PhD position Asmis Group Wilhelm-Ostwald-Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany

A PhD position is available in the group of Prof. Knut Asmis ( at the University Leipzig, Germany, as part of the Research Training Group 2721 "Hydrogen Isotopes: 1,2,3H" funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.

Founded in 1409, Leipzig University is one of Germany’s largest universities and a leader in research and medical training. With around 30,000 students and more than 5000 members of staff across 14 faculties, it is at the heart of the vibrant and outward-looking city of Leipzig. Leipzig University offers an innovative and international working environment as well as an exciting range of career opportunities in research, teaching, knowledge and technology transfer, infrastructure and administration.

The DFG-funded Research Training Group (RTG) on “Hydrogen Isotopes” is a consortium at Leipzig University, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf / Research Site Leipzig and the Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering. It spans the fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical chemistry, chemical technology and physics. The RTG’s central goal is training tomorrow’s workforce in emerging technologies that exploit the unique properties of the hydrogen isotopes in order to contribute to revolutionising drug design strategies, converting radioactive waste into precious materials, and, in the long run, a CO2-emission-free energy supply for the planet.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to spectroscopically characterize the role of nuclear quantum effects in the adsorption of dihydrogen isotopes by metal-containing clusters. Gas phase clusters serve as model systems for studying material properties under isolated conditions using the highly sensitive and selective toolkit of ion mass-spectrometry and laser spectroscopy. It is now possible to produce isolated clusters of complex composition, well-defined stoichiometry, mass, charge state and internal energy, and to characterize their structure, reactivity and dynamics isomer-specifically. Ultimately, this project is aimed at improving the design concepts for dihydrogen isotopes separation materials.

In the Asmis Group, a longstanding experience exists with regard to combining cutting-edge mass spectrometric techniques with state-of-the-art laser spectroscopy to characterize the cluster structure, reactivity and dynamics. 

Job characteristics

  • Temporary until September 30, 2027
  • 67% of a full-time position
  • proposed remuneration: pay grade E13 TV-L


  • Conducting research and writing a dissertation in a working group associated with the RTG
  • Writing and publishing scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presenting your own research at conferences and workshops
  • Regular participation and active involvement in and organization of events as part of the structured doctoral program


  • University degree with excellent grades in chemistry, physics or a related field
  • Strong interest in mass spectrometry and laser spectroscopy and with a solid background in physical chemistry / molecular physics
  • Prior experience in the field of vacuum technology, mass spectrometry, laser spectroscopy and/or programming is favorable
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills
  • Strong interest in contributing to the interdisciplinary and multinational environment of the RTG
  • Identification with the core values of the RTG, in particular excellence in research and qualification as well as scientific integrity.

What we offer

  • Cutting-edge doctoral research projects in the field of hydrogen isotope research
  • A modern and international working environment in one of Germany’s most vibrant and fastest-growing cities
  • An extended research stay at one of the international partner institutions
  • A dedicated supervision concept, including a supervision agreement, a personal development plan, and a research data management plan, as part of a dual mentoring strategy
  • Target-oriented, individualized training and career advancement strategies
  • Flexible working hours and a family-friendly environment.

Please send your application as a single PDF file with the usual documents – including

  • your CV,
  • a one-page letter of motivation stating your reasons for joining the Asmis group
  • a copy of your master’s (or equivalent) certificate with grades in German or English,
  • and contact details of two referees

Deadline 22th July 2024