PhD Scholarship at Ghent University and University of Luxembourg Long-range Correlation Energies in Extended Systems Monopolar Charge Fluctuations

University of Ghent, Belgium is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position in molecular modeling. The initial contract for this position is four years. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2018.

We are pleased to announce a fully funded FWO/FNR Ph.D. position, in the frame of a collaboration between Ghent University and the University of Luxembourg, for a duration of four years, supervised by prof. Toon Verstraelen (UGent, Center for Molecular Modeling, and prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko (UL, Physics and Materials Science Research Unit, For this position, you will be hired by Ghent University but you will regularly visit the Tkatchenko group in Luxembourg. You will be working on new models for inter-/intra-molecular long-range correlation energies that take into account correlated atomic monopolar density fluctuations.

Your goal is to develop a new computational model for the long-range correlation energy, which includes dispersion interactions. This new model is envisioned to be a unified framework encompassing the many-body dispersion method (developed by AT) and the atom-condensed Kohn-Sham model (proposed by TV). The main novelty is the treatment of atomic monopole fluctuations on an equal footing with fluctuating dipoles, for the computation of the long-range correlation energy. Ideally the new model exhibits a good trade-off between accuracy and computational cost, but significant steps into that direction are already valuable, such as theoretical developments and their implementation and validation. Machine learning is certainly a relevant option to reach an attractive trade-off between accuracy and cost. You are expected to disseminate your research in publications in leading journals in the field and to submit and defend your thesis before the end of the contract.

Candidates must have obtained an M.Sc. degree in physics, applied physics, chemistry or chemical engineering in the past four years. We are seeking exceptionally qualified and motivated applicants for this position. Students with high grades and research experience in their B.Sc. and M.Sc. studies from renowned universities are strongly preferred. Other selection criteria include an outstanding knowledge of quantum mechanics, software development, numerical analysis, molecular simulation and machine learning. Besides the scientific and technical background, we also value good communication skills (written and oral) and sufficient social aptitude to integrate in a diverse and competitive research group.

Applications should be sent to before Dec 15, 2018, with the subject: “Application for Ph.D. position Long-range correlation energies in extended systems: Monopolar charge fluctuations”.

  • a cover letter describing why you should be considered for this position,
  • transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. courses and grades,
  • a list of two professors who have supervised you in your B.Sc. and/or M.Sc. research project and who are willing to provide a letter of recommendation. All documents should be in PDF format and written in English. From all applications, a short-list of candidates will be made, who will be contacted for an interview over Skype.


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