Research Associate in polymer engineering for microfluidic appplications

Heriot-Watt University - School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The Clinical Microfluidics group, headed by Dr. Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, develops and utilises microfluidic platforms for the preparation of biological blood samples for the recovery of circulating cell-free nucleic acid markers.

Microfluidic platforms for the preparation of biological blood samples for the recovery of circulating cell-free nucleic acid markers. The laboratory is a unique position, hosted at the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine (University of Edinburgh) in the Chancellor’s building with excellent facilities available, as well as the necessary infrastructure to enable cross-disciplinary collaborations between engineers and biologists.

The multi-disciplinary group is composed of engineers, physicists, chemical engineers, materials scientists and biologists working towards a common goal: the development of robust, simple tools, to maximise the integrity of emerging circulating nucleic acid markers and potentially transform the way liquid biopsies are currently implemented.

 Applications are welcomed from highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals, with an excellent research track record in polymer engineering, with specific desired experience:

 Micro or nanoengineering of polymeric membranes, including: Thermally Induced Phase Separation, Diffusion Induced Phase Separation or Electrospinning

Polymer shaping techniques: thermoforming, 3D printing

Characterisation techniques: XRD, FTIR, DSC, SEM imaging, tensile tests

Your role will be twofold: 1) you will oversee investigations on the use of novel polymer membranes for the retention of cells and high molecular weight nucleic acids 2) you will investigate binding protocols for the development of a sustainable rapid-prototyping technique. This will include developing test protocols for these new sustainable microfluidic chips and assessing their advantages, such as low binding properties and limitations (shelf life).

 We are seeking candidates with a good record of scientific publications and systems that will demonstrate they can work in multi-disciplinary environments with colleagues at various professional stages (undergrad students, post-grad students, post-doctoral and above).

 The appointee will be involved in collaborative projects supported by the Principal Investigator, Dr Kersaudy-Kerhoas and existing collaborators in University of Palermo (Professor Vincenzo La Carrubba), and need to be able to relocate for several weeks to Palermo for specific aspects of the project (manufacturing of polymeric membranes). The candidate might be required to support teaching and public engagement activities. 

 The post is a fixed term 18 month position within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and based primarily at the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh Campus. The successful candidate may be required to travel to international sites.

Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant area of Material Sciences, Chemical Engineering or related subject  (or a thesis submitted by the start date of the project)

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas at

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at Heriot-Watt.

For application details and further information please go to:

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role: