Chemistry is not an exact science: actually, it is one of the most empirical natural sciences. Modern chemical research is trans-disciplinary (ideally, holistic), and due to the availability of very large databases assembled by means of High Throughput Experimentation it relies more and more on stochastic modeling aided by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Practical applications of fundamental research feed the chemical industry, which globally impacts on human society and on the planet which is home to it: mankind’s survival depends on chemistry, for the good and the bad.
The dramatic societal and economic crisis that is mounting at the verge of the 2020s has been greatly accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, but pre-existed to it. Symptoms like global warming and plastics islands in the Oceans were clear to all those who did not pretend to be blind, and it is now almost impossible to deny that the management of natural resources and the strategy of industrial production must be profoundly revised with no further delay. Circular Economy is not merely a hype abused by some for fig-leaf operations; rather, it must become the foundation of all that we do, and academia is called to show the way.
LSP is getting ready for this new scenario. The research group is truly trans-disciplinary and provides an expert horizontal coverage of the chemical knowledge and value chains, from organometallic chemistry and catalysis to materials science. The Group operates state-of-the-art High Throughput Experimentation (HTE) and High Throughput Computation (HTC) workflows, enabling the integration of physical and virtual experiments and advanced applications of deterministic and statistical computational modeling. Robotics is used intensively in all research lines, and spin-off companies foster novel HTE and HTC applications, including the design of new tools and methodologies. As a result, collaborations with industry are structural and strong.
Studentships and Scholarships at LSP
Students who are interested to carry out their experimental theses at LSP at BSc, MSc and PhD level as well as training stages (‘Tirocini’) will be introduced into the aforementioned R&D activities at the appropriate level. The Group is willing to welcome students who can demonstrate a genuine interest in science and the ambition to grow professionally in a competitive environment in introductory colloquia and are prepared to work hard. In return, they will develop unique professional skills and expertise introducing them to the new job market.
LSP is an international R&D group, and daily communication between group members is in English language.
What follows is a brief survey of the training opportunities that can be available on demand.
A) Bachelor Thesis (‘Tesi triennale’)
The BSc thesis at LSP consists of a short project (about 6-8 working weeks) in the lab in which the student, under the guidance of an expert researcher, learns the basics of some experimental and/or computational modeling methods by applying such methods to a specific scientific problem. The following focus areas can be identified:
a) High Throughput Experimentation studies in organometallic chemistry and catalysis (with hands-on training on robotic platforms in controlled atmosphere), mainly on topics related with molecular or heterogeneous catalytic olefin polymerizations.
b) Molecular characterizations and mechanistic studies of organometallic processes in solution, primarily by means of NMR spectroscopy.
c) Computational modeling of organometallic reactions, as a stand-alone approach to molecular kinetics by means of Density Functional Theory (DFT), or in combination with the above points a) and/or b) and the aid of Machine Learning instruments.at can be available on demand.
B) Master Thesis (‘Laurea Magistrale’)
The MSc thesis at LSP typically consists of a self-consistent original research project (8-9 months of full-time work in the lab, and 2-3 months dedicated to data analysis, statistical modeling and thesis writing). The student will develop professional skills in one or more of the focus areas listed under A) above, with emphasis depending on his/her personal interests (compatibly with the availability of projects and Tutors). The project may be part of a collaboration with industry, either bilaterally or in the framework of multi-client consortia (e.g., the Dutch Polymer Institute, or the High-Throughput Polymer Hub of the Federico II University).
C) PhD Thesis (‘Progetto di Dottorato di Ricerca’)
A PhD thesis at LSP consists of an original 3-year R&D project including all three focus areas listed under A) above, with emphasis depending on the student’s personal interests (compatibly with the availability of projects and Tutors). In most cases the project is part of a collaboration with industry, either bilaterally or in the framework of multi-client consortia (e.g., the Dutch Polymer Institute, or the High-Throughput Polymer Hub of the Federico II University).
D) Training Stage (‘Tirocinio’)
Students of the Federico II University enrolled in the MSc degrees in Chemical Sciences (Laurea Magistrale in scienze Chimiche) or Industrial Chemistry Sciences and Technologies (Laurea Magistrale in Scienze e Tecnologie della Chimica Industriale) can ask LSP for the execution of training stages (‘Tirocini’) as a part of their degree. Applications can be submitted to the specific Committee of the Department of Chemical Sciences (‘Commissione Tirocini’).
Post-Doctoral Fellowships at LSP
Open positions for post-doctoral fellowships will be advertised here when available. Moreover, we are always interested in hearing from potential new members and collaborators who are interested in a position at LSP (including employees of industrial companies who wish to discuss opportunities for research stages in the framework of a bilateral collaboration).
Applications with an enclosed CV, presentation letters, and a motivation letter illustrating scope and objectives of a possible appointment can be sent by e-mail to Prof. Vincenzo Busico (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any staff member of LSP.