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Research Assistant/Associate in Microfluidics and Microengineering

Requisition ID:  20352

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  10-Jun-2022


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.

What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.



Research Assistant: £28,756 to £30,497 per annum

Research Associate: £31,406 to £40,927 per annum


Closing Date: 26 July 2022


The Role


Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-month Postdoctoral Research Assistant/Associate position within the Fluid Dynamics and Thermal Systems research group in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University. 


You will work on a short proof-of-concept project funded by Proctor & Gamble (P&G). P&G is investing in research and development to create their ‘lab of the future,’ which aims to migrate many of their full-scale laboratory setups onto a lab-on-a-chip to deliver faster, cheaper, more sustainable, and fully integrated results through miniaturisation. Miniaturisation is a recent trend in analytical chemistry, which involves the design and manufacture of scalable, robust microfluidic platforms with integrated sensors, actuation systems, electronics, and data architecture to replace the conventional large-scale and expensive equipment used in laboratories around the world daily.


P&G require the development of microfluidic platforms which can generate a wide range of functions including pre-concentration, pre-treatment, dilution, titration, mixing, pumping, reactions, separation, and detection. In this initial project, focus will be on developing proof-of-concept for on-chip ionic conductivity measurements. 


This will be an exciting, fast-paced interdisciplinary research project where the successful applicant will interact closely with P&G at their research and development facilities in Newcastle.


The post available is a full time, fixed term post for 3 months. Applicants must be available for an immediate start no later than July 2022.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. 


Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Richard Whalley (, Professor Kenny Dalgarno (, Dr Toby Hallam ( and Dr Barry Gallacher (


Key Accountabilities

  • Design, develop and evaluate microfluidic chips to measure ionic conductivity on-chip for a range of fluids 
  • Experimental characterisation of P&G’s analytes 
  • Write progress reports and prepare results for dissemination with P&G


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature
  • Creative approach to problem-solving
  • Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for reporting purposes


  • Practical experience in microengineering 
  • Practical experience in developing microfluidic platforms 
  • Practical experience in chemical and/or fluid characterisation 
  • Practical experience in control and instrumentation 
  • Practical experience in the design, manufacture and testing of engineering components 
  • Strong background in engineering design 

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people
  • Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision 
  • Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines 
  • Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work 
  • Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative
  • Flexible attitude towards work 
  • Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times 
  • Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role 
  • Willingness to work out of normal working hours (including weekends) if the requirements of the project demand



  • Hold (Associate) or be nearing completion of (Assistant) a PhD (or equivalent) in microsystems engineering, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience 
  • First class honours degree in engineering, applied physics or a related discipline

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.


Requisition ID: 20352