University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 11 months in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Associate to be directed by Dr Paul Bristowe of the Atomistic Simulation Group in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, located in West Cambridge.

The post will involve advanced quantum mechanical modelling of Zr-based MAX phases (e.g. Zr2AlC) which are layered ternary compounds having both metallic and ceramic characteristics. Because of their potential to withstand radiation damage they have been proposed for use in advanced reactor systems. The calculations will focus on phase stability, interfacial strength and point defect formation. Both known and hypothetical MAX phase systems will be studied. The project forms part of an EPSRC award on Carbides for Future Fission Environments (CAFFE) and is a collaboration between theorists and experimentalists at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and the University of Manchester.

Suitable candidates should be about to be awarded or have, a PhD in condensed matter physics or materials science and have experience with density functional calculations, large scale computing and, preferably, the modelling of defects and interfaces. A willingness to interact closely with other members of the consortium is desirable. Most of the calculations will be performed at the ARCHER National Supercomputing Service. For more information about the Atomistic Simulation Group at Cambridge:

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 upload a covering letter, CV and publications list

Informal enquiries about this vacancy should be sent to Dr Paul Bristowe (

Please quote reference LJ12777 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Apply online