Open Positions

List of open positions


15 PhD Fellowships in biocomposites, paper, biomedical applications, aerogel fibres, polymer science, physical chemistry, fibre-matrix interface, fibre network mechanics, strength scaling, numerical simulations, micromechanics, stochastic failures, molecular dynamics,  microrobotics, 3D printing, electrospinning, and materials testing.


Job description

FibreNet is hiring altogether 15 future professionals for a period of three years to work on different bio-fibre related topics and to take the doctor’s degree. This is a unique opportunity to build an extensive professional network and to work with a vantage point to both industry and academic world while being trained as a researcher and PhD in bio-fibres.

FibreNet is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN). It forms an umbrella-project that combines the individual research projects of the 15 hired PhD candidates and offers common fibre-related training.

FibreNet consortium consists of seven European universities and eight European companies who will each hire 1-3 PhD students or host 1-3 months long internships (called secondments) as part of the training program.

You will be recruited by one organization for the whole period of three years, i.e., also during the secondments. The host organization is determined by the research project for which you have applied.


Training program

We offer a unique training program to all our PhD students. It is tailor-made for fibre-professionals working in different application fields and cannot be found in the curricula of any university. The training program consists of:

  • Individual research project at the hiring organization that hires you (university or company participating in FibreNet).
  • Local PhD training according to your individual needs at the university that you are enrolled to (university participating in FibreNet—also those who are recruited by a company will be enrolled to a university).
  • Network-wide training which is joint training that will provide you the knowledge and skills relevant to all PhDs (so-called transferable skills) or to PhDs specifically in the field of bio-based fibres. We will offer 5 training events (3-5 days each), 2 online courses and a final conference.
  • Secondments, i.e., 1-3 month internships supporting and related to your own research work at companies and/or universities that are part of FibreNet.
  • Mentoring about career in industry. A mentor from one of our industrial partners will be named to you to give guidance regarding research career in industry.


Scientific objectives

Fibres have a central role in determining the key characteristics of many everyday products. A good example is the role of cellulose fibres in determining the strength of cardboard. The main objective of FibreNet is to develop a set of new tools and methods to control the properties of different products that contain bio-fibres as their functional parts (bio-fibres as opposed to man-made fibres, such as carbon fibre). The developed methods will apply over a range of different fibre-related applications.

We will focus on growing sectors of bio-based fibre products including packaging, bio-composites, specialty textiles, and medical products.

Thus, the higher-level objectives of FibreNet can be summarized as:

  • to boost the competitiveness of biocomposites in the composites sector and to improve the strength and durability properties of composites by enhancing the fibre-matrix interface properties,
  • to improve the price-competitiveness and functionality of paper and fibre-based packages by developing new modification, characterization and modelling methods and tools,
  • to improve biocompatibility,  to extend the linear drug release period and increase pilot production capabilities in fibre-based wound healing and tissue engineering applications.

In order to achieve the objectives, each individual research project will tackle different bio-fibre related problems related to functionalization, characterization, modelling and/or to production. The scale of operation will span from nanoscale via microscale to product scale.


Who can apply?

We are looking for highly motivated individuals with the desire to work abroad in an international environment. Positions are open to applicants of all nationalities. In order to be qualified to apply:

  • you must hold a relevant Master´s degree (preferred background for each individual research project is indicated in the corresponding project description) or be graduating before July 2018,
  • you may already be in a PhD program but you cannot be a PhD holder,
  • you must have less than 4 years of research experience, i.e., you should be an early-stage researcher,
  • you must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the country of the hiring organization for more than 12 months during the last 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment, and
  • you should have a high-level knowledge of the English language.

How to apply?

The application deadline is 11.3.2018. The list of the 15 open PhD positions as well as links to the detailed instructions for applying and to the individual project descriptions can be found here.


List of open positions


FibreNet consortium:

Tampere University of Technology (TUT)

TUT is located in Tampere, Finland. At TUT, there are over 10 000 under- and post-graduate students, including 1 400 international students.  TUT has a long-standing tradition of collaboration with other research institutions and industry. Internationality is an inherent part of all its activities. TUT coordinates the FibreNet project and will recruit 3 PhD students to two research groups (MST and LMS).


Kemira is a global chemicals company serving customers in water-intensive industries. It provides expertise, application know-how and chemicals that improve customers' water, energy and raw material efficiency. The focus is on pulp & paper, oil & gas, mining and water treatment. In FibreNet, Kemira will recruit 1 PhD student to its R&D Center at Espoo in Finland. PhD student will also be enrolled as a student to KTH, Stockholm, Sweden.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

KTH is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and is Sweden’s largest technical research and learning university and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world dedicated to advancing knowledge. KTH is working with industry and society in the pursuit of sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges: climate change, future energy supply, urbanisation and quality of life for the rapidly-growing elderly population. We are addressing these with world leading, high-impact research and education in natural sciences and all branches of engineering. In FibreNet, research groups from two departments are involved: Solid mechanics and Fibre and polymer technology. KTH will recruit 2 PhD students.

