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PhD position in Advanced thin films for scalable energy conversion and storage devices

The Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Energy Devices (SDU CAPE), invites applications for a fully funded PhD fellowship in “Advanced thin films for scalable energy conversion and storage devices”. The PhD position is part of the new cross-disciplinary SDU Climate Cluster Elite center for ‘Solar Energy Conversion and Storage (SOLEN)’. The expected starting date is July 1st, 2023, for a 3-year period.

What we offer
The PhD position is a part of the new SDU Climate Cluster (SCC) Elite center SOLEN, which aims to design, develop, and bring forward new sustainable solar energy conversion and storage technologies using a strongly cross-disciplinary approach. For this PhD position, the activities focus on fabrication, characterization and scalable coating of organic, hybrid and metal oxide thin films, as well as their integration by design into new sustainable thin film devices for energy conversion and storage.

The majority of your working time is devoted to your own research studies. As a PhD student you are expected to develop your own ideas and communicate scientific results in English. We offer a fully funded PhD position for the duration of three years.

The successful applicant will be enrolled as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of Engineering.

What we expect
Candidates who have a previous master’s degree in a field relevant to the mentioned PhD-project may seek the fellowships (electrical engineering, material science, physics, chemistry and similar). Preferred candidates have experience with some of the following: Thin film fabrication and characterization, organic, hybrid and/or metal oxide semiconductors and thin films, Roll-to-Roll coating technology, devices for energy conversion and storage (e.g. thin film photovoltaics, supercapacitors, batteries, water electrolysis processes and green hydrogen). Due to the strong cross-disciplinary nature of the work, the candidate is expected to have excellent collaboration skills. Collaborative projects are considered an asset. A very good capability of communicating scientific results in English, both orally and in writing is required.

Workplace description / Research environment 
SDU Climate Cluster's (SCC) mission is, through interdisciplinary research, to contribute to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. That is, a society where no more greenhouse gas is emitted than is absorbed. SOLEN is a new Elite Center of SCC that span across four faculties at SDU, to foster in a cross-disciplinary manner new solar energy conversion and storage technologies based on green and sustainable solutions. The PhD position is hosted at SDU CAPE, Mads Clausen Institute, SDU Faculty of Engineering, which is an international research center working in the field of green energy technologies from scalable thin films. The position includes strong collaborations, research visits and co-supervision with the SOLEN research teams at the other faculties, which encompass Prof. Ulla Gro Nielsen and Associate Prof. Steffen Bähring (SDU FKF, Odense), Prof. Kerstin Fischer (SDU IDK), Prof. Brooks Alexandra Kaiser (SDU MERE), along with further collaborators at the Mads Clausen Institute as well as internal collaborators.

We offer a modern, inclusive, international, and interdisciplinary working environment with state-of-the-art facilities as well as a strong tradition of international collaboration. Our ambition is, to recruit, develop, and retain talented scholars committed to both academic excellence and departmental development.

Having a focus on green energy technologies - improving performance, device stability and up-scaling of thin film energy devices - the center has full access to an ISOS5 cleanroom and surface science laboratory facility for the fabrication and characterization of thin films and devices, as well as a Roll-to-Roll (R2R) facility for upscaling flexible devices. Our research center CAPE is a partner in various national and international research projects and networks that include collaboration partners from both academia and industry.

Read more on:

Contact information
For information about the Mads Clausen Institute, please see

Further information about this position is available from Professor Morten Madsen, e-mail:

Please be aware that we will not accept any email applications, as all applications must be submitted through the SDU online recruitment system.

If you experience technical problems, you must contact  

Conditions of employment
Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- EURO per month incl. supplements).

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the Head of the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order), read more here

The assessment process
Read about the Assessment and selection process. Shortlisting may be used. 

Application procedure
The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and the SDU information on How to apply before applying.

The application deadline is March 31, 2023.

The application must be in English and must include the following - the required forms can be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:

  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”. 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, including personal contact information, describing research, publications (if any), along with any other relevant information, e.g. teaching experience, computational skills etc.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”. 
  • Three names and emails of researchers, who can provide an informed reference letter at short notice.
  • Reference letters may also be included. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.

Further information about the PhD-study can be found at the

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated.

About SDU and Sønderborg

The University of Southern Denmark was founded in 1966 and now as a multi-campus university has more than 27,000 students, almost 20% of whom are from abroad. It has more than 3,800 employees, and 115 different study programmes in the fields of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, and engineering. Its main campus is located in Odense, while the newest campus is located in Sønderborg.

Sønderborg encompasses both a rural idyll and the pulse of the city center. Here you will find magnificent nature with beautiful forest and a long coastline, which invites to versatile water activities, but it is in many ways a distinct study city - from the student discounts on the cafés' menu, the shopping opportunities, a festive nightlife to an active and exciting study environment characterized by professional, cultural and social networks and events. And whether you are into sports, tango, art or jazz, you will find more than 700 voluntary associations and sports clubs to back you up and give the whole family ample opportunity to unfold and cultivate their interest. Sønderborg is also a model city in Denmark on energy sustainability, in which a full CO2 neutrality will be achieved by 2029.

International applicants will be offered Danish language training as part of the employment. International Staff Office (ISO) at SDU provides a variety of services for new employees, guests and people who consider applying for a job at the University of Southern Denmark. Among other things, the staff answers questions concerning salary, taxation and housing. For further information on what it is like working at SDU, please read “10 good reasons why you should choose SDU”. Additional information about working in Denmark can be found at Work in Denmark.

SDU is actively working with UN's 17 sustainable development goals, based on the free, critical and independent research and education. The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their age, gender, religious affiliation or ethnicity, or any other personal background.

Applications must be received no later than March 31, 2023, after which the link will no longer be active.

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Ansøgningsfrist 2023-mar-31

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