Quick facts

    • Stockholm
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Chemistry
  • Physics


  • Phd

Apply by: 2024-02-29

Doctoral student in theoretical chemistry

Published 2024-02-09

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Chemistry or applied physics


Light initiates and drives an array of complex and fascinating physical and chemical processes that play an essential role in biology and chemistry: from photosynthesis to our visual perception, solar-cell devices and photocatalysis. Understanding what governs the underlying photo-induced energy and charge transfer dynamics in molecules and molecular materials, and how they can be manipulated can not only help to elucidate the inner workings and limiting factors of existing molecules but also promote the design of new systems with improved or tailored light-induced function.


In this project, you will develop and apply new theoretical methods to push our abilities to explore, understand and influence photoinduced phenomena in molecular systems. Current directions include photomechanical motion in photoactive proteins and effects of intrinsic magnetic fields on molecular photoreactivity. You will work alongside with other group members who work on different aspects of light-molecule interactions and the ensuing nonequilibrium response, ranging from fundamental theoretical aspects to automated multiscale simulation and analysis workflows. Beyond the method development part, you will receive in-depth training in a range of computational chemistry techniques, from electronic structure and molecular quantum dynamics methods to multiscale approaches combining AI-assisted models, dynamics and enhanced sampling. There are opportunities to benefit from collaborations with both experimental and visualization partners in Sweden and beyond. In addition to the acquired technical expertise, you will also receive training in diverse transferable skills that together will equip you with a competitive professional profile for both academia and industry.

Research environment:

The theoretical chemistry group, led by Nanna H. List, started late 2021 at KTH (http://www.nhlist-lab.com). You will be integrated in a growing team that today includes undergraduate and postdocs coming from diverse backgrounds and nationalities but united in our passion for chemistry, physics, biology and computers. In addition to the PhD program-specific activities, you will engage in group-led tutorials and have full access to our group’s compute resources.

Supervision: Asst. Prof. Nanna H. List and Prof. Lars Kloo. 

What we offer

Admission requirements

To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a second cycle degree (for example a master's degree) in chemistry (theoretical or physical), physics, or a related field, or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 second-cycle higher education credits, or
  • acquired, in some other way within or outside the country, substantially equivalent knowledge

In addition to the above, there is also a mandatory requirement for English equivalent to English B/6, read more here


In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. During the selection process, candidates will be assessed upon their ability to:

  • be willing to learn and engage in challenging research questions
  • solid background in quantum mechanics/theoretical chemistry
  • experience with programming (e.g., Python or C++) is beneficial
  • be self-motivated and independently pursue their work
  • collaborate with other group members and partners
  • have a professional approach

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal competency. 

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. The total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in four years ' time. An employed doctoral student can, to a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as a doctoral student is for a maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time. In the case of studies that are to be completed with a licentiate degree, the total period of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education for two years.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.

To apply for the position

Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copies of diplomas and grades from previous university studies and certificates of fulfilled language requirements (see above). Translations into English or Swedish if the original document is not issued in one of these languages.Copies of originals must be certified.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

The position may include security-sensitive activities. To become authorized, you therefore need to pass a possible security check.

Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

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