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Post Doctoral Fellowships, Cost-Effective C02 Reduction Catalyst Development, Canada First Research Excellence Fund

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Job ID: 13491

Updated: October 27, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Can Efficient, Cost Effective CO2 Reduction Catalysts be Developed?

In 2016, the University of Calgary was awarded $75 million, over seven years, from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) for its initiative entitled: Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources. The goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the impact of energy extraction and energy use on the environment.

As part of the implementation of its CFREF scientific strategy and to address the Grand Challenge aiming to develop next generation of CO2 conversion catalysis, a project in the production climate neutral synthetic fuels through electrocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction is seeking team members at the Postdoctoral level.

Successful candidates will work within a multidisciplinary team of synthetic chemists, electrochemists, surface scientists and engineers consisting of 5-7 PI’s, 5 PDFs and a similar number of graduate students. The primary aim will be to develop new, selective CO2 conversion catalysts supported on novel conducting materials. While initially CO will be targeted as a product, other potential fuels will also be within scope.

Accordingly, we seek applications from qualified candidates within 0-4 years of their Ph.D. degree to fill up to 5 Postdoctoral Fellow positions with the following specific qualifications:

  • Synthetic inorganic chemistry (2 Postdoc positions): Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry with an emphasis on the synthesis and characterization of organometallic and coordination compounds, particularly of the first row transition series. The ability to prepare and manipulate air and moisture sensitive compounds, and characterize them using a suite of modern spectroscopic and analytical techniques. Working knowledge of electrochemistry and/or X-ray crystallography is also strongly desired.
  • Electrochemistry and catalysis (1 Postdoc position): Ph.D. in electrochemistry with an emphasis on electrocatalysis, including homogeneous and surface electrochemistry as well as novel electrode materials. Experience in the evaluation and benchmarking of new CO2 reduction catalysts, liquid/gas phase product analysis, surface and materials characterization, and mechanistic analysis, would be an asset.
  • Electrochemical performance evaluation in a small-scale device (1 Postdoc position): Ph.D. in chemical engineering with doctoral/post-doctoral experience in synthesis and characterization of electro-catalysts by physico-chemical methods and electrochemical techniques including impedance spectroscopy. The position will entail fabrication and testing of electrode assemblies in a small-scale device. Familiarity with techniques to probe and quantify both the electrochemical kinetics and the mass transport contributions in porous electrodes will be an asset.
  • Modeling/screening (electro-)catalysts (1 Postdoc position): Ph.D. in physical chemistry, chemical engineering or materials science with experience in application of Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods to model homo- or heterogeneous catalytic process and/or adsorption. Experience in electrocatalytic experiments and electrochemical characterization methods would be an asset.

Appointments will be for 2 years with a $55,000/year salary (CND dollars); the positions also come with sufficient research support to be managed by the candidates in consultation with the PI members of the team. In addition, each candidate will be required to work within a team environment and so excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of interdisciplinary researchers is a must.

In assembling the CFREF research teams, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place and so applications from under-represented groups are especially encouraged.

Applications should consist of a current CV, a list of 2-3 referees with contact information and a cover letter indicating your are applying for a position with the Synthetic Fuels team and which of the four areas listed above you are interested in. Please also indicate your availability. The search will continue until the team is assembled.

To be eligible as a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five (5) years immediately preceding the appointment. Please review the Eligibility page for more information prior to applying for this position.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about opportunities in Energy Research, visit Careers in Energy at the University of Calgary.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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