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 reorganize whole photochemical process? In the ERC-Consolidator project “Cross-dimensional Activation of Two-Dimensional Semiconductors for Photocatalytic Heterojunctions” (CATCH), we are going to activate dimensionally unique 2D semiconductors as high-performance photocatalysts and break the deadlock of practical photocatalysis for sustainability of mankind.

We are now looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher in computational predictions and investigations of cross-dimensionally activated photocatalytic heterojunctions

to join us in Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit (NANOMO) at 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, Horizon Europe programs, ERDF funds, Research Council of Finland and other national and international funds. The unit coordinates Finnish national participation in the MAX IV Laboratory synchrotron radiation facility, participates in the operation of the FinEstBeAMS beamline, and contributes to the European Free Electron Laser Eu-XFEL project.

The work is carried out in the Functional Materials Group of the NANOMO Unit at University of Oulu. The group consists of one professor, four postdoctoral researchers and five doctoral researchers. 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 be focusing on computational predictions and studies of heterojunctional photocatalysts compositing of 2D semiconductors. Computations target and justify materials suitable for visible light water purification or hydrogen evolution. Fast screening of hetero partners for 2D peers is expected to rely on machine learning algorithms with the final justifications on density functional theory. The computational prediction is expected to act as a directional guidance to experimental realizations of these photocatalysts performed by colleagues in the team. Close interactions with the experimental side of the team are essential in materials realizations and tuning synthetic routes. Tasks of the candidate also include publishing results in leading international scientific journals, assisting supervisions of doctoral researchers in the project, and involving in educations directly related to the research and 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 support from your team and group leader, 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.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • 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?

In order to succeed and enjoy the position, we expect from you: 

  • Doctoral degree in chemical physics, physical chemistry, computational materials sciences or relevant domains. The degree must be obtained no more than 10 years ago.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in first-principles calculations, surface chemistry and computational materials science.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in machine-learning assisted studies of materials engineering or synthesis.
  • Experiences in optical and catalytic properties of low-dimensional materials.
  • 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.

We also appreciate:

  • Knowledge in theoretical condensed matter physics.
  • Familiarity with or experienced on spectroscopic properties of low-dimensional materials.
  • Student supervision experiences.
  • Potentials of getting competitive funding.


The position is fixed-term for 22 months as of 01.07.2024.

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 21.04.2024 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

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

  1. CV, following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 
  2. A cover letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here.
  3. List of publications, following the guidelines of the Academy of Finland 
  4. Certificates/Diplomas
  5. Contact information of 2 persons available for recommendation

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through portal will be considered.
Top candidates may be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

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

Doc. Samuli Urpelainen, Senior Research Fellow



Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2024/143
Published 22.Mar.2024
Last application date 21.Apr.2024
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