Faculty of Science, Nano and Molecular Systems

The University of Oulu is one of the biggest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. We offer you an international and inspiring working environment where you are given responsibility and can use your skills, develop yourself and do work that matters. Our flexible and family-friendly workplace makes it easy for you to balance work and leisure. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities. 

Dimensionality defines the spatial extensions of matters, and photocatalysis accelerates photochemical processes in the presence of catalytic media. What will happen if photocatalysis meets the dimensional confinements that may impact whole photochemical process? In the ERC-Consolidator project “Cross-dimensional Activation of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Heterojunctions” (CATCH), we are activating dimensionally unique 2D semiconductors as high-performance photocatalysts, studying the mechanisms of photocatalysis, and to break the deadlock of practical photocatalysis for sustainability of mankind.

We are now looking for

a postdoctoral researcher (2.5 years)

to implement advanced characterizations and unveil photocatalytic mechanisms within the CATCH project at the Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit  (NANOMO) of the Faculty of Science.

The NANOMO research unit focuses on molecular scale materials physics and novel applications of spectroscopic and imaging techniques. The research topics include electronic structure research in nanomaterials, functional materials (e.g. steel, carbon negative materials, and nanocatalysts), biomedical research, mesoscopic quantum structures in materials, and physics didactics. The main external funding sources are the European Union ERC, Horizon2020 programs, EU EIT-RawMaterials, and Academy of Finland etc. The unit coordinates Finnish national participation in the MAX IV Laboratory synchrotron radiation facility and the latest national profiling fund of H2Future.

The work is carried out in the Functional Materials Group (FunMaters) at the NANOMO. The group consists of one full professor, three postdoctoral researchers, six doctoral researchers, three visiting scholars and one MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow starting from 09.2023. The group also has the EIT Raw Materials funding together with the ERC CATCH project. The research of the group covers a wide domain in materials physics, with special emphasis on photocatalysis, bio-inspired surface treatment, and advanced metals.

About the job

You will focus on advanced characterizations to determine catalytic steps happening on the heterojunctional materials. Along with state-of-the-art characterizations performed in house, the synchrotron-radiation-based and in situ spectroscopic techniques are desired to detect key electronic signatures during the photocatalytic reactions. The work will be performed as a part of an international and multidisciplinary research team dedicated both to experiment and theory. Your tasks also include publishing results in leading international scientific journals, assisting in supervision of doctoral researchers, and participating in education activities and writing of funding applications.

What we offer?

  • You will be a part of a highly talented research group supported by the European Research Council Consolidator grant.
  • You will receive supports from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your research.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits here.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close-ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have a HR Excellence in Research -quality label which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers. 
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Who are you?

We expect from you: 

  • Doctoral degree in materials science, condensed matter physics, chemical engineering, or other relevant field. Please note that the degree must have been obtained within the last 10 years, latest by the start of the employment. 
  • Experience in photocatalysis for water purification and/or hydrogen evolution reaction.
  • Very good proficiency in the English language (both written and spoken).
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of team and independently.

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

The candidates will be evaluated based on their qualifications, suitability for the research topic, and potential as researchers. The following merits are seen as a strong advantage:

  • Documented knowledge in photo(electro-)catalysis, and immobilization of nanomaterials.
  • Documented knowledge in spectroscopic, electric, and structural analysis of inorganic complexes.
  • Experiences in other advanced characterizations, e.g., scanning tunneling microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy etc.
  • Documented knowledge in condensed matter physics, electronic structure of materials, microelectronics, and chemical reaction dynamics.
  • Experience in leadership and in managing a subgroup consisting of graduate and/or Ph.D students.


The position is fixed-term for 2.5 years starting from 01.11.2023. 

The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 3600-4200 € per month (before taxes).  

A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 7.10.2023 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why the applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests and career plans should be described here.
  2. CV (max. 4 pages), according to the guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity 
  3. List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland.
  4. Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original doctoral degree certificate and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English. In case the degree is still in process, please give an official notification from the supervisor or faculty to address the estimated date of defense. 
  5. Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate.

The eligible applicants fitting best in the profile expected for the position will be invited to a remote interview. All applicants will be notified during the selection process.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, such as people of different ages, different genders and members of different language, cultural or minority groups. 

Contact Information

Research and academic issues please consult

Professor Wei Cao, the PI of the project CATCH




Administrative issues please consult

Adj. Prof. Samuli Urpelainen



Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 01.11.2023
Salary 3600 - 4200 € per month (before taxes)
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2023/380
Published 08.Sep.2023
Last application date 07.Oct.2023
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