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Ph.D. Position in Chemistry

EmployerBerner Fachhochschule
LocationBern, Bern region, Switzerland
Physicist / Material Scientist
Designer and Arts
ActivityJunior Researcher / PhD Position
Duration3 years
Job Startas soon as possible

The Bern University of the Arts (BUA) unites a multitude of artistic disciplines while developing interdisciplinary perspectives in teaching and research. It offers regular BA and MA courses and further education diplomas in art, design, conservation and restoration as well as music, opera, theatre and literature.

In the research group "New techniques for Ancient Materials" there is immediately available a

Ph.D. Position in Chemistry

for studying light-induced fading of Prussian blue pigment in cultural artefacts by means of analytical and synchrotron techniques with Prof. Claire Gervais.

Your Mission

The group "New techniques for Ancient Materials" is dedicated to the study of physico-chemical processes in ancient materials and cultural heritage objects, by means of synchrotron and simulation techniques.

The PhD student will prepare PB-substrate samples and analyze their fading behavior, with an emphasis on (1) the structural characterization of Prussian blue and its variation upon fading; (2) the monitoring of the substrate degradation upon fading and (3) the visualization and characterization of the distribution of Prussian blue within the substrate. This project will be performed in active collaboration with the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute (USA), the IPANEMA platform (Synchrotron SOLEIL, France) et le Centre de Recherche et de Conservation des Collections (National Museum of Natural History, France).


The candidate must hold a University Master’s degree in chemistry, material sciences, physics or related disciplines. A solid background in the physics and chemistry of solids is a pre-requisite. Ability and motivation to learn new techniques are required. The position requires skills and flexibility to carry out various tasks of different nature (sample preparation and characterization, setting up of light source apparatus, data processing). Experience in synchrotron techniques is an advantage.

Our Offer

Funding is assured by the Swiss National Foundation. The PhD doctorate will be based at the Bern University of the Arts, under the supervision of Prof. Claire Gervais (

?url=http://www.hkb.bfh.ch/en/research/forschungsschwerpunkte/fspmaterialitaet/&module=jobs&id=16754" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.hkb.bfh.ch/en/research/forschungsschwerpunkte/fspmaterialitaet/ ). The PhD student will be registered at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Bern, within the group of Prof. Jürg Hulliger. In addition to the research project, the PhD student will be expected to register for the graduate program at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ( ?url=http://www.dcb.unibe.ch/content/studium/chemie/phd/index_eng.html&module=jobs&id=16754" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.?url=dcb.unibe.ch/content/studium/chemie/phd/index_eng.&module=jobs&id=16754" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">dcb.unibe.ch/content/studium/chemie/phd/index_eng.html). The project is expected to start as earliest as possible.


Complete applications (including CV, a short motivation letter and names and E-Mail addresses of at least two scientists for reference) must be made online until March 15, 2013 under the following link:

Questions can be addressed to Claire Gervais by email (claire.gervaisbfh.ch). Please note, that we don’t accept applications by email.
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