NWO grants the NIOK Graduate Program Solar Fuels Catalysis
Within the Graduate Programme of NWO, local and national Research and Graduate Schools can apply for funding (800,000 euros) for the appointment of four PhD students. In total, 28 schools applied for funding of which thirteen were granted. One of these thirteen is the Solar Fuels Catalysis Graduate Programme from NIOK.
With the Graduate Programme NIOK aims to prepare the most excellent students for a career in science by offering them the best possible training and education in the highly innovative and challenging research field of catalytic conversion of solar light, carbon dioxide and water into fuels. The Master programme brings the students in the field of catalysis and Solar Fuels to an advanced level by rotations in theoretical and practical courses, seminars and a joint graduation project. Students are selected for a PhD project in this field based on a thorough procedure involving the writing of an original research proposal.
The research in this Graduate Programme is expected to force scientific breakthroughs in the field of the conversion of water and carbon dioxide to fuels by solar light by use of advanced catalysts. It is a highly synergetic effort built around four young excellent group leaders of NIOK (Weckhuysen in Utrecht, Hensen in Eindhoven, Koper in Leiden and Mul in Twente) bringing together key expertises such as spectroscopy, molecular catalysis, electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. The research will address the development of inorganic solar fuels devices.
The theme of this Graduate Programme fits well within the focus areas of the participating universities as is evident from the appointment of staff members in the field of Solar Fuels at three of the partner locations, e.g. in the frame of the strategic alliance between TU/e and UU. The PhD part of the program funded by NWO will be reinforced with funding for PhD students from the new Energy initiative of the National Research School Catalysis (NRSC-C), the NanoNEXT-NL program and, in the future, the Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER). The Graduate Program is expected to act as a nucleus for future broader initiatives.
The NWO news item (in Dutch) about the Graduate Programme can be found here.