Open position in ETN SULTAN project: PhD [chemist / hydrometallurgist]

Applications are invited for 1 PhD positions (“Early Stage Researcher”) to be funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “SULTAN – European Training Network for the Remediation and Reprocessing of Sulfidic Mining Waste Sites” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. SULTAN is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in Belgium, Germany, Finland, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands.

Number of positions available

1 Phd Position 

Research Fields

Chemistry – Chemical Engineering – Metallurgy 


LCA, extractive waste, tailings, geology, geometallurgy, organic synthesis, mineral processing, biometallurgy, solvometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, ceramics, inorganic polymers, SCMs

Career Stage

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) or 0-4 yrs (Post Graduate)

Benefits and salary

The successful candidate will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 30 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on the local Supervisor, and in accordance with the regular PhD time in the country of origin). In addition to his/her individual scientific project, the fellow will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

On-line Recruitment Procedure (see Appendix 1 for full description)

All applications proceed through the on-line recruitment portal on the website. Candidates apply electronically for one position. Candidates provide all requested information including a detailed CV (Europass format obligatory). During the registration, applicants will need to prove that they are eligible, according to the ESR definition, mobility criteria, and English language proficiency. The deadline for the on-line registration is 25 August 2019. The SULTAN Recruitment Committee selects a list of candidates. The selected candidates provide a 20 minutes presentation and are examined by the Recruitment Committee. The selected ESR are to start his/her research as quickly as possible (target: October / November 2019).

Applicants need to fully respect three eligibility criteria (to demonstrated in the Europass cv):

Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.


Conditions of international mobility of researchers:

Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.


English language: Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. See for instance:


The available PhD position


ESR7: Advanced leaching of Cu-Zn, Zn-Pb and Cu-Zn-Pb tailings using microwave heating

Host: VITO (Mol, Belgium)

Main supervisor: Dr. Jeroen Spooren (

Main University supervisor: Prof. Koen Binnemans (KU Leuven)

Duration: 30 months

Required profile: Chemist or hydrometallurgist

Objectives: To apply microwaves (MWs) to increase selectivity, efficiency and kinetics of hydro- and solvometallurgical leaching systems for tailings; to understand the interaction of MWs with the solid tailing material in order to enhance local crack formation; to determine the MW activation of water and its influence on the leaching system; to perform MW heating of ionic liquids (ILs) in order to enhance IL based leaching systems.


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