Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow

School of Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 03rd Nov 2021
  • Salary: £39,074 per annum, with additional allowances depending on circumstances
  • REF: 98521
  • Closes: 05th December 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time


Would you like to start your career in a European training network of leading research universities and professionals from the industry? Then you might be interested in this role/PhD position, which will enable you to join the PICKFOOD project. PICKFOOD is a top level interdisciplinary training and research programme involving 15 PhD positions across physics, physical chemistry and food science. PICKFOOD aims to create at European level a network of next generation young scientists trained in novel methodologies within Pickering emulsions research enabling the development of safe, healthy and functional foods and at the same time minimizing food waste due to lipid oxidation.

The objective of this role is to develop material science knowledge for functionalisation of food grade fats and waxes as in-situ crystallizing Pickering particles for stabilisation of submicron oil droplets allowing the future design of novel delivery systems in foods. The successful candidate will be trained on food grade Pickering emulsions, fats/waxes and liquid interface material science and includes two planned 3 months secondments at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) to evaluate the transferability of the design rules to novel processing with microfluidic devices for enhanced microstructure/droplet size control and at The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to receive training on food safety aspects.

Summary of Role

Study towards the degree of a PhD within the PICKFOOD Marie-Curie Training Network on designing fat particle stabilised food emulsion
This role includes two 3-months secondments at project partner institutions in Denmark and Sweden respectively

Main Duties/Responsibilities

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

• Conduct own and original research
• Engagement with other ITN Fellows and stakeholders to inform analysis and research directions
• Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
• Supervise students on research related work and contribute to maintaining the microstructure group laboratories
• Contribute to project related administration
• Contribute to public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University
• Prepare research findings for publication and research seminars
• Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
• Promote equality and value diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture

Person Specification

• At least a 2:1 Batchelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a suitable field. A first preference is for Chemical Engineering or Food Process Engineering backgrounds, though Food Physics, Food Science, Physics and Mechanical Engineering backgrounds would also be of value to the project.
• The applicant shall, at the time of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited.
• The applicant is required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. At the time of recruitment by the University of Birmingham, the applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Note that the mobility rule applies to the United Kingdom where the researcher is recruited, and not to co-hosting research groups in Sweden and Denmark to which the researcher is sent or seconded.
• A prior knowledge of colloid science is highly beneficial to the project.
• Experience in the emulsion processing would be ideal, but not a pre-requisite.
• High level analytical capability
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly
• Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
• Ability to contribute to broader administration processes
• Contribute to the planning and organising of the research project
• Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
• Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Bettina Wolf;

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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