Research Assistant/Associate

University of Cambridge - Department of Physics

PDRA position in Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics: 

NanoPhotonics Centre: Nano-Optics for Versatile Spectroscopy Applications are invited for an experimental postdoctoral Fellowship available from April 2017 for 24 months within a UK- and EU-funded centre exploring nanostructured materials for photonics- and bio-applications. The new ability to confine light to the nanometre scale gives a host of opportunities for new types of light-tracked and light-induced chemistry on tiny scales, impacting confined chemistry, quantum emitters, energy generation, and fundamentals. We interact with outstanding theorists in Imperial London, Harvard, and San Sebastian Spain, who you will collaborate with extensively. Working in several teams with over 40 researchers across 4 departments, you will be developing nano-optics studies of nanoparticles and nanostructures to explore and control chemical processes operating at the nanoscale.

Candidates will hold a strong physics PhD, with experience in optical measurements on the nanoscale, as well as theoretical skills in light propagation in complex media. In addition to proven experimental skills the candidate should ideally have experience in working across disciplinary boundaries, and in developing spectroscopies for developing countries. They should expect to be involved in both construction of new high precision optical spectroscopy rigs using lasers as well as a variety of chemical sample preparations or synthesis.

The UK NanoPhotonics Centre ( collaborates widely across the University of Cambridge including the Departments of Chemistry, Engineering, Physics of Medicine, Cancer Research UK, Chemical Engineering, Materials as well as many international partners, industry, with several major EU programmes. Recent publications can be seen on our website. Prof. Baumberg, FRS, is an acknowledged leader in discovering and assembling nanomaterials for novel photonics.

Person Specification

  • Strong Physics PhD (evidenced)
  • Experience in designing and constructing complex optical experiments including:
  • Fluorescence and scattering microscopy
  • Spatial light modulators for wavefront shaping
  • Light trapping
  • Optical laser rig development
  • Will be able and willing to undertake travel to Africa
  • A proven passion for developing technologies to support African countries
  • Experience in the use of home-made electronics
  • Experience of working with start-up companies

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a basic disclosure (criminal records check) check.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquires may be addressed to Angela Campbell ( or Prof. Jeremy Baumberg (

Please quote reference KA10664 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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South East England