This international programme involves 4 academic partners – it is coordinated by the Laboratory for Tribology and Interface Nanotechnology of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) in cooperation with the University of Leeds (UK), Luleå University of Technology (Sweden) and University of Coimbra (Portugal) – and 50 associated partners, mainly from industry (e.g., Volvo, Scania, Oerlikon, SKF, Hidria, Kolektor, Mahle, Cummins, and others).
The programme will host 24 post-doctoral researchers, each with a 3-year contract. The annual salary available to each postdoc is a minimum of €69,360, or €77,280 for a postdoc who is entitled to a family allowance.
Mobility GT will be realised in two calls for two cohorts of 12 postdocs each. Half the positions in each cohort will initially focus on fundamental nanoscale research (at the University of Ljubljana), with the other half working on macroscale, application-oriented tribology research of materials, surfaces, coatings and lubrication at the University of Leeds, Luleå University of Technology or University of Coimbra). This will be followed by what will be an exciting, compulsory switch between the two length scales after 27 months (and includes a mandatory secondment at an intersectorial/industrial partner) as the “nanoscale” postdocs take what they have discovered to the macroscale, and the “macroscale” postdocs get the chance to look more deeply into their findings on the nanoscale. This means the postdocs will finish off with a 9-month academic secondment to complement the main period of research.
Each post-doc can propose their own project with bottom-up ideas, but in agreement with the host university. So preliminary contacts and a discussion with provisional mentors are mandatory.
The first call will be available on Jan 1st, 2023, with the submission deadline of a post-doc project proposal on May 31th, 2023. After an international review, led by six high-profile tribologists (including three Tribology Gold Medallists), the winning proposals will be announced in August 2023. After the necessary administrative procedures for the winning proposals, the first 12 post-docs will start in January 2024. The whole procedure will then be repeated, to recruit the next cohort of 12 post-docs, who will start in January 2025.
The Mobility GT post-docs, with their individual research projects, will be able to address major challenges in green tribology in the following research areas:
- Nanoscale-based green lubrication and surface technology (Ljubljana)
- Boundary films & tribochemical interfaces (Leeds)
- Green lubrication for lightweight composites and lubrication modelling (Luleå)
- Wear-resistant, low-friction, advanced surface coatings (Coimbra)
Several sub-areas have already been identified, leading to an initial, approximately 200 research directions being available to choose from, guided by 30 academic mentors, specialising in different research fields.