Selvan Demir studied chemistry at the University of Cologne and received her Diploma in 2007. She conducted research on scandium solid state chemistry with Prof. Gerd Meyer and scandium organometallic chemistry with Prof. William J. Evans at the University of California, Irvine earning her Dr. rer. nat. in 2010. In 2011, Selvan accepted a DAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship and began her postdoctoral research on lanthanide-based single-molecule magnets and porous aromatic frameworks with Prof. Jeffrey R. Long at the University of California, Berkeley. She was also a postdoctoral research affiliate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working on neptunium, plutonium, and americium chemistry with Dr. David K. Shuh. Since 2016, Selvan is a junior professor of inorganic chemistry at the University of Göttingen. Her research interests are in the areas of synthetic organometallic chemistry and magnetism.