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Research Assistant/Associate in Chemical Looping

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 16th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £28,756 - £29,614 with progression to £30,497per annum
  • REF: 11843
  • Closes: 07th October 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: Research Assistant: £28,756 – £29,614 with progression to £30,497per annum

Research Associate: £31,406 – £33,309 with progression to £40,927 per annum

Closing Date: 7 October2021

The Role

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented research engineer to work on a project delivering a new low-carbon hydrogen production system at small demonstration scale. The Materials, Concepts and Reaction Engineering (MatCoRE) Group are leaders in this area, with significant support from EPSRC, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the European Commission and the UK Catalysis Hub. We have developed a new chemical looping process that produces low-carbon hydrogen, as explained in this short video. The method has secured for Prof Metcalfe a prestigious RAEng Chair in Emerging Technology, with allocated funding for the equipment and personnel to develop the process.

Your role will focus on improving material performance in chemical looping systems by investigating novel materials and structures to be used as oxygen carriers and/or catalysts. Key tasks include: material formulation, synthesis and characterisation; thermodynamic and kinetic studies; writing peer reviewed publications and presenting finds at meetings; aiding PhD student supervision and day-to-day running of the lab.

We are looking for an individual who is committed, motivated and with decision making ability together with an aptitude for independent working as well as working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team. As a representative of the School, you will be an excellent communicator with demonstrable interpersonal skills and the ability to engage with non-academic stakeholders (e.g. industry, government and the general public).

For more information about the MatCoRE Group, please click here

For more information about the School of Engineering, please click here

This position is available on a full time, fixed term basis. It is available immediately and tenable for 18 months (in the first instance) with the possibility to be extended.

For any informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Ian Metcalfe,Professor of Chemical Engineering via email: ian.metcalfe@ncl.ac.uk OR Dr Richard Court, Research Programme Manager via email: richard.court@ncl.ac.uk

Key Accountabilities

As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles. These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.

  • Reporting to Prof Ian Metcalfe, recipient of Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Chair in Emerging Technologies (CiET) and other members of the MatCoRE Group
  • Responsible for improving material performance in chemical looping systems

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • PhD awarded (Associate) or nearing completion (Assistant), or equivalent in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry or a related subject
  • Experience in at least one of the following: chemical looping processes, catalysis (particularly in C1 chemistry), and application of metal oxides in chemical processes including the study of surface exchange and ion transport processes
  • Experience in inorganic synthesis and material characterisation(Desirable)
  • Experience in supervising research students(Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Willingness to supervise Undergraduate, Masters, and PGR students
  • Ability to work under supervision, in a collaborative manner with team colleagues at all levels. Demonstrable experience of working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team
  • An ability to work independently under the leadership of the PI and make decisions within the remit of the role and take responsibility for the outcomes
  • Committed to embedding the values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
  • Ability to prioritise, plan and execute tasks within a work plan
  • Excellent time management ability, organisations skills and initiative in planning research and balancing competing priorities
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word
  • Good inter-personal skills with the ability to converse with local and international stakeholders (project partners, industry, general public) as a representative of the School
  • Willingness to travel locally and internationally and a readiness to work flexibly by mutual arrangement


  • Minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in chemical engineering, or closely related discipline
  • PhD awarded (for Associate level) or nearing completion (for Assistant level) or equivalent in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry or a related subject

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 11843

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