University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associates in Soft Matter Theory (3 posts)

At least three postdoctoral positions are available within the Soft Matter Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Faculty of Mathematics. These posts will be funded by research grants and supervised, individually or collaboratively, by Prof Mike Cates FRS, Dr Ronojoy Adhikari and Dr Rob Jack. Research topics include:

A. Machine learning in soft matter: Inference of many-body potentials between optically trapped colloids, of many-body forces between optically trapped active particles, and optimal reconstruction of flow fields around active objects from particle imaging data (funder: Newton Trust).

B. Constitutive modelling of viscoelastic micellar systems: Development of rheological models for reversibly-breakable and reversibly-branched polymeric micelles that are molecularly-inspired, but simple enough for CFD use and to address multiphase flows (funder: Unilever PLC).

C. Arrest and flow of glasses: Development of facilitated dynamical models and/or field-theoretic methods for driven and flowing glasses, collective dynamical processes and their associated free-energy barriers, and their relation to static and dynamic phase transitions. (funder: Royal Society).

D. Hydrodynamics of nonequilibrium processes: Development of improved numerical and analytic models, including full hydrodynamic interactions, for phoretic motion (colloidal self-propulsion and ionic separation processes) and reaction-diffusion processes in soft matter (funder: Royal Society).

E. Nonequilibrium statistical physics of active and driven systems: Development of models of active matter, such as self-propelled colloids, and linking these to more established areas such as reaction-diffusion processes, absorbing-state phase transitions, and conditioned ensembles (funder: ERC).

Depending on the duration of their contracts, appointees may be required to work on more than one of these areas; candidates should be familiar with the concepts and methods of at least one of them. Applicants will have, or be about to receive, a PhD in theoretical physics or cognate area.

Duties will include developing and conducting individual and collaborative research objectives, proposals and projects. The role holder will be expected to plan and manage his/her own research and administration, with guidance if required, and to possibly assist in the preparation of proposals and applications to external bodies. He/She must be able to communicate material of a technical nature and be able to build internal and external contacts. He/She may be asked to assist in the supervision of student projects, the development of student research skills, provide instruction or plan/deliver seminars relating to the research area.

Informal enquiries about the positions may be made to: Note that it is not possible to offer candidate-specific advice on whether to make a formal application.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 3 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.

Applications should include a CV, list of publications, a one-page summary of research achievements and interests, and the names of at least two academic referees. Applicants should ensure that their referees are contactable at any time during the selection process, and are made aware that they will be contacted by the Mathematics HR Office Administrator to request that they upload a reference to the University's Web Recruitment System before the closing date of 4 March 2018.

The successful candidates would be expected to start between 1 June and 1 December 2018.

Please quote reference LE14687 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. The Department would particularly welcome applications from women, since women are, and have historically been, underrepresented on our research staff.

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

Further information

Apply online