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Research Associate

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 03rd Feb 2021
  • Salary: £28,331 - £30,046 per annum
  • REF: 5435
  • Closes: 24th February 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: £28,331 – £30,046 per annum

Research Associate: £30,942 – £40,322 per annum

Closing Date: 24 February 2021

The Role

This excellent position is available in one of the UK’s prominent chemical engineering groups headed by Professor Ian Metcalfe, FREng. We are looking for a talented Researcher to work in the area of exsolved perovskite oxide systems and their emergent functionalities, applied for a range of catalytic and chemical looping applications such as low-carbon hydrogen production in chemical looping systems (e.g. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 2510-2519 (2020), ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 12, 37444-37453 (2020). Using exsolved metal perovskite systems offers the opportunity to bypass traditional deactivation mechanisms and enhance catalytic activity in, up to now, challenging chemical processes (methane conversion, synthetic fuel synthesis via Fischer-Tropsch, CO oxidation). Your role is to evaluate exsolved perovskite oxide systems and their emergent functionalities for a range of catalytic applications. More specifically this will include perovskite synthesis, characterisation and kinetic measurements, gas analysis and application of exsolved metal oxides and perovskites in chemical processes including catalysis and the study of surface exchange and ion transport processes. In order to fulfil the derliverable of the project you will work closely with the Programme Manager, Postgraduate Research Students and internal and external stakeholders in the project.

You should be enthusiastic in the discipline, committed and motivated with an aptitude for independent working as well as working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team.

The post is full time, on a fixed term basis. Available immediately with a 12 month initial appointment and possibility of extension. We will consider applications to work flexibly wherever possible.

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

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

We particularly welcome applications from a range of groups that are currently underrepresented in professional services such as members of the LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Key Accountabilities

Reporting to Prof Ian Metcalfe, recipient of Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Chair in Emerging Technologies (CiET)

Responsible for:

  • Evaluating exsolved materials performance in catalytic applications by carrying out kinetic experiments
  • Develop a kinetic understanding of the relevant process
  • Synthesis of exsolved metal oxides and perovskites for chemical processes (catalysis and chemical looping processes)
  • Characterization of the developed materials
  • Assist with the day-to-day running of the lab
  • Write peer reviewed publications
  • Present research findings at national and international meetings

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in at least one of the following: kinetic measurements, gas analysis and application of exsolved metal oxides and perovskites in chemical processes including catalysis and the study of surface exchange and ion transport processes
  • Experience of or exposure to working with materials characterisation (e.g., XRD, SEM-EDS, BET)
  • Experience of or exposure to working with materials synthesis (e.g. perovskite oxides)
  • Ability to write in peer reviewed journals commensurate with experience
  • Willingness to supervise Undergraduate, Masters, and PGR students (Desirable)
  • Ability to convey leadership to a dedicated research group and the experience of mentoring early career research colleagues (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • 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
  • Committed to embedding the Universities values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
  • 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
  • Willingness to work in a team environment and support the development of a collaborative research culture
  • 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


  • A minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in Chemical Engineering/Chemistry, Materials Science or related subject
  • PhD awarded for Associate level (or nearing completion for Assistant level) or equivalent in the field of Chemistry, Materials Science or a closely related subject

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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.

Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.

Requisition ID: 5435

Employer Achievements:

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