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Postdoctoral Research Associate/Research Fellow

University of Exeter - College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Location: Exeter
Salary: Appointments made at PDRA level will be on Grade E (£29,515 - £34,189 per annum) Appointments at PDRF level will be on Grade F (£35,211 - £39,609 per annum). The level of appointment will be made depending on qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 10th July 2019
Closes: 26th August 2019
Job Ref: P67123

Physics and Astronomy/Living Systems Institute

This post is available autumn 2019/first half of 2020 for an initial fixed term period of 18 months with the possibility of an extension for a further 11 months.

The Post:

The College wishes to recruit a PDRA/PDRF in stochastic thermodynamics theory to support the work of Prof Janet Anders in an ambitious theory-experiment project together with Prof Frank Vollmer and other team members.

This role is part of the UKRI funded Molecular Mechanics Initiative at the University of Exeter. This is a cutting-edge research programme that aims to advance the detection and manipulation of conformal changes of enzymes to the single-molecule level. The programme will develop novel laser sensing and molecular mechanics analysis capabilities, that will help unravel nature’s design principles for nanomachines. Theoretical methods from stochastic thermodynamics will be used, and suitably generalised, to rationalise the sensor measurements.

You can view the Job Description and Person Specification document here.

What we are looking for:

  • A theoretical physicist or chemist with at least some knowledge of fluctuation relations and their use in reconstruction of free energies
  • An enthusiastic researcher keen to work in a theory-experimental project that in addition to developing theoretical methods, allows the immediate application to experiment
  • You will use and generalise fluctuation relations to interpret the measured fluctuations and help associate energetic changes with specific conformal changes
  • We particularly encourage researchers that belong to minority groups and researchers with an interdisciplinary track record to apply.

Requirements for the role:

  • You should demonstrate your suitability by submitting a CV and a personal statement addressing how you fulfil the requirements, which will be used to make an appointment at an appropriate level.
  • The successful candidate will be appointed at PDRA (Grade E) or PDRF (Grade F) depending on skills and experience.
  • Experience in theoretical methods from stochastic thermodynamics or statistical physics is required as well as experience in, or an aptitude for, working in a theory-experimental team. Additional familiarity with optical tweezers, signal analysis and rate models is a plus.
  • You will be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of research methods and techniques to work in this research initiative. Relevant papers are Liphardt et al., Science, 296: 1832 (2002), and Camunas-Soler et al, Science, 355:412 (2017).
  • Applicants will possess a PhD (or nearing completion) in theoretical physics, chemistry, mathematics or a related discipline and will have demonstrated strong research capability in their track record.

The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce


We offer some fantastic benefits including:

Further information

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Prof Janet Anders

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