Vacancy 4- Leipzig University

Early Stage Researcher (PhD Student candidate) – Marie Skłodowska Curie

Application deadline: 26 February 2022.

We are currently seeking a highly motivated, creative PhD student to join our group to work on the development of new, broadly applicable organic photocatalysts to offer tools for the further advancement of photocatalytic synthesis and sustainable chemical processes.
“PhotoReAct (towards the applicability and scalability of photochemical transformations)“ is a EU funded (project no. 956324) Innovative Training Network (ITN) for new Early Stage Researchers (ESRs, i.e. who have not yet obtained their PhD) aiming to make important
contributions to the applicability and scalability of photocatalytic processes through the design of novel photocatalysts, new photocatalytic methodologies, cutting-edge technological solutions to enable automation and scalability, and immediate industrial implementation.
The use of visible light energy to induce chemical transformations offers a chemoselective and green activation mode of organic molecules. However, implementation of this energy source in organic synthetic methodologies and in the industrial production of fine chemicals has been challenging. The PhotoReAct Innovative Training Network tackles the challenges associated with photocatalysis in a coherent and comprehensive fashion. In total, fifteen Early Stage Researchers will be trained within the PhotoReAct network. The network will provide them with opportunities to undertake research with the aim to overcome the current limitations towards the applicability and scalability of photochemical transformations. All ESRs will perform three secondments, of which at least one is intersectoral and carried out with an industrial partner and a second is international. Consequently, the ESRs will have improved career prospects and a higher employability. Due to the high degree of industrial participation, the PhotoReAct network will provide an innovation-friendly environment where scientific results can grow and become products or services that will benefit European economies. PhotoReAct is EU funded (project no. 956324) and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action.
Your profile
Suitable candidates should hold a M. Sc. degree (or equivalent, not older than 4 years) and have a good knowledge of organic chemistry as well as solid background and practical experience in preparative organic chemistry; additional expertise in photochemistry/-catalysis
will be advantageous.
Excellent knowledge of the English language (spoken and written) as well as good presentation skills are expected.
The successful applicant should be open-minded, highly motivated and additionally have good communication skills to work in a team-spirited group.
Importantly, applicants must also meet the requirements of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Conditions of Mobility of Researchers. Researchers can be of any nationality and are required to undertake transnational mobility. This means that applicants can not apply for a position in a country where they have lived more than 12 months in the last 3 years.
Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary (Germany) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.
To foster diversity in our research group, we will especially appreciate applications from groups underrepresented in science and all sections of the community.
About us
Founded in 1409, Leipzig University is one of Germany’s largest universities and a leader in research and medical training. With around 30,000 students and more than 5000 members of staff across 14 faculties (covering topics from medicine to natural sciences, from mathematics to theology and from social sciences to sports), it is at the heart of the vibrant and outward-looking city of Leipzig. Leipzig University offers an innovative and international working environment as well as an exciting range of career opportunities in research, teaching, knowledge and technology transfer, infrastructure and administration. The variety of topics enables each scientist to make use of the knowledge of more than 400 professors and hence to work in interdisciplinary projects. The group itself has modern, well-equipped laboratory space with broad access to state-to-the-art equipment and instrumentation, including service facilities for NMR, MS etc.


The Zeitler group is a member of the Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy at the UniversitätvLeipzig, Germany. Our research aims at the development of new synthetic methodology andvdiscovery of novel reactivity in the context of (multi)catalytic transformations. The interdisciplinaryvresearch programme of our dynamic group is broadly based on applying mechanisticvunderstanding and physical organic principles to design novel transformations and catalysts. The Zeitler Lab has a long-term experience in the area of photoredox catalysis, in particular in the investigation of different multicatalytic photoredox approaches.We have developed novel methodology to address the challenging fission of strong bonds, as well as a toolbox of new purely organic photocatalysts.
For more information on the research of the Zeitler group, see
For more information on the ITN PhotoReAct, see:
Salary and benefits
Researchers employed within PhotoReAct will receive salary and benefits, for three years, at the rates stipulated by the European Commission for Marie Curie researchers. The Researchers will be employed via full employment contracts with the respective institutions, carrying social benefits such as pension and social security, but also subject to normal taxes.
Their income will consist of:
  • a living allowance
  • mobility allowance
  • family allowance
The allowances which accompany these positions are as per Page 97 of the H2020 Work Programme:
If you are interested in joining our group and working on an exciting and challenging photocatalysis project in an international and interdisciplinary consortium of synthetic chemists, and theoreticians, we welcome your application for a PhD position which is fully funded through PhotoReAct ITN.
Applications (single pdf file) should include a letter of motivation, CV, academic certificates and a transcript of records, and one written recommendation letter (e.g. by your Master thesis supervisor) and the contact details of at least one more reference, plus a short summary of
previous research work (2-3 pages with chemical details).
Prospective PhD students should apply to in electronic form (incomplete applications will not be considered). Application deadline: 26 February 2022.
Prof. Dr. Kirsten Zeitler
Professorship for Organic Synthesis & Catalysis
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy
Universität Leipzig, Germany