Research Fellow in Chemistry

University of Birmingham

Duration: Fixed term for 2 years

We are looking for a Research Fellow to work on a collaborative project funded by BP, to join an ongoing proprietary project ‘Pelican’ (started in 2011) on ‘Polymers for enhanced oil recovery’. The project will be hosted in the O’Reilly group, in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham (note this group will move from the University of Warwick in January 2018). The project will develop responsive polymer particles.

The post holder will be responsible for the entire project from synthesis, experimental development through to application and data interpretation. There will be frequent reporting to the partners and other international stakeholders. Training will be provided in all of the component techniques but demonstrable experience in a number of the aspects is required. It is expected that the post holder will have experience in communication to a non-specialist and mixed specialist audience.

Pelican is a collaborative research project between the O’Reilly group and BP (and other stakeholder partners) which has developed a new technology for enhanced oil recovery using polymer particles. This project has resulted in a number of key patent filings and commercial manufacture is in progress. This position will focus on the understanding and development of the chemistries of this new technology and will work closely with reservoir engineers and modellers in BP.

You should have completed an experimental PhD in polymer chemistry. You should ideally have expertise in controlled polymerisation methods (ideally RAFT/MADIX), particle synthesis experience and characterisation. You should have good organic synthesis knowledge and practical abilities and significant hands-on experience in a laboratory environment including instrumentation set-up and maintenance. You should have a record of publishing in leading international journals and/or at conferences.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Rachel O’Reilly (

The University is a family-friendly employer and the School of Chemistry welcomes flexible working to suit family or other commitments. The University has on-campus childcare facilities.

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote Job Ref 58435 in all enquiries.

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Midlands of England