PhD student: Chemical interactions of biopolymers for development of biomaterials with added functionalities

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
February 15, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology (SBT) forms part of the Faculty of Forest Sciences, has about 50 employees and is located in both Umeå and Uppsala. The department carries out high quality research and under- and postgraduate education on a high international level and collaborates with society and industry to develop a bio-based economy where forest biomaterials are an important resource. The major focus in Umeå lies on value chains in the bio-based industry, where different components of forest biomaterials are collected, characterized, separated, modified / processed, used and re-used cost-effectively for different purposes while forest ecosystem services are managed sustainably. In Uppsala, the focus lies on wood science and technology with research and education on wood materials from nano to macro levels, wood adhesives and composites, and with accredited testing of wood products and treatments for the market. ​Read more about our benefits and what it's like to work at SLU https: // www.

Chemical interactions of biopolymers for development of biomaterials with

added functionalities

Wood science and technology Duties:

The candidate for the PhD position is expected to carry out research focused on wood science and technology as a subject area with a strong emphasis on the chemical modification of wood cell wall structural compounds and their chemical interactions with other biopolymers. The research concerns also understanding of the wood anatomical structure, material properties and the impact of various wood modification approaches and processes on the wood/fiber quality – the above aiming at development of novel biomaterials with tailored/added functionalities.

The successful candidate participates in a teamwork but also develops her/his own research approaches and ideas in the subject area. Emphasis is placed on wood chemistry and understanding of the chemical transformations of wood/wood fibres during and after various treatments (e.g. impregnation, chemical modifications, interaction with bio-binders and in the bio-composite as such). Aspects of wood processing, protection and modification of solid wood/wood fibers are other areas the candidate should show an interest to develop further.

The PhD student is expected to expand her/his qualification by a number of PhD courses, publish scientific articles, and have an affinity to participate in writing of research applications. The candidate will therefore work together with an international group of researchers and industry representatives in the frame of a 4-year Horizon project starting in January 2024.


Eligible for employment as a PhD student are those who hold MSc degree or equivalent academic qualifications on the emphasis of the subject area. Background in organic/wood chemistry, polymer engineering, chemical modification of the main structural wood compounds and knowledge of novel modification techniques are the main assessment criteria. Additionally and desirably, the candidates should have some experience in analytical methods, e.g. GC, HPLC, diverse spectroscopy techniques, DSC, TGA and microscopy. The successful candidate will join a research team working on wood/fibre micro-/macrostructure (i.e., wood cell wall and lumen) is used as low-cost porous structures (storage cells) for encapsulation of renewable bio phase change materials (bioPCMs) for extensive use in green building products for energy saving. The interactions between the bioPCM, the wood cell wall and polymer binders will be the focus of the PhD study. The successful candidate is expected to perform experiments, analyses and publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Additional requirements include excellent communication and writing skills in English, ability to plan, and carry out laboratory research work in collaboration with co-workers. On consideration for appointment as a PhD student, the emphasis is primarily set on the applicant's qualifications and the ability to approach in a creative way the research field of interest, and to meet the requirements for successful study and PhD examination in the context of the employment qualifications. Attention will also be paid to communication skills and ability to work independently and in a research team, keeping the due dates of the research activities.

Place of work:


Form of employment:

Employment 4 years

Starting date

By agreement


Click the “Apply” button to submit your application. The deadline is 2024-02-15.

To qualify for third-cycle (Doctoral) courses and study programmes, you must have a second-cycle (Master's) qualification. Alternatively, you must have conducted a minimum of four years of full-time study, of which a minimum of one year at second-cycle level.

Applicants will be selected based on their written application and CV, degree project, copies of their degree certificate and transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution, two personal references, and knowledge of English. More information about the English language requirements can be found here: www. students/english-language-requirements/

Please note that applicants invited to interview must submit attested copies of their degree certificate, or equivalent, a transcript of records from previous first and second-cycle studies at a university or higher education institution. Applicants who are not Swedish citizens need to submit an attested copy of their passport's information page containing their photograph and personal details.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at www. courses/doctoral-studies/

Academic union representatives:

https: // vid-rekrytering/

Contact person

Nasko Terziev



[email protected]

Mikael Thyrel


+46 725442306

[email protected]

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