PhD Scholarship in Novel concepts for self-healing organic coatings (MPIE-BASF-DC1) - REDI (RMIT European Doctoral Innovators) Program

This is a 48-month research position based in Germany at Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH. (MPIE-BASF).

This is a 48-month research position based in Germany at Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH (MPIE-BASF) ( The position is funded by European Union under the MSCA COFUND Action: RMIT European Doctoral Innovators (REDI) program. The selected Researcher will be enrolled at RMIT University and the Ruhr-Univ. Bochum, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering as a Doctoral Student. 

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REDI is a unique PhD training program offering industry-supported positions with excellent salaries, enviable international experiences including a residential year in Melbourne, Australia and annual workshop weeks in Barcelona, Spain, top-class training as well as networking with academic and industry leaders across 60+ supporting partners.

REDI is looking for one Researcher (with less than 4 years of research experience and not in the possession of a Doctoral Degree yet), who will be closely working with both RMIT University (Australia) and MPIE-BASF (Germany) on one of the following research projects:


Project 1: Self-Healing organic coatings: the delaminated interface

In self-healing coatings, the self-healing will take a while to set in. During this time the coating will continue to delaminate. That requires that it will have to be restored in its functions of inhibiting corrosion and providing strong adhesion between coating and metallic substrate. It is proposed to carry out a dedicated project focussing at this interface in order to provide both a better general understanding as well as approaches how to obtain optimized self-healing. MPIE is ideally equipped to tackle this important problem, that has been widely neglected so far.


Project 2: Re-enforcing the protection of zinc oxides via novel inhibitors

Traditionally zinc and galvanised steel have been protected by inhibitors within coatings surface will have a thin oxide layer. However, in designing the inhibitor system the oxide layer is not considered a design variable. Here, it is proposed to look in how far the oxides can be tuned to perform better, ideally in combination with inhibitors. A suitably porous structure could act as a reservoir for the inhibitor and be used to seal any defect that develop in the compact layer while promoting densification of the porous layer and being available for migration to larger scale defects. 


Project 3: Active protective coatings utilizing carrier-release concepts

Smart engineering materials capable to mimic sense-release properties are commonly found among living organisms and of rapidly raising interest for designing protective coatings. The project proposes a comparative study of suitable carrier-release concepts regarding different triggers and release kinetics of the stored corrosion inhibitors. Such protective coatings could have different protective mechanisms, like the release of corrosion inhibitors into a defect or stabilisation of the coating/substrate interface. Ideally both mechanisms will facilitate to a durable protective coating. 


Research Fields: Applied Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Nanotechnology, Environmental and sustainable engineering

The Researcher will be supervised by Dr. Michael Rohwerder (MPIE, RUB) and: Ivan Cole (RMIT) and: Patrick Keil (Industry supervisor).

The remuneration, in line with the European Commission rules for Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant holders, will at the beginning consist of a gross annual salary of about 34-42.000 EUR gross per year. Of this amount, the estimated net salary to be perceived by the Researcher at the beginning will be 1.780-1.950 EUR per month.

However, the definite amount to be received by the Researcher is subject to national tax legislation.


Benefits include:

  • All benefits according to the German public service tariff system (TVÖD), such as paid holiday leave, sick leave, parental leave
  • 1,000€ yearly travel allowance to cover flights and accommodation to participate in the annual workshop at RMIT Europe in Barcelona (Spain).
  • 10,000€ allowance to cover flights and living expenses for up to 12 months in Australia.

One position valued at up to 34-42.000 EUR per annum for 4 years full time.

Open now.

Applications close 19th September 2022.

One scholarship available

To apply for REDI, you must comply with the MSCA-COFUND eligibility criteria by the application deadline:  

  • Be in the first four years (Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) research experience of your research career and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. FTE Research Experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate, AND 
  • Not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of your research host for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before this call’s deadline. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol), compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays is not taken into account. 
  • AND the following criteria:  Hold a master’s OR equivalent degree (for example bachelor’s degree with honours) in a discipline related to the research project of your choice, including a research component that allows you to enrol in a university doctoral programme by January 2023, AND
  • Have evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or professional experience demonstrating that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the chosen project.  AND  
  • Have English level C1 language proficiency. 

In addition to the above, if your application is successful, you will be required to: 

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