Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Kent - School of Physical Sciences

The School of Physical Sciences is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate for a fixed term period of 12 months and full time.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join the multi-disciplinary environment of the Functional Materials Group, pursuing research in soft functional materials under the supervision of Dr H.J. Shepherd. The project involves the synthesis and characterisation of novel polymeric materials functionalised and/or doped with photoswitchable moieties.

The primary aim is to develop materials in which the molecular shape change that occurs on irradiation with light is converted into useful macroscopic motion. The project will also involve quantification and optimisation of properties for applications in soft robotics.

You will use traditional synthetic chemistry pathways to synthesise photoswitchable molecules and polymers. You will analyse the properties of these materials using techniques including NMR, rheometry, AFM, GPC, UV-vis, DSC and both electronic and optical microscopy. Previous experience in synthetic organic and/or polymer chemistry and common analytical techniques is essential.

As a Postdoctoral Research Associate you will:

  • Undertake research at an internationally competitive level.
  • Contribute to the development of the research project, specifically
  • Synthesis of novel polymer systems that respond to light activation
  • Structuring of these responsive systems into complex architectures
  • Characterisation of these materials and structures using a range of analytical techniques including NMR, rheometry, AFM, GPC, UV-vis, DSC and both electronic and optical microscopy.
  • Disseminate research results through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

To succeed in this role you will have:

  • A PhD in chemistry or a closely related field or provide reference attesting that your PhD viva will be held before 1st April 2018 or shortly thereafter.
  • Experience of synthetic organic chemistry and Knowledge of common analytical techniques (NMR, rheometry, AFM, GPC, UV-vis, DSC and both electronic and optical microscopy)
  • The ability to design experiments and carry out research independently and the willingness to travel nationally and internationally for conferences.

The School of Physical Sciences (SPS), situated in the Ingram building within the Canterbury Campus, is part of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Kent, and currently offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Physics, Chemistry, and Forensic Sciences. In the last few years, it has received around £10m in investment from the university to refurbish the Ingram building, including new research laboratories and equipment, comprising four diffractometers, NMR, SEM, Raman microscopes, magnetometers, and other spectroscopic equipment.

Closing date for applications: 31 January 2018
Interviews are to be held: 15 February 2018

Please click on the apply button below to view the full job description and also to apply for this post. For informal enquiries, contact Dr Helena Shepherd

Please note - applications must be made via the University’s online application system. You will be required to fill in the main details section of the application form as well as upload your CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter should clearly and explicitly address the requirements of the Person specification and you should provide clear evidence and examples in your application which back-up any assertions you make in relation to each criterion. We recommend a maximum of 4 x A4 sides for this document.

CVs or details sent directly to the department or via email cannot be considered.

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