Applications are invited for 15 ESR positions (“Early Stage Researchers”) to be funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “SOLAR2CHEM – European network for the training of the next generation of scientists in solar chemicals for a sustainable Europe by hybrid molecule/semiconductor devices’’ within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The consortium is formed by 12 beneficiaries including 9 academic and 3 non-academic organisations plus 8 partner organisations to cover a full training programme on scientific, technical and personal development skills which will include secondments in current world leading countries (Japan, US, Australia) to gather the necessary knowledge and implement it in Europe. The 15 ESRs will not only receive state-of-the-art science/technology training but will also benefit from a unique soft-skills training programme.

Please Note: read carefully the following information and if you are interested in applying, please email the required documents, making clear which Institution(s) you are interested in, to: recruitment@solar2chem.eu. Applications should include the following documents: 

  • A one-page letter motivating a) why you want to be part of SOLAR2CHEM; b) why are you applying for this specific position; c) why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position;
  • A list of three achievements in your life that you are proud of;   
  • A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, relevant other activities and coordinates of up to three referees;  
  • An academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education;
  • A copy of academic works such as papers or M.Sc. thesis;  
  • A high TOEFL (> 90 or 100) or IELTS (> 6.5 or 7) score certificate.

Career Stage:  Early Stage Researcher (ESR). That means: within 4 years after receiving the Master of Science degree, or less than 4 years research experience since receiving the M.Sc. degree. Please do NOT apply if you are not eligible! 

PhD positions: Most of the ESRs will be enrolled in PhD programmes, except those employed by Johnson Matthey and the European Hydrogen Association. However, ALL ESRs will be exposed to academic and non-academic partners, attend workshops and summer schools, and receive training from world-leading scientists and expert organisations.

Key dates:

1 November 2019: Launch of 15 ESR Positions

31 December 2019: Deadline for on-line application for the Recruitment Event

1 February 2020: Circulation list for preselected candidates

15 February 2020: Invitation for Recruitment event

26-27 March 2020: SOLAR2CHEM Recruitment Event

1 May 2020: Circulation list “recruited SOLAR2CHEM ESRs”

1 September 2020: Targeted starting date for ESR contracts

Recruitment Procedure:  All applications proceed via the on-line channels. Candidates apply electronically for one to maximum three positions and indicate their preference. Candidates provide all requested information including a detailed CV – Europass format obligatory – and motivation letter. During the registration, applicants will need to prove that they are eligible (cf. ESR definition, mobility criteria, and English language proficiency). The SOLAR2CHEM Recruitment Committee selects up to 2 candidates per position for the Recruitment Event which will take place in Galway on 26 and 27 March 2020. The selected candidates will give a sharp-15-minute presentation and are interviewed by the Recruitment Committee. Only in exceptional cases the interview is done via Skype. The final decision on who to recruit is communicated on 1 May 2020. The selected ESRs are to start their research by 1 September 2019 and no later than 1 October 2020. 

Benefits and salary:  The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin). In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences. 

Applicants need to fully respect all three eligibility criteria (to demonstrated in the Europass cv) Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.

Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.  

English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Intersectoral and multi-disciplinary training  To help the ESRs put what they have learned during their research and S/T training into practice in their future careers, they will also receive soft-skills training to help them communicate effectively at all levels and become sought-after recruits. SOLAR2CHEM is closely aligned with the high-priority areas of the EU, addressing many Horizon 2020 thematics. SOLAR2CHEM will train 15 early stage researchers to fill the existing gap in the European industrial landscape in the area of solar chemicals production and usage in technical, economic and policy aspects.