The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation and fundamentals of nature. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2200 people.

For the Isotopes and Target Chemistry Group we are looking for a

PhD Student
Cobalt Depletion by inorganic sorbents
Your tasks
Your task involves the investigation of the selectivity and adsorption capacity exhibited by diverse inorganic sorbents in the removal of Cobalt-60 from aqueous solutions. The chemical composition of the solutions will be designed to mimic the prevalent characteristics of radioactive water waste, such as nuclear power plants cooling water. In particular you will perform:
  • Systematic investigation of the adsorption capabilities of a range of inorganic sorbents, conducted through both batch and column mode studies considering different key influencing factors, including but not limited to Cobalt concentration, pH levels, redox potential, and temperature
  • Examination of the influence of radiation on the selected sorbents, with a particular focus on understanding the alterations induced by irradiation on the adsorption capabilities
  • Application of the knowledge acquired from these investigations towards the development of an advanced on-line system designed for the removal of Cobalt from aqueous solutions. This system is intended to be characterized by enhanced efficacy and operational efficiency
Your profile
We are currently seeking motivated students who possess a University degree (Master's or equivalent) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or a related field. Expertise in inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry and or radiochemistry is highly desirable. Fluent in English (written and spoken).
We offer
Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information, please contact Dr Emilio Maugeri (, phone +41 56 310 24 07.

Please submit your application online by 29 February 2024 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 4702-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Serdal Varol, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland