Doctoral student in WWSC: Molecular interactions in cellulose assemblies

Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa

Wallenberg Wood Science Center (WWSC) is a research center which started in 2009 and is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. WWSC is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Chalmers, KTH and Linköping University striving for scientific excellence, and the overall aim is to develop new materials from trees. The mission of the center is to create knowledge and competence as a basis for eco-friendly materials for the future.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Fibre and Polymer Science

Delignified cellulose fibres have an intricate internal structure and a very high specific surface area under wet conditions. This constitutes a large opportunity for chemical and physical functionalization and development of totally new materials from wood-based fibres. By significantly separating the fibrils within the fibre wall and clarifying the colloidal-chemical interactions within this highly anisotropic assembly of nano-sized building blocks it will be possible to create new materials with unique properties from this renewable material. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to establish the fundamental interactions between cellulose surfaces and how to molecularly control and tailor these interactions.

Apart from a fundamental insight in colloidal interactions it is also necessary to have a good insight in how biomaterials are formed in nature and how this can be utilized to use nanomaterials from wood to form new functional materials by applying new and accepted knowledge in surface and colloid science including self- assembly techniques. The formed materials should be carefully characterized to establish relationships between the properties of the nano-building blocks and the properties of the formed materials. To do this, high resolution scattering techniques will be used in combination with accepted methods in surface and colloid science and a basic knowledge in these techniques is therefore an advantage.

A suitable background for this position is a master degree in fibre and polymer technology, polymer science, surface and colloid science, or equivalent. We are looking for highly motivated candidates who want to join the research front and create novel technology for a sustainable future, based on materials from the forest.

At WWSC, you are offered the opportunity to work in a dynamic and international research environment in close collaboration with universities around the world. Together with your supervisor, you will develop a personal study plan for your development in your area of interest.

"I would say that my leadership is characterized by much freedom with responsibility. You will enter a group of high-performing individuals where we support each other to achieve the best results together " - Lars Wågberg, Professor and your future supervisor.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic international research environment in close cooperation with industries and advanced universities the world over.
  • Life-long network through KTH's Alumni organization .
  • A personal study plan to support your development within your areas of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement .
  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.
  • Help to relocate and get settled in Sweden and at KTH .
  • Membership in the graduate school WWSC Academy, where ca 60 PhD students have been educated over the last 10 years and afterwards found attractive jobs both in academia, start-ups and industry.


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge,
  • the applicant should have a master degree in Fibre and Polymer technology, Polymer science, Surface and Colloid Science, or equivalent.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach,
  • analyse and work with complex issues,
  • ability to speak and write scientific English, and speak English fluently and
  • have documented skills in summarizing research results in written and oral presentation.

After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website .

Doctoral section (Students union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website .


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment: Temporary position longer than 6 months
Working hours: Full time
Salary: Monthly salary according to kth's doctoral student salary agreement
City: Stockholm
Reference number: C-2019-1075
Published: 2019-06-13
Last application date: 2019-07-31


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