PhD opening 2021 (CLOSED)

January 23, 2021 (updated March 16, 2021)

Exploring organic chemistry under pressure with computations

The research group of Bo Chen ( at the Donostia International Physics Center in San Sebastian, Spain, is looking for one motivated Ph.D. student to join the group in fall 2021.

The goal of the project is to develop the field of computational high-pressure organic chemistry. The candidate is expected to work on improving/developing two original computational methods-—the eXtreme Pressure Polarizable Continuum Model (XP-PCM) and the Helium Compression Chamber (HCC) model-–to allow for first-principles calculations to be performed on organic systems under high pressure. In addition, the candidate is expected to apply the above two computational methods to the investigations of the validity of Woodward-Hoffmann rules under high pressure and the effect of pressure on stereoselectivity in organocatalysis.

The project will involve collaborations with the group of Roberto Cammi at University of Parma, Italy, for method development and the group of Fernando Cossío at University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain, for experimental high-pressure organocatalysis applications.

The candidate is expected to have a solid background and a keen interest in organic and/or computational chemistry. Experience with quantum chemistry softwares for electronic structure calculations is highly desirable, but not required.

Interested candidates may send an updated CV and a brief statement of interest to Bo Chen ( The candidate should explain in the statement how his/her background and interest align with the project. The deadline for sending the documents is April 5, 2021. Inquiries are also welcome.