University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate - Organic Chemistry for Supramolecular Catalysis and Sensing (Fixed Term)

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

Applications are invited from post-doctoral chemists to work with Professor Oren Scherman in the Department of Chemistry on a multidisciplinary project funded by the EPSRC Programme Grant (NOtCH), on supramolecular catalysis and sensing using cucurbit[n]uril (CB[n]) macrocycles combining nano-chemistry and nano-optics. This is a collaborative project with Professor Jeremy Baumberg (Cavendish Laboratory) in Nanophotonics.

The successful candidate will be part of a team of chemists, physicists and theoreticians with a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise and contribute to the design and synthesis of target substrates for supramolecular catalysis and real-time observation using NPoM methodology (Nature 2016). Recently, we have shown that CB[n] macrocycles can act as artificial enzymes capable of catalysing Diels¿Alder reactions within their hydrophobic cavity (ACIE 2015, 2017). The candidate will build upon this with the aim of utilising light to induce and/or control the reactivity of small organic molecules and functionalities within confined spaces (Nat. Commun. 2017, ACS Photonics 2017).

Applicants must have, or be about to obtain, a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry. They should have a proven track record exemplified by academic publications. Knowledge of supramolecular, biological and/or biophysical chemistry with relevant post-doctoral experience would be advantageous. Applicants will be expected to work closely and interactively with colleagues in different disciplines, to have excellent communication skills and the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Earliest possible start date 12th March 2018.

Interviews likely to take place 7th and 8th March

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. 

For queries relating to your application or the application process, please contact Dr Elisabetta Spigone (e-mail:

Please quote reference MA14706 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