PhD Candidate within Advanced Materials Characterizations by APT/TEM

Trondheim, Norway
22 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
25 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the job

This PhD position is within the field of experimental materials physics with focus on atom probe tomography (APT) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization. The PhD project is a part of SFI PhysMet and the research area Multi-scale material analyses. SFI PhysMet - Centre for Sustainable and Competitive Metallurgical and Manufacturing Industry is hosted by NTNU (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Department of Physics), together with key research partners (SINTEF and IFE), and user partners from the metallurgical and manufacturing industry in Norway.

The chemistry, and atomic structure of grain boundaries (GB) and their surrounding region have strong influences on the mechanical properties and corrosion behaviour of metallic alloys. As more and more recycled metals are returning into the metal stream, using for production of new products, the concentration of various types of impurity elements will be significantly increasing in the alloys. A large fraction of the impurity elements prefer to segregate at GBs during different thermomechanical processes. This PhD project is aimed at revealing the segregation behaviours of impurity elements at GBs of different structures in metallic alloys and their influences on the GB precipitation behaviour during heat treatments. This will be achieved by advanced multiscale characterization down to nanoscale and atomic scale based on state-of-the-art APT and TEM instrument, which are available at two national infrastructures, APT lab/MiMaC and TEM Gemini Center/NORTEM, located at NTNU. To target the interesting GBs, focused ion beam (FIB) will be used to prepare TEM and APT samples. To understand the GB segregation behaviour, some atomic scale simulation may also be used. The results will be compared with thermodynamic and kinetic models developed at SFI PhysMet.

The PhD project will be performed in close cooperation with other PhD students, postdocs and SINTEF researchers, and industry partners. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Duties of the position

  • Performing  original research, working closely together with other researchers in SFI and in the group.
  • Planning  and conduction of experiments according to the project objectives with support from the PI and the team.
  • Preparation of samples containing GBs by FIB and characterization of grain boundaries by SEM/TEM/APT
  • Disseminating  the obtained results through project reports and scientific papers in international journal and presentations at international conferences.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in physical metallurgy, material physics or material chemistry.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by starting date of the position.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program 
  • Basic programming skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Hands on experience with APT
  • Hands on experience with TEM
  • Hands on experience with FIB
  • Experience with crystallography and atomic structure of GBs

Personal characteristics

  • Creative, curiosity-driven with a strong ability to work problem oriented.
  • Enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams.
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration.
  • Ability to clearly communicate ideas and knowledge.
  • Enjoy applied industrial problems.  

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of until 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Materials Science and Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

Starting date: August/September 2023.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment.
  • Name and contact information of three referees.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Prof. Yanjun Li, telephone 98283973, email, Professor Randi Holmestad, telephone 48170066, email, or Professor Knut Marthinsen, telephone 73593473, email

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 25.04.2023


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences

The Faculty of Natural Sciences is a key player in national and international research and education programmes in natural sciences and technology. Our research focuses on global challenges in the areas of energy, climate, the environment, food, water, health and welfare. The Faculty consists of eight departments as well as the Faculty Administration.

Deadline 25th April 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service

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