Postdoctoral Researcher in NMR Theory and Computation

University of Oulu Faculty of Science


Postdoctoral Researcher, NMR Theory and Computation

The University of Oulu ( in Northern Finland, with approximately 15000 students and 3000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University are broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes.

The open Postdoctoral Researcher position is in the broad field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), in the specific topic of theory and computation of magnetic resonance.

The position is located at the NMR Research Unit (, in the Faculty of Science. We are an internationally established, combined experimental and theoretical team of about 20 people, of which 50% with a PhD degree. We develop theoretical, computational and experimental research methods based on magnetic resonance phenomena and apply those methods to topical problems in molecular and materials sciences. Our particular strength is in the tight connection between state-of-the-art measurements and calculations. We have an open and encouraging working atmosphere and have a substantial track record in successful funding applications both at the Academy of Finland and in EU programs. CPU-intensive computational research is carried out mainly using the facilities of the national supercomputer centre (> 200 petaflops/s total capacity). Local linux clusters belonging to the Finnish Grid and Cloud Infrastructure are used for high-throughput production calculations. We are a key user of the NMR laboratory facility of the University of Oulu, furnished with five high-field spectrometers (300-600 MHz) suited for an unusually broad variety of studies (wide range of nuclei, gas/liquid/solid, different sample sizes, imaging capabilities, diffusion probe, micro CryoProbe, remote detection, spin-exchange optical/parahydrogen-induced/SABRE hyperpolarization), two portable low-field instruments, as well as nuclear magneto-optic instrumentation.

Subject field and description of the position

The Postdoctoral Researcher position is a part of the Academy of Finland project Multiscale simulation of magnetic resonance physics. The project involves the combination of (1) quantum-chemical electronic-structure calculation of the spin Hamiltonian terms of molecular and materials systems, (2) molecular-dynamics simulation of their atomic dynamics and (3) spin-dynamics simulations driven by the time-dependent spin Hamiltonian, in modelling of dynamic spin polarisation and relaxation effects, as well as NMR and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra. The goal is to implement a first-principles paradigm of computational magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the results of which can be directly compared with experimental spectral observables, instead of merely calculating NMR and EPR parameters. Applications of the methodology in high-precision magnetometry, spin hyperpolarisation and novel magnetic resonance observables will be investigated.

The length of the position is two years. The starting date of the position is October 1, 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. A six-month trial period will be effective in the beginning of the two-year contract.

Required qualifications and assessment

The successful applicant must have a completed PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field. The applicant must show a visible scientific profile. Significant experience in at least two of the following computational methodologies: (1) electronic structure calculation, (2) molecular dynamics simulation and (3) spin dynamics simulation, is to be documented, along with capability and willingness to also learn the third technique. The project requires strong scientific computing experience and mastery of at least one relevant programming language (e.g., Fortran, C++, Python, Mathematica, Matlab).

Fluent English, good communication skills and good teamwork skills are required. Further, demonstrated potential in acquiring supplementary (extramural) funding, and teaching experience will be taken as a merit when choosing the scientist. When assessing the applicant’s qualifications, issues to be considered will include scientific publications, thesis supervision, activity in the scientific community, practical familiarity with the field in question, scientific work abroad, and other international activities.

As part of the NMR Research Unit, the duties also include supervising scientific research of BSc, MSc and PhD students. Participation in teaching within the physics curriculum and acquiring research funding are naturally expected.


The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 of the demand level chart for university–level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 3500–4000 € per month before taxes, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Application Procedure

The following documents must be attached to the application:

1) Brief curriculum vitae in English

2) List of publications in international peer-reviewed journals

3) Brief description of research merits

4) Brief (1-2 pages) research and action plan in English

5) Contact information of two persons who may be asked to give a statement of the candidate

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using electronic application form by September 15, 2020. The applications will not be returned.


The top candidates for the posts may be interviewed and asked to present their plans for running the post successfully.

For further information regarding the filling of this post:

Professor Juha Vaara, NMR Research Unit, University of Oulu, tel. +358-40-196 6658, email: juha.vaara(at)


In your application, please refer to