Research Associate in Theory and Simulation of Materials

University College London - UCL Physics & Astronomy

Two Research Associate positions are available in Angelos Michaelides’ ICE research group ( in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Thomas Young Centre at University College London.

The postdoctoral research associate projects will focus on applying and developing computer simulation approaches to better understand ice formation on solid substrates. This will include: 

  • To develop and apply electronic structure and/or molecular dynamics, ab initio molecular dynamics, and accelerated molecular dynamics techniques to investigate water and ice at complex mineral interfaces
  • To install, compile and successfully run a variety of electronic structure codes and materials science software on a wide variety of computing platforms.

The overall aim is to establish what makes a material good or bad at nucleating ice, building on recent work in the group.  The projects are part of the “HeteroIce” ERC project and build on recent work in the group (e.g. Science 355, 367 (2017); J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 6403 (2017). 

Ice formation is one of the most common phase transitions on Earth. It is relevant to an enormous variety of phenomena such as weathering, cloud formation, airline safety, and energy. The results from this project will help to better understand each of these phenomena. 

The successful candidates will have plenty of opportunities to work closely with team members and for international travel to conferences and to collaborators. 

The positions are funded for 1 year in the first instance. One post is full-time and the second post is 0.5 FTE. Please confirm which job you wish to apply for in your application.

The successful candidates will have a PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or a related discipline that involved theoretical studies of materials or interfaces. They will have an understanding of the state of the art in materials simulation as well as experience of quantum mechanical calculations.   

Hands on skills and experience in first principles and/or molecular dynamics simulations of surfaces and interfaces is needed as well as experience with free energy sampling methods. 

A proven ability for creative and original research, as demonstrated via scientific publications, is also required. 

Computer programming and HPC experience on a variety of architectures is also desirable.

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316-£31,967 per annum, inclusive of London allowance) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

UCL vacancy reference: 1708207      

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact James Gane,  Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Angelos Michaelides, (Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0647).  For more information on the Michaelides research group see and the Thomas Young Centre see 

Interview Date: TBC

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