Faculty of Health, Science and Technology

Desciption of Prismas

PRISMAS - PhD Research and Innovation in Synchrotron Methods and Applications in Sweden – is a new doctoral network training the next generation of 40 leading synchrotron experts, co-funded by the Horizon Europe MSCA COFUND Programme.

As a PRISMAS PhD student, you will have the chance to conduct cutting-edge research in your field, taking advantage of state of the art tools that will lead to attractive future job opportunities in academia or industry. Moreover, you are part of designing the future of synchrotron technology and instrumentation and using these to tackle some of the most significant global challenges the world faces today while acquiring interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge. Being part of the PRISMAS programme gives you the one-of-a-kind experience in form of a secondment at the world´s first 4th generation synchrotron, MAX IV in Lund, Sweden. Complemented with a tailored training programme, including courses to build scientific and technical competence as well as strengthen transferrable skills, PRISMAS provides you with the skills, knowledge and competence needed to successfully achieve your doctoral degree.

Description of the workplace

The Faculty of Health, Science and Technology invites applications for a doctoral studentship in Physics at the Department of Engineering and Physics. Materials science is one of the faculty’s strategic research areas and has an inspiring multidisciplinary atmosphere. The materials physics group has a broad scope of interests encompassing research on metal/semiconductors, nano-materials, organic molecular and silicon-based solar cells, https://www.kau.se/en/physics/research/materials-physics. The research on metal/semiconductors is focused on surface structures; metal thin films, and organic crystalline layers, using experimental techniques such as scanning tunneling microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation. The materials physics group presently consists of eight senior scientists, two post-docs and three PhD students, and is now growing strongly by the recruitment of several PhD students and post-docs.


1. Spin coupling of Ag thin film growth on Sn/Ge(111)-(√3×√3), Surf. Sci. 719, 122043 (2021).

2. Layer-by-layer control of Ag thin film growth on Sn/Si(111)-(√3×√3)R30°, Surf. Sci. 701, 121697 (2020).

3. Quantum well states in thin Ag films grown on the Ga/Si(111)-√3×√3 surface, Phys. Rev. B 97, 195430 (2018)

What we offer 

Upon admission to doctoral studies, a fixed-term position as doctoral student will be offered. Being employed as a doctoral student includes the same benefits as other employees at universities. We offer flexible working hours, health maintenance benefits etc. Read more about staff benefits here https://www.kau.se/en/work-us/work/benefits.
Karlstad University wants to give all staff members the best possible opportunities for a good work/life balance.

The MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS offers you outstanding opportunities as well as a stimulating and inspiring surrounding for performing cutting-edge research. Supporting your mobility, it creates perfect conditions for strengthening your international network.


The main task is to participate in the project “Topology of ultra thin metal films on semiconductors”, MSCA COFUND project PRISMAS.

A doctoral student is mainly expected to engage in doctoral studies. The doctoral programme consists of 240 higher education credits, including the doctoral thesis. A doctoral student works independently and is prepared to further the work of the subject.
To contribute to a positive work environment and the department’s activities, the doctoral student will be a present and active part of the day-to-day operations and workplace community.

We are reaching out to prospective students interested in thin metal layers on semiconductor surfaces. The goal of the project is to increase knowledge about surface reconstructions, as well as to develop new methods for the growth of ultra thin films, which can lead to new material properties and new applications. Crystal surfaces of silicon and germanium, modified with atomic layers of metals on top, are used as substrates. By using different metals and varying the preparation methods, a large variation in the properties of the surfaces can be achieved. Such surfaces are therefore excellent substrates for systematic studies of the coupling and interaction between films and substrates.

The training implies a secondment of 3-12 months at MAX IV laboratory in Lund, Sweden. Additional secondments and/or short stays may be arranged in agreement with the supervisor of the research project. Moreover, you will attend international conferences, participate in periodical project meetings and training schools as well as in specialised courses at different universities to complement your knowledge.  A certain amount of travelling is foreseen in relation to these activities.

Qualification requirements

To be eligible for doctoral studies, the applicant must meet the general and specific entry requirements.

By the employment date (before 01/09/2023) you must have been awarded a second-cycle degree, completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses or have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

In addition to the criteria mentioned above, you must have fulfilled a second cycle education in Physics, with a specialization in a relevant area for doctoral studies in Physics. Eligible are also applicants with other degrees at second-cycle level, with at least 60 higher education credits in a relevant area for third-cycle studies in Physics.

You are eligible for the PRISMAS programme, if you are a doctoral candidate, i.e., are not already in possession of a doctoral degree.

To comply with the mobility rule of the MSCA COFUND programme, you are eligible if you have not resided in Sweden for more than 12 months during the period 2020-05-01 to 2023-05-02 for work or studies as main occupation.

To be eligible for doctoral studies the applicant must be judged to have the ability required to pursue the programme successfully.

All applicants must have a very good command of English, oral and written.

Admission and assessment criteria 

Admission is based on individual assessment.

Personal qualities, such as a positive attitude, good ability to collaborate, responsibility and ability to work independently, as well as excellent written and oral communication skills, will be given considerable weight in the assessment.

It is meritorious to have previous experience of research on surface physics, the use of scanning probe techniques and synchrotron radiation.


Upon admission to doctoral studies, an employment as doctoral student will be offered (Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 5, sect.3). The position is a fixed term position for four years at 100 per cent of full time and foreseen to start on 01/09/2023. A position as doctoral student can contain some limited teaching or other departmental duties, up to a maximum of 20%. If applied, the employment can be up to five years. The employment is for one year initially, followed by possible extensions of a maximum of two years at a time.

The salary corresponds to the standard level of salary for doctoral students at Karlstad University.


Applications are to be submitted via the Varbi, https://www.kau.se/en/work-us/work/vacancies and must include the following documents:

  • CV in Europass format
  • A two-page cover letter, justifying your interest in the position and how it matches your qualifications as well as the prioritization in case of applying to several PRISMAS positions.
  • at least one reference letter
  • an evidence of English 3 proficiency (minimum B2 level)
  • Copy of academic records (including marks for all coursework) with a transcript of diploma in English,
  • and any other document to which you would like to draw attention (details of referees, letters of recommendation, etc.)

These documents should be uploaded (pdf) in the job application portal. Exam certificates and other documents on paper should be scanned or photographed before being uploaded.

The application will be evaluated based on scientific excellence, the adequacy of your career plan and your thesis project as well as your research experience.

Details on the novel, unique and common selection process for all the PRISMAS positions can be found here: How to apply – MAX IV (lu.se)

Last date to apply: 2 May 2023


For more detailed information on the position or the research project, please contact:
Lars Johansson, Head of Department, e-mail: lars.johansson@kau.se, mobile +46730943868
Hanmin Zhang, Professor, e-mail: hanmin.zhang@kau.se, mobile +46703058769

If you have questions on the selection process, please contact:

For questions on the employment conditions and the university, please contact:
HR representative                   Elisabeth Wessling, +46547001778

Union representative              Denita Gustavsson, OFR +46547001434
                                               Thomas Bragefors, SACO +460547001714

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2023-09-01 or by agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2023/26
Published 02.Mar.2023
Last application date 02.May.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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