University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate- ultrafast microscopy (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in Ultrafast Microscopy of Functional Materials in the group of Prof. Akshay Rao at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (

The group has a broad research program and explores problems at the frontier of organic- and hybrid-semiconductors, molecular photophysics, 2D and quantum materials. A key tool for these studies has been the development of ultrafast transient optical microscopy (TAM), which now allows us to track the transport of photoexcitations in three-dimensions with sub-10fs temporal resolution and sub-5nm spatial precision. This has opened a new frontier for the study of the spatiotemporal dynamics of photoexcitations in a broad range of materials [1-5].

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong background in ultrafast spectroscopy/microscopy. The ideal candidate should have a PhD in Physics, Chemistry or a related area, and should have demonstrated excellency in multi-disciplinary research projects. An interest in designing and constructing novel ultrafast experiments and a strong background in non-linear optics, the photophysics of semiconductor and solid-state systems will be required. Experience with ultra-short pulse generation, time-resolved microscopy, pulse shaping techniques, high-speed data acquisition and optical holography/tomography would be a plus.

This position is part of a recently awarded £6.8 million EPSRC Programme Grant on harnessing vibration-induced enhancement of transport in functional materials with soft structural dynamics that is aiming to develop better materials for a broad range of energy and bioelectronic applications. The grant involves an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Physics (Friend, Greenham, Rao, Sirringhaus), Chemistry (Grey, Bronstein), Materials Science (Monserrat) and Electrical Engineering (Malliaras) at the University of Cambridge and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford (McCulloch, Goodwin). Working alongside collaborators in this interdisciplinary environment will be a key part of the work.

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

Appointment to this Research Associate position is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience), including those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD (in which case appointment will initially be made at Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded).

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 institution.

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Enquiries concerning this position should be directed to Professor Akshay Rao (, and applicants are encouraged to contact him regarding the position.

Please see the attached further information file for the relevant post for more role specific details

Please quote reference KA32411 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.

References 1. Jooyoung et al., Nature Physics, 2020, 2. Sneyd et al., Science Advances, 2021, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abh4232 3. Bretscher, et al., Science Advances, 2021, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd6147 4. Pandya et al., Nature Communications, 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26617-w 5. Zhang et al., Nature Materials, 2022, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-022-01204-6

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