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Assistant Professor in Physics

Physics and Astronomy, School of Physics and Astronomy

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Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 20th Dec 2021
  • Salary: £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587.
  • REF: 35474
  • Closes: 28th February 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time


The School of Physics and Astronomy is seeking a scientist with an active, personal commitment to innovative research and teaching. The appointee is expected to plan, direct and undertake a research programme of international repute in one or more areas of experimental light-matter interactions, e.g. Nanophotonics, Metamaterials and Plasmonics. Exceptional candidates in theoretical/computational light-matter interactions may also be considered. He or she is also expected to become an excellent teacher for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and contribute towards the School administrative activities. Finally, applicants will be expected to demonstrate academic citizenship, developing and maintaining generous, mutually respectful and supportive working relationships with all staff and students, and ensuring the way you carry out your role impacts positively on how others can carry out their work.

You will be expected to conduct an original research programme of international standing in any discipline within experimental light-matter interactions. Your research should complement, enhance and expand current research activities within the Metamaterials Research Centreand the School of Physics and Astronomy. The research should have measurable outcomes that reflect your growing international reputation. You will be expected to publish regularly in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals and present your results at international scientific conferences. Also, the successful candidate will be expected to generate income from external sources to support his/her research programme.

Teaching responsibilities will include a contribution to the School’s undergraduate and post-graduate activities; for example, preparing and delivering lectures, designing and leading teaching modules, delivering formative and summative assessments, and supervising and examining PhD students. You may also provide seminars and small group tutorials, supervise and assess undergraduate research projects, and if required demonstrate in undergraduate labs.

Management and administration is likely to involve contributions at School level, and/or making an important contribution to some managerial/leadership activities (e.g. working groups) within the University. This may include contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement, public engagement, widening participation, schools outreach, or similar activities at Department/School level or further within the University.

The University of Birmingham is an equal opportunity employer. The School of Physics and Astronomy is an Athena SWAN Silver Award holder and JUNO Champion, welcomes people from all backgrounds and is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who we are. We encourage applications from all qualified applicants; those from minority groups who are under-represented in this discipline are particularly welcome.

Main Duties


  • Planning and carrying out research, including:
  • planning and publishing high quality research in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals;
  • applying and successfully securing financial support from external sources to support your research programme;
  • presenting your research findings in international conferences;
  • effectively supervising and mentoring PhD students or early Career Researchers;
  • project managing research activities, and/or supervising other research staff;
  • providing expert advice to staff and students within the discipline;
  • participating in research-related enabling activities such as adding value to a cross disciplinary network;
  • applying knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding;
  • developing and making substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, and enterprise (including business engagement, public engagement) and similar activities that are of benefit to the College and the University, including ensuring that the impact of your activities is realised fully and the impact is documented.


  • Using a variety of methods in teaching and advising individuals and groups of undergraduates, postgraduates, or continuing professional development students, including :
  • teaching and examining courses at a range of levels;
  • planning and reviewing your own teaching approaches and encouraging others to do the same;
  • designing contemporary, inclusive, engaging and academically challenging curriculum content;
  • working collaboratively with colleagues to design and deliver teaching, learning and assessment;
  • using digital resources/environments effectively to support learning and assessment;
  • developing programme proposals and making substantial contributions to the design of teaching programmes more widely;
  • where appropriate, undertaking and developing the full range of responsibilities in relation to supervision, marking and examining;
  • developing and advising others on learning and teaching tasks and methods;
  • developing and making substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement, public engagement activities or similar on own specialism that enhances the student experience or employability and which benefits the College and University;
  • devising and supervising projects, student dissertations and practical work.


  • Contributing to School administration, including:
  • contributing to the administration/management of research and/or teaching across the School;
  • leading and managing a team to devise and implement a new and/or revised process (e.g. new programme or a recruitment drive);
  • advising on personal development of colleagues and students;
  • making a major contribution to some administrative activities within the University (e.g. appeals panels, working groups);
  • managing enterprise, business development, and public engagement activities;
  • developing and making substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement, public engagement, widening participation, schools outreach.
  • actively manages equality, diversity and inclusion through monitoring and evaluation and actively challenging unacceptable behaviour.


  • Contributing to an inclusive working environment:
  • demonstrating a willingness to be involved in a variety of activities supporting University life (e.g., participation in graduation, School committees);
  • demonstrating support for colleagues, such as sharing resources, providing advice;
  • willingness to volunteer for one-off duties (such as supporting School, Institute, and Departmental projects);
  • positively engaging in School strategic initiatives;
  • proactive support and involvement in activities specifically contributing to a positive and inclusive community spirit across the School/College/University.

Person Specification

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area
  • Extensive research experience and exceptional scholarship within experimental light-matter interactions (e.g. nanophotonics, metamaterials and plasmonics)
  • Proven ability to devise, advise on and manage research
  • Proven ability to secure funding to support research
  • Skills in managing, motivating and mentoring others successfully at all levels


  • Experience and achievement reflected in a growing international reputation
  • Extensive experience and demonstrated success in planning, undertaking and project managing research to deliver high quality results
  • Extensive experience of applying and/or developing and devising successful models, techniques and methods
  • Experience and achievement in knowledge transfer, enterprise and similar activity


  • Ability to design, deliver, assess and revise teaching programmes
  • Extensive experience and demonstrated success in developing appropriate approaches to learning and teaching, and advising colleagues
  • Experience and success in knowledge transfer, enterprise and similar activity that enhances the student experience or employability

Management Administration

  • Ability to contribute to School management processes
  • Ability to assess and organise resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Experience of championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in own work area
  • Ability to monitor and evaluate the extent to which equality and diversity legislation, policies, procedures are applied
  • Ability to identify issues with the potential to impact on protected groups and take appropriate action

For informal enquiries contact: Dr Angela Demetriadou: a.demetriadou@bham.ac.uk

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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