theory and capable to simulate active catalytic sites and surface reactions in realistic conditions of temperature and pressure. In particular, the candidate will investigate the effects of finite temperature and complex environments (high pressure, liquid, etc) on the (electro-) chemical reactivity of advanced catalysts for fuel cells.

Qualifications and other Requirements:

The successful candidate has to meet the following requirements:

  • PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or related disciplines.
  • Training and experience in density functional theory and electronic structure methods for the simulation of oxide surfaces, with particular reference to 1) modelling activated events at oxide surfaces (defect formation, diffusion and segregation, clustering, chemical reactions); 2) ab-initio surface thermodynamics; 3) ab-initio molecular dynamics and advanced sampling techniques (metadynamics, umbrella sampling and others); 4) computational techniques for capturing solvent-induced effects on surfaces. This should include a demonstrated capability for connecting the simulation results with experimental data, such as HRTEM, XPS, STM and others.
  • Experience with pseudopotential plane-wave DFT codes for static and dynamic electronic-structure materials’ simulation. Experience with the Quantum ESPRESSO package will be considered as an asset.
  • Postdoctoral experience and publication activity in the above fields will be considered as another advantage.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English are essential.


The position is available from the 15th September, 2017. The contract duration is 1 year with the possibility of extension for another 6 months.

How to apply:

Applications should include a full curriculum vitae, list of publications, names and contact information (including electronic mail) of at least two references.
The applications should be sent to the following e-mail address:, with the following subject of the mail: Research Associate at CERIC-ERIC - CEROP.

The position will be open until a suitable candidate is found.

For further information about the project, please contact:

Dr. Josef Mysliveček
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics - Charles University
V Holešovičkách 2. 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic

Dr. Stefano Fabris
Centro DEMOCRITOS - Istituto Officina dei Materiali CNR-IOM
c/o Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA)
Via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy