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Department of Chemistry


Research Associate - Advanced Optical Microscopy in Dynamic Systems (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

We are currently seeking a postdoctoral research associate to join the group of Professor Oren Scherman in the Department of Chemistry on a multidisciplinary project funded by an ERC grant. The proposed research programme aims to combine state-of-the-art quantitative rheological characterisation techniques with 3D single- molecule fluorescence imaging to create a unique experimental setup, which will enable the probing of dynamic networked systems with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

The successful candidate must have, or be about to obtain, a PhD in Physical Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biophysics or similar disciplines. Working in a team with synthetic chemists, s/he will be involved in the design and characterization of new classes of dye molecules with fluorescent properties for specific imaging applications. The successful candidate must have hands-on experience with microscope-based imaging techniques and data processing as well as bespoke instrument development. The aim of the project is to understand how fundamental physical and chemical properties of gel networks are related to the structure and dynamics of a wide variety of functional soft materials and supramolecular composites. Deconvolution of multiple relaxation dynamics in the system will enable a new level of understanding and insight with wide- ranging implications in functional materials design.

The project will require a multidisciplinary approach across the areas of supramolecular materials to continued instrument development in spectroscopy and imaging (single-molecule spectroscopy and super-resolution imaging). Candidates must have a strong desire to work on a multidisciplinary project at the interface between physical and materials chemistry, optics and spectroscopy.

The successful candidate must have experience in analytical and spectroscopic characterisation techniques. Candidates with experience in biophysical techniques such as single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy or super-resolution microscopy with emphasis on methodology for imaging complex systems are particularly encouraged to apply. Experience in bespoke analysis coding (Python, MATLAB, and Java/ImageJ) are highly advantageous for the position.

The post is immediately available for 2 years in the first instance with possibility of further extension

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and include a publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. 

Inquiries about this post should be addressed to either Professor Oren Scherman (e-mail: or Dr Elisabetta Spigone (e-mail:

Please quote reference MA17275 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Closing date

Dec 13th 2018

Reference number




Athena SWAN