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Research Assistant / Research Associate

Requisition ID:  4505

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date: 


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: £28,331.00 - £40,323.00 

Closing Date: 13 May 2020



The role


An exciting research position exploring the potential of process intensification and novel technologies in pre-treatment and fractionation of lignocellulosic materials as well as aerogel production is available in School of Engineering, Newcastle University. This is an international collaborative research project with the Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam funded by the Royal Society. The aim of the proposed project is to develop a green, sustainable and efficient process for aerogel materials from agricultural residues for wastewater treatment and thermal insulation purposes.

You will carry out research and contribute conceptually to the overall research programme. You will work with the Principal Investigator to identify, develop, modify and apply techniques to achieve the goals of the project, work closely with the Vietnamese researchers and engage in knowledge exchange activities to accelerate the international research impact.

You should be able to establish and optimise protocols, design and accurately implement experiments, co-supervise and train, if necessary, postgraduate and undergraduate students with their research projects as well as write reports/ papers for publications and dissemination. You will also be responsible for overseeing the daily housekeeping of the laboratory.

You should have (or be near to completion of) a PhD in the field of chemical/civil engineering, applied plasma physics or chemistry.  You should be well-trained, enthusiastic and self-motivated with experience and knowledge in biorefining and chemical processes including all steps from experimental design to sample preparation and data analysis.   You should be experienced in mathematical modelling, computer programming and data management.

An excellent publication record, good organisational and communication skills, and the ability to work independently as part of a team are essential.


The post is a fixed-term appointment at 80%FTE, available immediately for 2 years in the first instance.


As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


Informal inquiries regarding the post can be addressed to Dr Anh Phan via email:   anh.phan@newcastle.ac.uk


Key Accountabilities

•Develop and carry out tasks for aerogel cellulose production or aerogel materials from agricultural residues for wastewater treatment and thermal insulation purposes from pre-treatment to applications.
•Carry out techno-economic analysis of cellulose aerogel from residues.
•Work closely with researchers in Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam as well as industrial partners.
•Present the outcomes at national/international conferences.
•Support the project adminstrative and management duties such as organising meetings, workshop planning etc.
•Co-supervise postgraduate (MSc, PhD) and undergraduate research projects.
•Write up research findings for publication and dissemination.
•Analyse and interpret data to obtain new insights.
•Plan and carry out independent original research.
•Contribute to running of the laboratory as agreed with the Principal Investigator.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

•Experience in computer programming e.g. Matlab, CFD, Aspen-Plus.

•Knowledge and experience in modelling and data analysis.
•Knowledge and experience in analytical techniques.
•Publications in high impact factor journals (evidence of manuscripts in preparation or under review).
•Knowledge and experience in applied plasma technologies in engineering.
•Knowledge and experience in process intensification.
•Experience in pre-treatment/fractionation techniques.


•Evidence of originality, innovation, creativity and research track record including publications in high impact factor journals.
•Evidence of presenting research at national and international conferences.


Attributes and Behaviour
•Ability to work independently or as part of a team.
•Willingness to work flexibly by mutual agreement.
•Willingness to supervise Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students.
•Clear commitment to a career in research.

•Willingness to travel and visit project partners
•Willingness to work under pressure to achieve deadlines
•Experience in public engagement and disseminating research via professionally and social media.



•PhD (or near to completion) in relevant discipline (Chemical/Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, or Applied Plasma Physics).
•Evidence of previous high quality work in this area.
















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: 4505