University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associates in Statistical Physics of Active/Driven Matter x 2 (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for up to two postdoctoral positions in the Soft Matter Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Faculty of Mathematics. These posts are funded by an ERC Advanced Grant held by Prof Mike Cates, who will supervise the projects with the possible collaboration of Dr Ronojoy Adhikari and/or Dr Rob Jack, depending on project areas, which include:

A. Active Matter: Development of models of active matter, and linking these to more established areas such as reaction-diffusion processes and/or absorbing-state phase transitions. This project could involve interacting particle models, continuum field theories, or both. Coupling of activity to the geometry of fluctuating manifolds such as filaments and membranes is also of interest.

B. Driven Systems: Development of models of systems subject to external driving, including periodic or steady shearing of colloidal and granular materials, again with links to absorbing state transitions and likely to involve a combination of particle-based and continuum models.

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.

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

Candidates should be familiar with the concepts and methods of at least one of these areas, and should have, or be about to receive, a PhD in theoretical physics or cognate field.

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. Candidates must be able to communicate material of a technical nature and be able to build internal and external contacts. Candidates 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.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance, with a start date of 1 October 2020 or thereabouts. Funding ends 30 September 2022.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

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.

Please indicate the contact details of two academic referees on the online application form and upload a full curriculum vitae and a one-page summary of research achievements and interests in relation to the above projects.

Please ensure that at least one of your referees is contactable at any time during the selection process, and is made aware that they will be contacted by the Mathematics HR Office Administrator to request that they upload a reference for you to our Web Recruitment System; and please encourage them to do so promptly.

The closing date for applications is 12 April 2020. Interviews will be held shortly after this date.

Please quote reference LE22710 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. We particularly welcome applications from women and /or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our Department.

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

Further information

Apply online