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Research Associate Chemical Engineering

Requisition ID:  22021

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  09-Nov-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.


Salary: £32,348 - £37,474  per annum 


Closing Date: 10 January 2023


The Role


What we are looking for:

We want to work with highly-talented, ambitious scientists and engineers. You should therefore be able to demonstrate a track record (suitable for your career stage) that is based upon collaborative, thought-provoking laboratory research aligned with the Materials, Concepts and Reaction Engineering Group [1].


As this position will be funded by two specific research grants [2, 3], you must have experience in laboratory experiments with ion-conducting ceramic membranes or molten salts, and, in addition, experience in one of the following: carbon dioxide separation processes; experimental study of gas-solid and/or gas-liquid reactions; experimental study of ion transport processes.


Your role will be to fabricate and characterise supported molten-salt membranes [4], which will include inorganic materials synthesis, gas sorption/permeation testing, and (typically via external collaboration) inorganic materials characterisation (diffraction, tomography, microscopy, spectroscopy, surface area and porosity analysis etc).


What we provide:

It is only fair to expect that we will support your career aspirations. Whether you want to build your research track record, seek a position in industry, or launch your own independent academic career, we are very well placed to provide guidance and support. Our previous group members work in leading companies, hold prestigious research fellowships, and have started their own research groups. If you invest your time in us, we will support you to reach your goals.


Due to the funding associated with this award you will be provided with opportunities for collaborative research (including travel to partner universities) and researcher development training as part of multi-institution cohorts. Additionally, there is financial support to attend national and international conferences.


The position is available immediately on a full time, fixed term basis with a 1-year initial appointment and the possibility of extension up to early 2027. We will consider applications to work flexibly wherever possible and encourage remote working (subject to delivering the key laboratory experimental goals of the projects you will be funded by).


Who we are:

Our group is inherently multi-disciplinary, across chemical engineering, chemistry, and materials science. Typically, we have ~15 members at one time, which allows us to form a tight-knit, collaborative, and supportive environment. We will encourage you to work across our different projects and to supervise PhD and undergraduate students, whilst also giving you the freedom to pursue your own interests (subject to delivering the key laboratory, experimental goals of the projects you will be funded by).

We particularly encourage applications from groups that are currently underrepresented in academia, such as members of the LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.


Newcastle University:

Newcastle University is a Russell Group University, situated in a modern, vibrant, affordable, mid-sized city. Most other major UK cities can be reached within 2 – 3 hours by train, there are multiple national parks and coastal areas within 1 – 2 hours, and there is significant regional investment in battery manufacturing, carbon capture, and hydrogen production.

For more information about the School of Engineering at Newcastle University, please click 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.


For any informal enquiries, contact or who will be the Newcastle University Principal Investigators on the research grants associated with this position.









Key Accountabilities

  • Reporting to Professor Ian Metcalfe and Dr Greg A. Mutch, as well as other members of the Materials, Concepts & Reaction Engineering Group [1]
  • Responsible for developing supported molten-salt membranes for carbon dioxide separation and delivering the key goals of the projects you will be funded by


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in laboratory experiments with ion-conducting ceramic membranes or molten salts, and, in addition, experience in one of the following: carbon dioxide separation processes; experimental study of gas-solid and/or gas-liquid reactions; experimental study of ion transport processes. A track record of authoring journal publications appropriate for your career stage and consistent with a high-achieving individual
  • An understanding of the research conducted by the Materials, Concepts & Reaction Engineering Group [1], and a clear explanation of how your skills and experience will complement this


  • Experience in inorganic materials synthesis and characterisation (e.g., diffraction, tomography, microscopy, spectroscopy, surface area and porosity analysis etc)
  • Experience in supervising research students


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Communication: Evidence of an ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word, and evidence of good inter-personal skills with the ability to communicate with local and international stakeholders. (e.g., conference presentations, journal publications, a well-written cover letter and CV, working with international project partners, speaking at public or industry engagement events etc)
  • Organisational: Evidence of an ability to prioritise, plan, and execute tasks within a larger project. Demonstrated ability with time management, organisation, and balancing competing objectives. (e.g., previous experience of working in collaborative research teams/consortia, taking responsibility to outline (some of) the goals of your PhD, evidence of delivering complex projects on schedule, examples of overcoming barriers to progress etc)
  • Teamwork: Demonstrable experience of working in a collaborative manner with team colleagues at all levels, as part of a diverse, inter-disciplinary team. An understanding of, and commitment to, embedding the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of your work. A willingness to supervise research students (e.g., previous experience of working in an inter-disciplinary research group or project, evidence of teamwork leading to research outputs such as collaborative journal publications, a demonstrated understanding of ED&I principles or activities leading to improved workplace culture etc)
  • Adaptability: Demonstrated ability to work independently under leadership, taking responsibility for making decisions within the remit of the role and their outcomes. Demonstrated willingness to travel locally and internationally, and a readiness to work flexibly by mutual agreement (e.g., authorship of research articles, experience in roles with devolved responsibility, pride in past achievements, previous experience of travelling to meet the deliverables of a project etc)



  • PhD awarded (Associate) or nearing completion (Assistant) or equivalent in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, or a closely related subject
  • Minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, or a closely related subject


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.


We’re celebrating 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Although a huge amount has changed over the last 150 years, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to making a difference. We're educating the next generation of experts and tackling the biggest challenges facing our planet. Our innovative work has always focused on making a difference to people’s lives, and you can be part of it.


Requisition ID: 22021