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Research Assistant/Associate in Implantable Electronics

Requisition ID:  974

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  22-Oct-2019

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 - £44,045.00 

Closing Date: 21 November 2019

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake optoelectronics research as part of a 7 year £10M project funded by the EPSRC and Wellcome Trust called CANDO ( The project aims to develop a transformative new therapy to treat drug-resistant forms of epilepsy.


The CANDO neuroprosthesis is an optoelectronic implant which can listen to the brain’s activity and control aberrant behaviour with optical pulses. This role is to develop and test some of the advanced microelectronic circuitry for driving our optoelectronic units. It will specifically involve the following:

  • Schematic design, layout, and simulations of microelectronic circuits.
  • Submission of Application Specific Integrated Circuit chips to CMOS foundries.
  • Testing and characterisation of both circuits and devices.
  • Creation of printed circuit boards to test the microelectronics.
  • Programming logic units such as FPGAs and microcontrollers.


The role is open to either those who have already achieved PhD level research or to those who need to undergo research training (i.e. MEng/MSc level). It will also be closely supervised by Dr Patrick Degenaar. You will be expected to develop your own initiative, and provide regular reporting of ongoing development. You will also be expected to support wider initiatives in the host lab such as equipment and maintenance supporting other researchers and students.


The post is available on a full time, fixed term basis to 31/07/21.


For informal enquiries regarding the role, please contact


More information is available here:


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.


Key Accountabilities


Engineering Research Duties

  1. Schematic design, layout, and simulations of robust low power electronic microelectronic circuits using the Cadence CAD suite. Utilise all major components of Cadence including Artist, Layout, Spectre/Calibre.
  2. Coordinate designs with other CMOS engineers and collaborating micro-photonics teams to ensure alignment of each of the CMOS electronics with each other as well as with external micro-photonics and MEMS elements.
  3. Submission of Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips to CMOS foundries.
  4. Perform rigorous testing and characterisation of both circuits and devices to ensure optimal optoelectronic operation.
  5. Creation of printed circuit boards to support the microelectronics and testing thereof.
  6. Programming logic units such as FPGAs and microcontrollers to communicate with and control developed microelectronics.



  1. Maintain accurate and complete records of all research, development and findings. This includes maintaining an accurate lab book.
  2. Regularly store designs and data in source control systems and report on research progress to the supervisor, project manager, and wider research team.
  3. Submit papers for presentation and international conferences.
  4. Compile results into manuscripts which can be submitted to high quality research journals such as Nature Communications, Journal of Neural Engineering, IEEE Transactions of Biomedical Engineering, and the Journal of Solid State Circuits.
  5. Where opportunities arise, patents should be developed in conjunction with the business development team (benefits to Newcastle staff developing IP can be found here).


Personal and team responsibilities           

  1. Show initiative in planning their own research strategy. Demonstrate an ability to change the course of their research as results indicate positive or negative outcomes. 
  2. Develop own skills through additional seminars and course with relevance to academic or industrial career pathways. Training pathways and fellowship opportuities should be discussed regularly with the supervisor.
  3. Perform self reading and learning to improve their knowledge base to support further research efforts.
  4. Take responsibility for maintenance of computer and analytical lab equipment associated with the project, liaising with support staff were necessary.
  5. To support public engagement activities of the group – including providing material to websites, and public displays.
  6. To develop your scientific background, specialist knowledge and to develop scientific contacts.
  7. Learn to work in a very interdisciplinary environment and present data to those in the biological/clinical domain.
  8. Develop supervisory and management skills through limited support of teaching activities and supervision of project and potentially PhD students.


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • An understanding of the principles of circuit design.
  • An understanding of CMOS technology
  • Experience in developing analog circuits
  • Experience in developing printed circuit boards.
  • Be able to demonstrate an ability to plan experiments and use key experimental tools in the electronics domain such as an oscilloscope.


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Proficiency in the English Language
  • Effective oral and written communication skills and be able to produce clear and concise written reports and manuscripts.
  • An ability to work closely with team members and collaborators from different disciplines
  • An ability to contribute to a complex research programme.




  • (For Research Associate) A PhD in electronic engineering or significant industrial experience in designing microelectronics circuits.
  • (For Research Associate) A track record in publishing work in research journals.
  • (For Research Assistant) An BEng/MEng or masters degree in electronic engineering with project experience in analog circuit development.

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: 974