School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health at KTH

Project description

Third-cycle subject:  Chemical Science and Engineering

The polymer electrolyte fuel cell, converting hydrogen to electricity, is a key technology for the green transition for transport as well as stationary applications. The anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) is a potential low-cost alternative to the dominating commercialized proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) that is relying on high loading platinum catalysts and fluorine-containing membranes.  The AEMFC technology is still under development and more research is needed on components, cell design and optimized operation conditions. The purpose of this project is to develop new PGM-free or ultra-low PGM electrodes for the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) in anion exchange membrane fuel cells, through catalysts synthesis and characterisation at Aalto Univeristy and implementation and electrochemical evaluation in an AEMFC at KTH.

The doctoral student will be employed at KTH, Stockholm and spend two years at Aalto University in the Helsinki region, Finland and two years in Sweden, including four months at the fuel cell company Powercell in Gothenburg. After accomplished education the doctoral student will acquire a double PhD degree from Aalto and from KTH. The project Unite!Energy, is funded by the DN-Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) call of the European Commission and is offering 12 fellowships starting in 2025 academic year. Each scholarship includes periods at two of the participating universities, and a secondment to an institution or company, to study the technology in a practical environment. For specific information about each position please write to:

Supervision: the doctoral student will be supervised by Prof. Rakel Wreland Lindström, KTH and Prof. Tanja Kallio, Aalto University. 

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:

  • Mobility rule. At the time of recruitment, the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Short stays, such as holidays, are not considered.
  • No PhD awarded. Applicants are not eligible if they have already been awarded a PhD.
  • The selected candidate must be willing to spend a prolonged time in another institute/country of the network during the PhD thesis period.
  • passed a second cycle degree (for example a master's degree) in Master of Science or Engineer degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, material science, physical chemistry 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
  • acquired the MSc degree within the last 5 years.
  • To fulfil the requirement of both universities the candidate has to have at least an average grade 3.5 out of 5, (higher than C in a scale A-F).
  • In addition to the above, there is also a mandatory requirement for English equivalent to English B/6.
  • All interested applicants meeting the eligibility requirements, irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


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:

  • independently pursue his or her work
  • collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

Good oral and written communication skills in English are required. Good background knowledge in electrochemistry is an advantage but not a must.

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

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.

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

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.



Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-09-01 or according to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number C-2024-0759
  • Rakel Wreland Lindström,
  • Tanja Kallio,
Published 02.May.2024
Last application date 07.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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