University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Ultrafast Three-Dimensional Microscopy

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in Ultrafast Three-Dimensional Microscopy 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, 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 on time and length scales dominated by quantum effects rather semi-classical behaviour [1-6].

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong background in ultrafast spectroscopy/microscopy. Ideally you will 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. You will be expected to participate actively in collaborations with other post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.

Appointment as a research associate is dependent on having a PhD 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).

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter, and the names of two references, 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.

The position will start in July 2023 or as soon as possible after that for a period of 36 months.

We particularly encourage candidates from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM subjects to apply.

Research Assistant salary: 32,411 - £33,348 pa Research Associate salary: 35,308- £43,155 pa

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 6. Ashoka et al., Nature Communications, 2022, 10.1038/s41467-022-33647-5

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

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

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

The closing date for applications is 30th June 2023 Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to: Professor Akshay Rao Email:

Please quote reference KA36600 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