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Conducting research for a changing society: This is what drives us at Forschungs­zentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we aim to tackle the grand societal challenges of our time and conduct research into the possibilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a resource-efficient economy. Work together with around 6,800 employees in one of Europe’s biggest research centres and help us to shape change!

At the Institute for Energy and Climate Research – Fundamentals of Electrochemistry (IEK-9) –, we perform research on highly relevant topics related to the energy transition. For example, we investigate new battery concepts and how we can turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the fuel of the future. The aim is to develop sustainable and cost-effective electro­chemical systems with improved energy and power density, longer life time, and maximal safety. Find out more about our mission and future-oriented projects here:

We are offering a

PhD Position – Electrochemical Nitrogen Reduction


The BMBF-funded project “iNEW 2.0” is investigating sustainable electrochemical value chains based on CO2, Hydrogen, and N2. Here, we want to investigate the possibility of electro­chemical reduction of molecular N2 towards value chemicals like ammonia at a high-quality analytical level. Electrochemical N2 activation is a new field of electro­catalysis. Catalysts are currently investigated from a broad field of material classes. Although ammonia is often detected as a product, it has also been shown that this does not always originate from actual N2 reduction, but from NOx reduction or other experimentally induces impurities. Careful analytical detection of the reaction educts and products is therefore the basis of new catalysis research. In this project, we therefore want to construct a high-end electrochemical setup with all necessary purity and analytical measures to ensure the detection of “true” electrochemical N2 reduction, before screening suitable electrocatalysts. Your tasks within this framework are in detail:

  • Construction of an electrochemical reactor suitable for N2 reduction, with a high level of analytical sensitivity including isotope labelling
  • Investigation of different catalytic materials and the impact of experimental parameters on N2 conversion
  • Participation in conferences in Germany and abroad (including presenting your research results)
  • Exchange with internal and external as well as national and international project partners
  • Preparing scientific publications and project reports

  • Excellent university degree (Master) in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, or a similar field
  • Scientific expertise in the field of electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, and/or heterogeneous catalysis
  • Experience in gas chromatography can be of benefit
  • High degree of independence and commitment
  • Very reliable and conscientious style of working
  • Excellent ability to cooperate and work in a team
  • Fluent command of written and spoken English

Wir bieten

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • Comprehensive training courses and individual opportunities for personal and professional further development
  • Extensive company health management
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors:
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is initially for a fixed term of three years. Pay will be in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60% of a monthly salary as special payment (“Christmas bonus”). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at