Second Call for PhD Candidates | Application Process

To submit your application, please use the ‘apply‘-link under the project(s) of your choice. You’ll be redirected to the application portal website of the university. Make sure you fill in all the requested forms and upload a total of 4 files:  1) the Application Form, 2) a motivation letter, 3) a curriculum vitae, 4) copies of relevant diplomas and grade lists.

You are also expected to send in a video pitch. More information can be found in the application form and/or below.

Please carefully read all information regarding these PhD positions:

Video pitch
As stated in the Application Form, your application must include a video pitch of 3 minutes at maximum, in which you give a short answer to the following questions:

  1. What attracts you in working for MCEC ?
  2. Why do you want to apply for this project/these projects in particular?
  3. Why, in your opinion, should MCEC select you as one of their PhD candidates?

For your 3-minute pitch video, use the.mp4 format (500 MB max, useH.264 compression).

Make sure to title your video pitch as follows: [Your name]_MCEC_videopitch.mp4
If your name is not in the title of your video file, we might not be able to connect it to the right application. Please be aware of this and make sure your video file is titled correctly.

It is not possible to upload your video via the vacancy portal(s). We kindly ask you to send your video pitch using WeTransfer (, use the Free version instead of the Premium version) and address it to Please do not send the file directly, due to inbox limitations.

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Applying for several projects

You can apply for several projects, though not collectively; you need to upload the needed documents separately for each project, via the vacancy portal concerned. MCEC is a consortium of three different universities, therefore different vacancy portals (and sometimes different deadlines) apply.

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MCEC is looking for a highly motivated and creative PhD candidate who has:

  • an excellent master’s degree or an international equivalent in the relevant fields of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering and/or Materials Engineering;
  • a strong interest in sustainable energy conversion;
  • excellent research and scientific writing skills;
  • perseverance and an independent, pro-active working style;
  • the willingness to look beyond the borders of his or her own discipline and strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team;
  • excellent collaboration and communication skills (written and verbally) in English.

Please note that the PhD candidate will be hosted by Utrecht UniversityEindhoven University of Technology or the University of Twente, depending on the specific project(s) that the PhD candidate applies for. Two of the projects are Joint Doctorate projects, meaning that the PhD candidate will spend his or her time at different universities and will receive a Joint Doctorate Degree after finishing the project.

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We offer a full-time PhD position for 4 years for which the candidate will be provided with generous funding for research and training costs. All PhD students will work in a truly international and interdisciplinary environment. This will provide them with an excellent basis and a strong network for a future career in the field of energy, in academia, industry as well as governance.

The salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €2,266 and maximum €2,897 (scale 7 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. The salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end allowance of 8.3% per year. More information about the secondary conditions can be found on the websites of Utrecht UniversityEindhoven University of Technology and the University of Twente.

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About the organization
The Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) is a multidisciplinary research program. Within this program chemists, physicists and engineers from Utrecht University (UU; commissioner of the MCEC-program), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the University of Twente (UT) join forces in order to address one of the grand challenges that our society faces today: sustainable energy conversion. Different research teams work together to develop efficient processes for the conversion of renewable raw materials, such as non-edible biomass, waste and solar energy, fuels and chemical building blocks.

MCEC gives academics the opportunity to work on important scientific topics in not previously existing partnerships, and thus creates the conditions for innovative, groundbreaking and multidisciplinary research, including both experimental and theoretical approaches.

MCEC is a so-called Gravitation Program, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The programme is co-founded with a grant that has been awarded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND program.

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Candidates are asked to submit an application package consisting of

(1) an Application Form (download)
(2) a motivation letter
(3) a curriculum vitae
(4) copies of relevant diplomas and grade lists
(5) a video pitch

Please upload your application by using the vacancy portals.
Your video pitch can be send via WeTransfer. WeTransfer lets you choose between a Free and a Premium version: use the Free version.

Candidates who are invited for an interview will be asked to prepare a short presentation, either in person or via video conference.

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Additional information
Additional practical information about the PhD positions can be obtained from dr. Nina Versteeg (, Program Coordinator of MCEC. Contact details for questions about specific projects can be found in the individual project descriptions.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801359.

You can apply for one or more of the 8 PhD positions until 18 March 2019, 12 a.m.
To apply, please click the application buttons that are placed under the project descriptions. Please note that you’ll be redirected to the local vacancy portals.

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