PhD and Postdoc Opportunities

29 Jun 2021

ICTP-EAIFR announces PhD and Postdoc opportunities in quantum simulations (embedded exact quantum dynamics for photocatalytic water splitting).

Photocatalytic water splitting has the potential to generate clean and sustainable energy. The efforts of finding optimal catalysts are nevertheless hampered by the limited understanding of the electronic processes of absorption, diffusion and recombination, where the photoexcited electrons and holes drive the redox reactions. The goal of this collaborative project between ICTP-EAIFR and EPFL (Switzerland), funded under the Excellence in Africa-JFD program (ExAf-JFD) of EPFL and University Mohammed 6, is to develop a novel approach to study the dynamics of the system in a multi-scale treatment taking into account its quantum nature. In this context, a PhD and a Postdoc position are available at the ICTP-East African Institute for Fundamental Research in Kigali, Rwanda. During the project, the selected candidates will have the opportunity to interact with researchers at EPFL and our collaborators in France, USA and Italy. These positions contribute to a joint effort between the group of Prof Nicola Marzari at EPFL and our group at ICTP-EAIFR that involves reciprocal visits and stays at both institutions.

The candidates for the PhD position are expected to hold a Master’s degree in Physics, Materials Science or Chemistry. They are expected to have an excellent academic track record, be proficient in English and be familiar with Fortran or C/C++ languages. Knowledge of Python, electronic structure methods based on wavefunction or density and/or quantum molecular dynamics techniques is highly advantageous.

The candidates for the Postdoc position are expected to hold a PhD in Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry or any other relevant field with a good experience in Fortran (or C/C++) and Python programming. They should also have a good publication track record in electronic structure calculations and/or quantum molecular dynamics simulations. Prior working knowledge of codes similar to Quantum Espresso, MOLPRO, MCTDH or i-PI will be a plus. They should also have a working knowledge of the English language.

Interested candidates should send a single PDF file containing the candidate’s motivation letter, curriculum vitae, publication list (if any) and undergraduate and graduate transcripts and diploma. In addition, each candidate should arrange for 2 (3 for the postdoc position) confidential recommendation letters to be sent on their behalf to the contact email mentioned below. Only complete applications will be considered. The acceptance of PhD candidates is subordinated to a further selection by the PhD admission committee of ICTP-EAIFR and the University of Rwanda. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The PhD position is for 4 years. The Postdoc position is for 2 years with the possibility of extending it for one more year. The renewal will depend on an annual progress assessment. Evaluation of applications will start on 15 July 2021 and continue until all positions have been filled. The expected starting date of these positions is 1 September 2021.

Questions about the positions should be addressed to Dr Steve Ndengué (sndengue@eaifr.org) at ICTP-EAIFR.