New PhD position available!

ESR4: Developing quantum mechanical models to account for complex environments: from solution to membranes and cells


Candidates with a background in physics, chemistry, or informatics are invited to apply for a PhD position. You will be registered at  Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) to obtain the PhD degree.

The aim of the doctoral project is to identify methods that are best suited (fastest at sufficient accuracy) to account for the influence of solvents and electrolytes, particularly specific interactions beyond continuum models, on absorption and fluorescence spectra as well as fluorescence lifetimes. The candidate will study interactions between molecules and environments at systematically varied model complexities. Thus, the fellow will be able to apply the most suitable models to predict optimum molecular functionalizations for ideal anchoring of dyes in membranes. Beyond such thermodynamical calculations on molecular ground states the candidate will model the influence of such dye-environment interactions on properties of photoexcited states, particularly fluorescence spectra and lifetimes.

Secondments: investigation of environmental parameters that need to accounted for in theoretical modelling of sensors in membranes (one month secondments each at UL/Netherlands and DCU/Ireland), optimization of sensors (one month secondment at GUT/Poland) , and implementation of quatum chemical models (3 months secondment at the company COSMOlogic/Germany).

Requirements: Master/Engineering degree in Physics, Chemistry or Informatics, preferably with majors in theoretical chemistry, theoretical physics, or computational materials modelling. The candidate should have good knowledge and interest in both experimental and theoretical work. Interest in the field of photochemistry, photophysics and molecular modelling is required. Knowledge in the field of (bio)chemical sensing, quantum chemistry are great assets. As an equal opportunity employer SCI is committed to increase the percentage of female scientists and therefore especially encourages them to apply.

Planned start date: 1st May 2019

Application deadline: 28th February 2019

Contact: Applications should be sent to Dr. Martin Presselt at martin.presselt(at)