Postdoctoral researcher position

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron

ALBA is a 3rd generation synchrotron light source, serving Spanish, Portuguese, European, and world-wide users, who are part of a broad science and industrial community. Funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Economia i Coneixement), we form a national user facility with well-established user programs, highly appreciated in the Spanish research context, and well embedded into the European research infrastructure landscape. Our highly motivated staff works in a multidisciplinary work environment with an atmosphere formed by lived diversity, inclusion and respect for our colleagues. Stationed at ALBA located close to Barcelona, you will find yourself in an area where others make vacation, with excellent connectivity to the world and an employer who understands the importance of life-work balance.

Under the Collaboration Framework Agreement and the Agreement establishing a Post-Doctoral joint program, signed between the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and the Consortium for the Construction, Equipment and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Laboratory (CELLS), we offer a postdoctoral researcher position working on the “Data analysis-guided multimodal spectroscopy to unveil atomic dynamics in nanosized metal aggregates under methane decomposition” project and supporting the Portuguese catalysis community.



As a member of a research team formed by the groups of Prof. Adelio Mendes (University of Porto, PT), Dr. Patricia Concepción (Instituto de Tecnología Química, Valencia, SP), Dr. Lifeng Liu (International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Braga, PT), Dr. Gonzalo Prieto (Instituto de Tecnología Química, Valencia, SP), and the Material Science Section of ALBA, you will focus your scientific work on Data analysis-guided multimodal spectroscopy to unveil atomic dynamics in nanosized metal aggregates under methane decomposition”. You will be stationed in, and contracted by ALBA, but the collaboration will also require short term stays at the different collaboration partners.


As the successful candidate, you will work with a team of ALBA experts, external collaborators and users on the development of novel catalytic concepts, materials to enable a sustainable methane decomposition and catalyst regeneration (cycle) and methodologies to characterize their local atomic structure and its impact on the catalytic reaction.

The objective of the project is to achieve an atomic‐level understanding of the dynamics between surface and subsurface carbon species coming from methane decomposition and the catalytic metal nanocrystals, which determine activity and long-term stability of the catalysts. This information will be retrieved at the facilities of the ALBA Synchrotron, which combined with data analytic and with the spectroscopic studies performed at ITQ will set the bases for a rational design of advanced solid catalysts with technologically significant performance in H2 generation targeting a very fast energy decarbonisation economy.

You will develop your own scientific program aligned with the collaboration, groups, sections, and facilities goals and at the same time support users mostly, but not exclusively, aligned with your own scientific interests. In a diverse, highly interactive team, you will have excellent conditions to refine your scientific expertise, the technical and computational background, and most importantly build a broad and carrying network for your future scientific career. You will build national and international recognition by using opportunities to publish and present your scientific results and approaches at conferences, workshops and seminars.

Specifically, you will
•  Develop your own scientific program which will be strongly aligned with the scientific program of the collaboration team, the beamlines you will use, and in the larger context of the section and facility. In detail this includes, developing the research plan, executing this plan with your research partners, contributing to the preparation of experimental proposals applying for general user beamtime at ALBA and/or other facilities, and contributing to the analysis and publication of the results.
•  Provide support to users from the field of catalysis as Local Contact.
•  Participate on the maintenance, commissioning and upgrade activities of equipment used for this project.
•  Engage in the on-going beamline research program, national, Portuguese and European projects and collaborations. This may also include the initiation of new projects if appropriate.
•  Participate in the development of the ALBA II project, the upgrade project of ALBA to a 4th generation synchrotron.



  • The applicant must have a doctorate in Material Sciences, Chemistry, Physics or related disciplines.
  • The applicant must be Portuguese or have a permanent residence in Portugal.
  • Ability to propose, conduct, and contribute an independent research program using the instrumentation and expertise at the collaboration partners and ALBA.
  • A good level of English both written and spoken is a must. The working language at ALBA is English.
  • Good interpersonal skills and capabilities to work in a group, adaptability to a multidisciplinary environment, sense of responsibility and capabilities to work in a group as well as to work independently.
  • Ability to work within a multidisciplinary team


  • Previous experience in running spectroscopy, diffraction, or microscopy experiments for catalytic research at Large Scale X-ray user facilities, ideally focused on catalysis applications.
  • Hands-on experiences with data analysis, theory, simulations, and data analytics.
  • Previous experience in research of heterogenous catalysis systems.
  • Experience or knowledge of operando experiments and the development of the experimental tools.
  • Knowledge of programming languages, in particular Python.

Other information

This position is reserved for those candidates having the legal status of persons with disabilities with a degree of disability equal or greater than 33%. If there are no applicants with disabilities that meet the requirements of the position, the rest of the applicants without declared disability will be evaluated.

FUNDING: The selected applicants will be jointly funded by FCT (national funds through the FCT budget) and the CELLS, following the terms of Point IV (Financial Obligations) of the Post-Doctoral Agreement.

CONTRACT TYPE: Temporal (2+3 years)


  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publication list
  • For non-Portuguese candidates, a certificate for permanent residence in Portugal. This certificate must be one of the following 2 options:
    • Citizens of a European Union member-state: EU citizen registration certificate, issued by the town council, or certificate of permanent residence for the EU, issued by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Borders and Foreigners Services).
    • Other nationalities: certificate of permanent residence, issued by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Borders and Foreigners Services).
  • Document proving that the applicant holds a doctoral degree.
  • Identification card/citizen card/passport card or legal equivalent.

To apply for this job please visit