University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Material Circularity (Fixed Term)

This post represents a unique opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher who has strong expertise and a keen interest in how materials flow through society and are recovered after use. The successful candidate will work in the Resource Efficiency Collective ( ) in the Cambridge University Engineering Department, as part of a 5-year interdisciplinary EPSRC Programme Grant called UK FIRES, which aims to embed resource efficiency in the UK industrial strategy.

The post will seek to understand the technical feasibility of transforming the UK's material systems to be more circular. The loss of material quantity and quality is inherent to all material recovery loops but is barely explored in the circular economy literature.

The Cambridge research team is internationally recognised for mapping resource systems and has pioneered efforts to develop unified metrics for materials and energy. The successful candidate will build on this work to track material flows through the UK economy, devise metrics to assess material quantity and quality losses, and describe sensible technical limits for material circularity.

The successful candidate should hold a PhD in a technical field, ideally with experience related to material flow analysis, efficiency and circularity. They will have a broad understanding of resource efficiency and circular economy principles, and technical skills in data collection and analysis. Experience working effectively in interdisciplinary environments, both with industrial and academic partners, will be beneficial. Outcomes from this research will be published in high-impact journals and conferences, so the ability to disseminate research is essential. The research programme is tightly linked to industry through a Living Lab, where researchers will interact with companies and produce quarterly analysis reports on practical aspects of implementing resource efficiency.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once the PhD has been awarded.

Salary scales: Research Assistant £26,243 - £30,395; Research Associate £32,236 - £39,609

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

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) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. Please submit your application by midnight on the closing date. If you have any questions of a technical nature about this post, please contact Dr Jonathan Cullen at: and for queries about the application process, please contact Kirsten Helene Saward:

Please quote reference NM20173 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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.

Further information

Apply online