University of Cambridge

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Research Associate - Advanced Microscopy for Dynamic Systems (Fixed Term)

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

A PDRA position is available in the group of Professor Oren Scherman on a newly awarded ERC grant. The proposed research programme aims to combine several disparate, state-of-the-art characterisation techniques into a unique experimental setup that will enable the probing of dynamic networked systems with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

The successful candidate will develop new experimental capabilities to understand how fundamental physical and chemical properties of the networks are related to the structure and relaxation timescales of a wide variety of functional polymeric systems. Deconvolution of the dynamics at a molecular level (supramolecular physical crosslinks) from chain entanglements will enable a new level of understanding and insight with wide-ranging implications in functional material design.

The project will require a multidisciplinary approach across the areas of instrument development in spectroscopy and imaging (single-molecule spectroscopy and super-resolution imaging) to supramolecular and materials characterization. Candidates must have a strong desire to work on a multidisciplinary project at the interface between optics, spectroscopy and physical chemistry.

The candidate should have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in Physical Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biophysics, or a similar discipline with a proven track record in photonics/optical microscopy development and application, those with experience in advanced microscopy or super-resolution methods are particularly encouraged to apply. Good skills in hardware automation (LabView) and experience in bespoke analysis coding (Python, MATLAB) are highly advantageous for the position. Skills in a biological discipline, for example sample preparation and labelling, would be beneficial but not essential. The candidate has to have a strong interest in multidisciplinary research.

The new experimental set up will also be used in collaborations with a number of biological and materials projects across the University of Cambridge and further afield, so there is excellent opportunity for a number of scientific outputs in high impact journals. The post is immediately available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering 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.

Inquiries about this post should be addressed to either Professor Oren Scherman (e-mail: or Dr Elisabetta Spigone (e-mail:

Please quote reference MA12558 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

Further information

Apply online