Research Assistant/Research Associate in Plasmonic Photocatalysis (Fixed Term)

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Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a 2-year Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) under the supervision of Prof Erwin Reisner (Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge) and Dr Bart de Nijs (Cavendish Laboratory Physics Department at the University of Cambridge).

The Project will support the development of photocatalysts for the controlled synthesis of organic chemicals. Molecular catalysts will be designed and synthesised to be combined with plasmonic nano-architectures to efficiently harvest optical energies to convert carbon dioxide and other substrates into useful chemical products. The PDRA will design and synthesise bespoke molecular catalysts to work in conjunction with the powerful optical fields of plasmonic nanomaterials. The researcher will be based in the Department of Chemistry and be part of an interdisciplinary team working at the interface between Chemistry and Physics. The PDRA will thus be working closely both with the Reisner Lab in the Chemistry Department and the Physics for Sustainable Chemistry group in the Physics Department. The role holder will join a dynamic, interdisciplinary and diverse team dedicated to developing a new generation of photocatalytic nanomaterials for sustainable chemistry.

Project: Molecular catalysts for sustainable Chemistry This project aims to develop new self-assembled catalytic nanomaterials to enable novel photon-to-chemical conversion technologies. This will build upon our work on developing plasmonic nanoarchitectures for photochemical applications. The candidate will design and synthesise new metal complex catalysts to be incorporated into plasmonic nano-architectures and study their performance using a range of state-of-the-art characterisation techniques. This research will require expertise in molecular inorganic synthesis and catalysis. In addition, any experience in electrochemistry, photochemistry, colloidal self-assembly, or plasmonics would be advantageous.

A 2nd PDRA position is advertised separately for the Physics side of the project on account of the interdisciplinary nature of the research, which will ensure complementary expertise is available. If you are interested in this role, you can find it on, the reference number is KA39533 and the closing date is 07/01/2024.

The PDRA should have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in Chemistry or a closely related discipline. A strong background in molecular synthesis, molecular catalysis, inorganic chemistry, photochemistry, solar fuels or electrochemistry would be required for the position.

Start date: February to June 2024.

Appointment as a Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience). Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD degree will initially be appointed at Research Assistant level (amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded). The Research Assistant salary (grade 5) falls within the range £29,605 to £33,966 The Research Associate salary (grade 7) falls within the range £36,024 to £44,263

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a cover letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries relating to your application or the application process, please contact Dr Bart de Nijs( or Prof Erwin Reisner ( ) via email.

Please quote reference MA39490 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics hold an Athena SWAN silver award for gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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