Doctoral Position in Materials Science
Royal Institute of Technology

Doctoral Student in Materials Science on Neutron Graduate School SwedNess

KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Engineering Materials Science

This project within the Swedish Graduate School for Neutron Science - SwedNess ( will address a key phenomenon in materials science, i.e. nucleation in solid-state phase changes. Materials design relies on the capability to tailor materials microstructure for optimum mechanical and functional properties. The tailoring of the microstructure in turn relies on phase transformations, more specifically solid-state phase transformations will control the microstructure during synthetization and usage for a majority of functional and structural inorganic materials. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to be able to control phase transformations in a wide range of applications such as additive manufacturing of metallic alloys, thin-film deposition of ceramic coatings and during service of metal matrix composite materials. The kinetics of solid-state phase transformations which controls the evolution of the microstructure during processing and service is governed by nucleation, diffusion and interface mobility. In diffusion-controlled phase transformations diffusion can be well  described, while interface mobility is more difficult to describe but on the other hand most diffusional phase transformations are limited by diffusion rather than interface mobility. The least understood mechanism is nucleation. It is inherently difficult to study nucleation experimentally and the theoretical development has been moderate. However, lately the rapid progress in experimental and theoretical methods gives us an opportunity to revisit nucleation and develop new fundamental understanding and modelling tools. Therefore, in this project we will apply a combination of  in-situ neutron and x-ray scattering to study nucleation. The novel insights will be used to develop improved modelling of nucleation. The PhD student will be working mainly experimentally and collaborate with other PhD students and researchers performing atomistic and mean-field modelling.

Applicants have a master's degree in engineering with a focus on materials science, technical physics or similar.

Supervision: The doctoral student will be supervised by: professor Peter Hedström och professor Andrei Ruban. Some supervision will be by professor Joakim Odqvist.

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic and international research environment in collaboration with industries and prominent universities from all over the world.Read more
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH’s Doctoral student salary agreement.
  • A postgraduate education at an institution that is active and supportive in matters pertaining to working conditions, gender equality and diversity as well as study environment.
  • Work and study in Stockholm, close to nature and the water.
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • Participation in the Swedish Graduate School for Neutron ScienSwedNess, a group of ca. 40 PhD students with close contact.
  • Opportunity to perform research studies in international environment.
  • Opportunity to collaborate multi-disciplinary in one of the most important areas of materials science.


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.
  • Requirements for English equivalent to English B/6, read more here.


In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. During the selection process, candidates will be assessed upon their ability to:

  • independently pursue his or her work
  • collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.
  • good English knowledge is required and a knowledge in Swedish is meriting.

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

Target degree: Doctoral exam 

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. The total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in four years ' time. An employed doctoral student can, to a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as a doctoral student is for a maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time.

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/entral 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)
  • Copies of diplomas and grades from previous university studies and certificates of fulfilled language requirements (see above). Translations into English or Swedish if the original document is 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

Striving towards gender equality, diversity and equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

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
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number M-2020-2388
Joakim Odqvist, professor,
Peter Hedström, professor,
Andrei Ruban, professor,
Helena Lundquist, HR,
Published 03.Dec.2020
Last application date 11.Jan.2021 11:59 PM CET

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