Back to search results
Header Image

Research Scientist in Materials Chemistry (one post)

Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR)

Research topic: Surface modification and polymerisation methodologies using carbene reagents

Division: Environment and Biotechnology

Reporting to: Professor Mark Moloney

Group website: 

Contract type: Fixed-term (3 years), with the possibility of extension

Start date: 1 July 2019

Overview of the role

The OSCAR Research Scientist (RS) in Material Chemistry will be part of a team working on the development of novel surface modification and polymerisation methodologies using carbene reagents. The RS will report to the PI (Professor Moloney) who leads this aspect of the OSCAR programme. The RS will contribute to the effort to develop surface modification strategies using carbene intermediates, and/or to develop novel polymerisation approaches using carbenes (for recent work, see: RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 29645; Macromolecules, 2017, 50, 1422–1429; RSC Advances, 2016, 6, 111276-111290; Langmuir, 2016, 32, 7917–7928; Langmuir, 2015, 31, 11086-11096). This work will involve synthetic organic chemistry (to prepare and characterise carbene monomers) and materials and polymerisation chemistry (to develop their application), and will include extensive surface and polymer analysis and characterisation. 


  1. Manage own research and small-scale project management, co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.
  2. Adapt existing and develop new techniques and experimental protocols.
  3. Use and maintain specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment.
  4. Test hypotheses and analyse results from a variety of experiments, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate to advance the project.
  5. Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports, journal articles, and grant applications.
  6. Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the chemistry team on scientific protocols and experimental techniques.
  7. Supervise RTs and visiting students associated with the programme.
  8. Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the research team or alone, and regularly liaise with the PI relating to project design, execution and outcomes.
  9. Develop collaborative projects with industrial partners.

Selection criteria

  1. Hold a PhD in Chemistry or Materials Chemistry or a related discipline (or have submitted a PhD thesis in a relevant area prior to taking up the appointment).
  2. Research experience in synthetic organic chemistry of small organic molecules (MW ~50–500) and materials and/or polymer chemistry (synthesis and characterisation).
  3. Research experience of multistep synthesis (up to ~5 steps) with the majority of this being at the 500 - 5000 mg scale.
  4. Familiarity with handling reactive reagents and conducting reaction protocols, and preparing applicable safety, risk and hazard assessments.
  5. Familiarity with routine methods for compound purification (manual and automated column chromatography, plate chromatography, crystallisation).
  6. Familiarity with spectroscopic methods for organic compound characterisation (NMR, MS, IR, polarimetry), polymer characterisation (MALDI-TOF, GPC) and materials characterisation (XPS, ATR-IR, contact angle, TGA/DSC).
  7. Experience of research supervision, e.g. of graduate students.
  8. Excellent communication skills in English, in writing and in oral presentations.
  9. Be able to demonstrate competence, understanding and success in the PhD thesis research area (and postdoctoral work if appropriate).
  10. Be viewed as a motivated, enthusiastic, organised self-starter who can work with a minimum of supervision but at the same time extract the benefits of a networked research environment.
  11. Show the ability to work supportively in a laboratory environment and take part in joint projects through co-operation and the exchange of information, skills and reagents.
  12. Maintain detailed laboratory records and report on progress at regular intervals, and to operate in compliance with relevant Health and Safety regulations.
  13. Have a track record of delivering project objectives against deadlines.


  1. Have an excellent general knowledge of organic chemistry and polymer/materials science through reading of the literature, online database searching, or attendance at seminars and conferences.
  2. Be willing to learn new techniques and apply them in an interdisciplinary research environment to expand and improve technical and theoretical knowledge.

One RS position is available in Professor Moloney’s research group in the area of synthetic and materials chemistry. The projects relate to the development of novel surface modification and polymerisation methodologies using carbene reagents and require a skilled organic chemist with an interest in surface, material and polymer applications. Candidates should have a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, or should have submitted a PhD thesis in this area prior to taking up the appointment. Relevant publications: RSC Advances 2017, 7, 29645; Macromolecules 2017, 50, 1422; RSC Advances 2016, 6, 111276; Langmuir 2016, 32, 7917; Langmuir 2015, 31, 11086. Further details are available for download here.

This is an exciting opportunity to establish and develop research activities in brand new laboratories fully-equipped and resourced for synthetic biology, organic synthesis, and materials chemistry. The work will be done in collaboration with research groups in Oxford and there will be the opportunity to undertake 1–2-month research visits there.

OSCAR was created as a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Suzhou Industrial Park The building comprises 20,000 m2 of space distributed over nine floors and will house translational collaborative research originating from twelve academic research groups from the University of Oxford’s Departments of Chemistry, Engineering Science, and Materials. Researchers in the Molecular Science Group (PIs: Moloney, Robertson, Wong) have dedicated brand new office and laboratory space, with adjacent analytical and spectroscopic equipment, including 400 MHz NMR, IR, UV, GC, analytical and preparative SFC-MS, GPC, and surface analytical and processing instrumentation. Further details and an image gallery are available at

How to apply

Applicants should submit a covering letter and CV in English as a PDF attachment by email to before the closing date of 12:00 midday on 29th March 2019. The email subject should specify the title of the post for which you are applying and you must include your full name and telephone number.

Location: Suzhou - China
Salary: A competitive remuneration package will apply.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th January 2019
Closes: 29th March 2019
Job Ref: 6012-2018-2
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
Show all jobs for Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) …
Advert information

Type / Role:

Subject Area(s):


* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
Job tools

Browser Upgrade Recommended has been optimised for the latest browsers.

For the best user experience, we recommend viewing on one of the following:

Google Chrome Firefox Microsoft Edge