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Research Assistant/Associate in Solid-State Battery Modelling

Requisition ID:  5575

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  16-Jan-2021


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: Research Assistant: £28,331 - £30,042 per annum

            Research Associate: £30,942 - £35,845 per annum


Closing Date: 31 January 2021

The Role

We are looking to appoint a Research Assistant/Associate in Solid-State Battery Modelling in the Ion Transport and Interfaces Group of Dr. James A. Dawson at Newcastle University, as part of his recent EPSRC award entitled “Mastering Ion Transport at the Microscale in Solid Electrolytes for Solid-State Batteries”.


You will be responsible for carrying out atomic-scale simulations of a variety of topical solid electrolytes (oxides, sulfides and halides) and their nano/microstructures using a combination of density functional theory, classical molecular dynamics and other complimentary computational methods. 


Solid-state batteries are a rapidly emerging technology with the potential to revolutionise energy storage. Our objective, in collaboration with world-leading experimental partners in Europe and North America, is to develop and apply state-of-the-art computational and experimental techniques to provide a fundamental understanding of ion transport at the microscale of solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries. Such an understanding will allow for the design of solid electrolyte microstructures that promote ion transport instead of restricting it.


For informal enquiries please contact Dr. James A. Dawson james.dawson@ncl.ac.uk


For further information about our research please see the Dawson Group website


This position is full time and available on a fixed term basis until 28 February 2024.

Key Accountabilities


  • To design, carry out and analyse computational simulations
  • To liaise with the principal investigator to plan, organise and carry out the work programme
  • To disseminate research results through appropriate media. This will include authoring or co-authoring papers for publication in high-quality academic journals
  • To contribute to existing and new interdisciplinary collaborations
  • To train and assist students in theoretical techniques and computational methods
  • Represent the research group and disseminate information about its work at national and international events
  • Contribute to learning and development through the provision of documentation, training and advice
  • Undertake relevant training and development activities in order to develop an awareness of own professional development needs
  • Maintain and develop knowledge to keep abreast of the latest and most relevant technologies
  • Any other duties within the scope and general nature of the grade which may be required

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


  • Knowledge of classical molecular dynamics and force field design
  • Knowledge of density functional theory calculations
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • High level of problem-solving capacity
  • Experience of developing computer code (Desirable)
  • Experience in the simulation of energy materials (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Comfortable working both individually and have good team working skills
  • Capacity for original thought
  • Enthusiasm and a strong work ethic
  • Ability to interact with researchers with different backgrounds
  • Ability to communicate scientific results to a broad or non-specialist audience
  • Ability and willingness to work in interdisciplinary environments 
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication skills that enable you to engage external and internal stakeholders and work effectively in a multidisciplinary team



  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject, such as chemistry, physics or materials science (Essential for Research Assistant)
  • PhD in the field of computational chemistry or materials science or a related discipline (Essential for Research Associate)


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.


Requisition ID: 5575