KU Leuven (KUL)

KUL is located in Leuven, Belgium. It is Belgium's largest university with approximately 60 000 students and one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. In FibreNet, KUL will recruit 2 PhD students.

Maastricht University (MU)

MU is located in Maastricht, Netherlands. It hosts about 16 000 students in international BA, MA and graduate programs. In the 2014 QS ranking of young research universities, MU ranked as 4th best young university in Europe. In FibreNet, MU will recruit 2 PhD students.

Predilnica Litia (Litija)

Predilnica Litia is a Slovenian SME company with 190 employees. It is one of the leading European producers of special yarns from natural and synthetic fibres and their blends. By means of new, modern technology, Litia produces a variegated programme of yarns by customers’ desires for decorative and technical textiles. In FibreNet, Litia will recruit 1 PhD student to its premises located at Litija.

Technical University of Graz (TUG)

TUG is located in Graz, Austria. At TUG, there are about 18 000 students. Doctoral training is organized in 14 English speaking doctoral schools. In the field of cellulose based fiber materials and paper, TU Graz is one of the leading research institutions in Europe. In FibreNet, TUG will recruit 2 PhD students to the Institute of Paper, Pulp and Fibre Technology.

University of Maribor (UM)

With about 25 000 students the University of Maribor is located in the second largest Slovenian city not far from the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. At the Laboratory for Characterization and Processing of Polymers (LCPP) an international and interdisciplinary research team works on the advancement of biopolymer material science with the aim of new applications in medicine and the bio based economy. In Fibrenet, UM will recruit 2 PhD students. The PhD students will work in new laboratory facilities opened in 2015 and 2018.


Bcomp is a Swiss company that, since its founding in 2011, has focused on natural fibres and their composites developing corresponding solutions with reduced ecological footprint. Their ultra light bCores has been established as a new reference within the ski industry. Their ampliTex® flax fabrics are used in a wide range of applications ranging from bicycle frames, to music instruments and luxury design parts. Since 2014 Bcomp has been transferring its technologies and services into high volume markets such as automotive. In FibreNet, Bcomp will host secondments at Fribourg Switzerland.


BillerudKorsnäs is a world-leading supplier of primary fibre-based packaging material. It creates smarter packaging solutions together with packaging manufacturers (converters), brand owners and networking partners all over the world. These smarter packaging solutions challenge conventional packaging made of fossil materials such as plastic for a sustainable future. In Fibrenet, BillerudKorsnäs will host secondments at the Technology Center Fibre Materials in Grums, Sweden.


Educell is a Slovenian company focusing on development of tissue engineering applications for regeneration of structural tissues. The company is preparing tissue engineered products for treatment of articular cartilage, vesicoureteral reflux, and regeneration of bone tissue, which are all being used in University Medical Centre Ljubljana and some other clinical institutions in Slovenia. More than 280 patients with damaged knee cartilage have been treated with Educell’s product ChondroArtTM. In FibreNet, Educell will host secondments at its premises in Tirzin.


ITA GmbH was founded in December 2002 as a link between the academia and the German textile industry. Ever since, ITA GmbH has grown to be the partner for innovation intensive enterprises in Europe, America and Asia in the field of research and development for the textile based application in the areas of mobility, energy, health care and building & living. ITA GmbH offers a systematic approach to transferring knowledge and technology towards the industry. In FibreNet, ITA GmbH will host secondments at its premises in Aachen, Germany.


Mondi is an international packaging and paper group, employing around 25 000 people in more than 30 countries. Mondi is fully integrated across the packaging and paper value chain—from managing forests to producing pulp, paper and compound plastics. In FibreNet, Mondi will host secondments at its premises in Vienna, Austria, and/or at respective plant/mill.

Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak is the world's leading food processing and packaging solutions company. It provides integrated processing, packaging, and distribution solutions for food manufacturing, and offers packaging machines for different packaging alternatives. Tetra Pak also supplies packaging material to more than 8 800 packaging machines across the globe. Tetra Pak’s products are provided in 175 countries in the world. In FibreNet, Tetra Pak will host secondments at its premises in Lund, Sweden.

Aachen University Hospital, BioTex

BioTex, at Aachen Germany is a unique transfaculty transborder professorship between German and Dutch institutes. The professorship is established at the AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering as part of the University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen. The institute is set-up along the value chain from materials science along textile process chain towards the biomedical application including (pre)clinical testing. In FibreNet, BioTex will host secondments.