PIONEER hosts 15 PhD positions (V34.3781)

PIONEER hosts 15 PhD positions

PIONEER hosts 15 PhD positions (ESRs - Early Stage Researchers) funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) of the European Union H2020 programme in the field of Plasma catalysis for CO2 recycling green chemistry.
Faculteit Technische Natuurkunde


PIONEER - Plasma catalysis for CO2 recycling and green chemistry - is a European Joint Doctorate  programme aimed to train a new generation of research leaders for a successful implementation of plasma catalysis for CO2 recycling in Europe. PIONEER is a consortium of 15 Universities and Institutes together with 6 industrial partners, based in Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

15 PhD positions are open on varying topics that support the PIONEER programme, in the fields of plasma physics, spectroscopy, catalysis and chemistry. The descriptions of individual projects, as well as the application form, are available on the project website .

Project tasks and objectives 

Recycling COis a major environmental, economic and societal priority. In fact, CO2 could become a raw material for “green” organic chemistry or fuel production. The use of plasma-catalysis to achieve efficient CO2 conversion is an innovative and ambitious approach, requiring multidisciplinary expertise. The PIONEER network join together world experts of plasma physics, catalysis, chemical engineering and numerical modelling to provide the most complete environment to educate a new generation of plasma-catalysis experts, capable of conceiving and realizing innovative processes based on CO2 recycling. Please visit the website of the project for more details:


Background requirements: the applicant must be in possession of a Master of Science (MSc) or equivalent diploma in a relevant field, such as: Physics, Applied Physics, Physical Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemical engineering, Catalysis, Process Engineering, Spectroscopy, etc.

English language requirements: the candidate must be in possession of an English language certificate with a level sufficient according to the regulations of the two universities involved in the double PhD degree.


Each of the 15 ESRs will be working towards a double PhD degree awarded by two of the 12 European Universities involved. Each academic institution will host the ESR 18 months and receive an ESR from abroad for 18 months as well. In addition, short secondments of 1 or 2 months will be completed either at an industrial or academic partner.

Each ESR will be advised by a supervisory team that maximizes both scientific excellence as well as interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration. The 15 PIONEER ESRs will not only receive state-of-the-art science/technology training but will also benefit from a unique soft-skills training programme (Project management, Business development and marketing, Scientific Communication).

The full description of each position is available at the Pioneer website:

Informatie en sollicitatie

The recruitment will be in accordance with the European Charter and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. It will follow an open, transparent, impartial, equitable and merit-based procedure.

The candidates must submit through the project website: the following

  • Bachelor and master's degree certificate and official transcript (grades) with translations into English (if the original documents are in a language other than English, French, Romanian, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, or Spanish).
  • English language proficiency
    • IELTS Academic (min. score 6.5)
    • TOEFL (min. score 90)
    • BULATS (C1)
    • Equivalent certificate
    •  (!)  If no English certificate is available at the time of the application, the candidate must add a signed statement that, in case he/she is pre-selected he/she commits to acquire in a timely manner all the compulsory English certificates for the universities where he/she will enrol as PhD student
  • Curriculum Vitae/CV (with List of publications - if any)
  • Reference Letter: Two reference letters with the detailed contact information of the recommending persons.
  • Motivation letter: maximum 1 page where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications; you may include also your previous research fields and main research results. Please emphasize your future goals career-wise
  • Proof of residence: Statement and certificates/documents demonstrating your residence(s) in the last 3 years

Deadline to apply: May 31st, 2019

Pre-selection: once the eligibility criteria are validated, the first selection will be based on CV, academic achievements, experiences, skills and motivation letter.

Interviews: short-listed candidates will be interviewed (May-June 2019).

The candidates must submit through the project website: or by using the 'Apply Now'- button on this page.