Research Associate in Physics - Metamaterials and Plasmonics

Requisition ID:  26281

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  17 Nov 2023


Salary: £33,966 to £39,347 per annum


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.


Closing Date: 19 January 2023



The Role

A postdoctoral Research Associate position is available for an enthusiastic, skilled and highly motivated individual to join the multidisciplinary team (the Metamaterials and Plasmonics Group) led by Dr. Victor Pacheco-Peña based in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at Newcastle University.


You will work on our recently awarded project aiming to open new research directions in computing using light-matter interactions, a project supported by the Leverhulme Trust. The project is multidisciplinary involving researchers and academics from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics and also the School of Engineering.


You will join the vibrant Metamaterials and Plasmonics group and work under the advice and supervision of Dr Victor Pacheco-Peña. You will also work in collaboration with Dr Toby Hallam (Physics) and Professor Alex Yakovlev and Dr Rishad Shafik from the School of Engineering.


The project involves the theoretical, numerical and experimental demonstration of photonics and microwave structures to model graph primitives. These will be fundamental to the design and demonstration of structures that can perform complex computing processes. You will play a key role in the project during the different stages where you will develop and support the programme through the provision of theoretical, numerical and (highly desirable) experimental expertise.


You should have a background in Physics, Statistics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications or related area. We are committed to support and embrace equality and diversity and particularly welcome applications from community members that are under-represented. If you have experience in showing a commitment/support to equality, diversity and inclusion then please outline this in your application.


To apply, please complete the online application and attach a CV and covering letter. In your covering letter, please outline how you are either working towards, meet or exceed all the essential requirements for the role holder as outlined below, and highlight any expertise relevant to the described project.


This post is fixed term for a period of 42 months from July 2024


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter should outline how your experience is relevant to the listed essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience criteria.


For informal enquiries about this role, please contact Dr Victor Pacheco-Pena via email:


For further details about School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, please click here

Full Information about Newcastle University can be found here.


Key Accountabilities

  • Carry out theoretical and numerical calculations as well as to participate in experimental demonstrations of the designed photonic and metasurface-based structures
  • Work successfully in a multidisciplinary research team, with theoretical and experimental colleagues
  • Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, the postholder will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial 'added value'
  • Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
  • Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
  • Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
  • Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
  • Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
  • Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
  • Maintain a high level of up-to-date specialist knowledge, by reading relevant journals and participating in relevant conferences, so as to support the programme team in making strategic decisions
  • Any other duties that may be required from time to time, commensurate with the grade of the post


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Excellent technical skills in theoretical calculations (such as wave-matter interactions, metamaterials, metasurfaces, photonics) and numerical modelling (with software such as CST Studio Suite, COMSOL Multiphysics, Matlab, Python) that can be applied to the aims of the project and the specific aspects of the position listed under ‘The role’
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
  • Background in mathematical/theoretical and/or experimental analysis of metamaterials and metasurfaces, photonic, microwave or plasmonic structures
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write research publications, and to effectively communicate results to the scientific community
  • Solid knowledge in electromagnetism and light-matter interactions


  • Experimental Knowledge in photonic and plasmonics
  • A track record of high-quality research outputs related to the goals of the project (e.g., publications, software, research tools etc.)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Open to teamwork, including collaborators from other disciplines
  • Ability to work independently using own initiative and to meet deadlines
  • Commitment to the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of your work
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and experience
  • Clear evidence of the ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team


  • Willing to co-supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students



  • PhD awarded (or thesis submitted or being nearing completion) in Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering or related area
  • Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline


Newcastle University is a global University 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.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive 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 of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26281