Dramatically Advancing the Field of Molecular Collisions


Research Associate Jobs

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position in the field of molecular reaction dynamics to work with Professor Mark Brouard for a period of up to 2 years. The post will be based in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and is available from 1 June 2024. A delayed start date might be considered for a suitably qualified candidate.

The project is funded through an EPSRC Programme Grant, entitled ‘New Directions in Molecular Scattering: Multiple Pathways and Products’, which is held jointly by the University of Oxford and Heriot-Watt University. Although the successful candidate will be based largely in Oxford, the post will involve close collaboration (including research visits) with the research groups of other members of the grant, including those based at Heriot-Watt University, Professors Ken McKendrick (who is Principal Investigator of the Programme Grant), Matt Costen, Stuart Greaves, and Martin Paterson. The research programme aims to dramatically advance the field of molecular collisions, progressing from a core of fundamental, benchmark studies to previously intractable problems that are relevant to real-world applications in the atmosphere, combustion and plasma science, and catalysis.

The post available falls within theme 1 of the Programme Grant ‘Scattering to benchmark fundamental theory’. We currently have the capability to study collisions of NO(X) radicals with a partner atom with complete initial and final state resolution, and as a function of the initial bond-axis orientation of the NO collider. This project will extend these studies to larger and more complex systems, ranging from NO + diatomic molecules to NO + symmetric top molecules in selected molecular orientations. A key goal will be to investigate and understand steric effects in these larger systems through direct control of the collision geometry. The project is mainly experimental in nature, but an interest in developing and/or applying fundamental theory to such systems would also be helpful.

Find out more about the Programme Grant at: https://molecularscattering.com and about Professor Brouard’s research group in Oxford at: https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/people/mark-brouard

Applicants must hold or be close to completion of a PhD in Chemistry or a relevant subject area, prior to taking up the appointment. The research requires experience in high vacuum systems, lasers, molecular beams, charged particle beams and optics, velocity-map imaging detection, and the associated data processing and analysis. The successful candidates will be expected to manage their own academic research and administrative activities, demonstrating the ability to coordinate multiple aspects of work in order to meet deadlines.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online and you will be required to upload a supporting statement and CV as part of your application.  Your supporting statement must explain how you meet each of the selection criteria for the post using examples of your skills and experience. Certificates, references and research papers should not be provided at this stage.

To apply for this role and for further details, including a job description and selection criteria, please click on the link below.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday on 28 March 2024. Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter.

The University of Oxford and The Department of Chemistry are Silver Athena SWAN holders.  Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority candidates, who are under-represented in Chemistry research posts in Oxford.