PhD or postdoc position in physics: coherent X-ray microscopy

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

  • Norway
  • €Attractive
  • Academic - postdoc

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At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students. We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position
A three years position as PhD student in physics within the field of computational imaging with emphasis on coherent X-ray microscopy is available at the Department of Physics, NTNU. Starting date will be late autumn 2019.

The position reports to Professor Dag W. Breiby, phone: +47 73593594, e-mail: dag.breiby@ntnu.no

Project, duties and responsibilities
We are searching for a creative, skilled and ambitious student for our activities on computational X-ray microscopy and its applications for imaging nanostructured surfaces and porous materials. The student will work in an international team of several principal investigators, PhD students, postdocs and master students. External collaboration with other academic research groups and industry actors is an integral part of  this position. The COMPMIC project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the NANO2021 program.

The term computational microscopy denotes recent efforts to improve microscopy using computers actively in the image formation process, typically enabling better resolution, larger field-of-view, improved contrast, or multidimensional microscopy. The COMPMIC project will develop computational microscopy methods both using visual and X-ray radiation with the specific aim of nanoscale-imaging of surfaces, thin films and porous materials, with applications in materials science, biology and medicine. In particular, Fourier ptychography (FP) is a recently developed coherent diffraction imaging (CDI) technique relying on coherent light and numerical phase retrieval, which will be tailored for the specific needs of COMPMIC.

The COMPMIC project is a collaboration between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN; Prof. Akram), Swiss Light Source – Paul Scherrer Institute, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France, and the University of Le Mans in France. The project is associated with the recently funded Center of Excellence for Porous Media Laboratory (CoE PoreLab). A significant part of the research will be carried out at the premises of the international partners. The project partners are well positioned for this demanding project with an excellent knowledge base and outstanding research infrastructure.

The research work will involve designing, constructing and using state-of-the-art experimental setups. Sophisticated analysis and modelling of large datasets, also using statistical and machine learning (artificial intelligence) methods will be important tools in this PhD project. Major emphasis is put on developing computational microscopy methods and how they can be applied to challenges in materials science and the environment. Examples include identification of the size, shape and composition of microplastics, and time-resolved fluid permeation in porous media. In addition, the candidates are expected to participate actively in the group activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students.

Qualification requirements
PhD candidate:
The PhD-position’s main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in physics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

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

  • We have a strategic ambition of being a leading research group, and the candidates are selected accordingly, expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credential
  • The successful candidates should hold a master’s degree in physics. In exceptional cases, candidates with a background in related fields like biophysics, nanotechnology, materials science, or photonics can also be considered. The position requires a strong interest in physical optics, computational imaging, signal processing and data analysis. Experience from nanoscale studies using scattering, diffraction or high-resolution microscopy methods would be considered an advantage. Knowledge of Fourier optics, coherent imaging or microscopy (e.g. ptychography or holography) is desired. Strong computer programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python or C) and experimental physics skills are desired.
  • In case of exceptionally well-qualified postdoc candidates with a background in X-ray physics, it can be considered to convert the position into a three-year’s postdoc position.
  • The following requirements on qualifications will be given major weight in the evaluation of the candidates. In the cover letter (or in the CV), the applicant must specifically describe his/her expertise in relevant fields like physical optics, X-ray scattering/diffraction/imaging, analysis of large datasets, artificial intelligence, physics of porous media, computer programming.
  • Due to the ambition of close contact with Norwegian industry.

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidates should be creative, ambitious and enthusiastic, with a strong ability to work independently and goal-oriented
  • Excellence in scientific writing and good oral presentation skills are requested.
  • He/she should enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams, which is of high importance in this multidisciplinary project.
  • The position requires spoken and written fluency in English
  • In the evaluation of the candidates, emphasis will be put on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in accordance with the qualification requirements given in the announcement.

We offer

Salary and conditions
Postdoctoral candidates are remunerated in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 515 200 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

PhD candidate:
PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Physics.
As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

General information
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Dag W. Breiby, phone number +47 73593594, e-mail dag.breiby@ntnu.no

About the application:
Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant’s contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 90/19 when applying.

2-3 reference persons must be listed. Please provide name, title, affiliation, telephone number, email and a short description of your relation.

Application deadline: 11.10.2019
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The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

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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.

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Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

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