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.

Job description

The postdoctoral researcher will be involved in a newly funded project from the Swedish Research Council (VR) on the molecular basis for the interactions and recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass. In collaboration with plant cell wall biologists and biochemists, the postdoctoral researcher will develop advanced mass spectrometric methods for the detailed molecular characterization of structural polysaccharides (hemicelluloses) in model plant cell walls. The candidate will develop as well biophysical procedures combining solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (ssNMR), small angle scattering (SAXS/SANS) and advanced microscopy procedures (e.g. SEM, TEM) to investigate the supramolecular architecture and interactions between the polymeric components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) in woody tissues. Finally, the candidate will correlate the against lignocellulose recalcitrance against hydrothermal and enzymatic processing. The postdoctoral researcher will also participate in the dissemination of research results through research publications. Finally, the candidate is expected to participate as co-supervisor of PhD and master’s students.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment
  • Works in Stockholm, in close proximity to nature
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH

Read more about what it is like to work at KTH



  • A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline (With some exceptions for special reasons such as periods of sick or parental leave, kindly indicate if such reason exists in your resume).
  • A completed doctoral degree or foreign degree that is deemed to correspond to a doctoral degree in subjects corresponding to plant sciences, biotechnology, biochemistry, wood technology, and material sciences.
  • The candidate should have demonstrated practical experience on plant cell walls and lignocellulose polymers through documented scientific publications. The candidate must have performed research activities in several of the following areas: (i) biochemical analysis of plant cell walls and lignocellulose biomass (ii) structural characterization of plant cell walls using solid-state techniques, including microscopy, spectroscopy and scattering techniques; (iii) development of biorefinery processes for the extraction, fractionation and modification of lignocellulose components and/or (iv) preparation of materials using lignocellulose building blocks (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) and characterization of the structure and macroscopic properties.
    The candidate should have excellent communication skills in scientific English, both orally and in writing.

Preferred qualifications

Application of advanced methods for carbohydrate analysis, including mass spectrometry, is desirable.

Proof of (co)-supervision of master and bachelor degree students is also desirable.

Awareness of diversity and equal treatment issues with a special focus on gender equality and sustainability is a merit.

  • Independence
  • Ability to cooperate
  • Analytical
  • Good communication abilities
  • Taking initiative

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competency

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH’s webbpage.


Log into KTH’s recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


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 employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
Contract typeFull time
First day of employmentAccording to agreement
SalaryMonthly salary
Number of positions1
Working hours100
CountyStockholms län
Reference numberC-2020-2401
ContactFrancisco Vilaplana, Associate Professor, franvila@kth.se
Last application date18.Jan.2021 11:59 PM CET

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