Research Assistant/Associate in Physical Organic Chemistry

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 4 years.

A position exists for a Research Assistant / Research Associate in Organic Physical Chemistry and Chemical Kinetics, as part of the Planetary Astrochemistry Group at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, in close collaboration with the University College London.

The aim of the role is to investigate prebiotic chemical networks. The successful applicant will explore the physical and chemical parameter space relevant for origins of life scenarios. The result of this investigation will be the determination of chemical lifetimes and rate constants for dozens of species for a range of conditions. This fundamental research is essential for determining whether prebiotic scenarios can take place in a local environment. This work will involve controlled reactions under a range of physical and chemical conditions, and the use of several analytical techniques, especially NMR and FTIR, to quantitatively determine reaction products. This is an ambitious research program, with a strong interdisciplinary nature.

The successful candidate will hold (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in organic chemistry, physical chemistry or a related discipline, with a strong publication record, and established experience in the quantitative analysis of products, development of reaction mechanisms and determination of kinetics of reactions. Interest in origins of life research is essential. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in physical organic chemistry and knowledge of organic chemical kinetics. The candidate will also have the ability to work effectively in a transdisciplinary research group, communicate complex ideas to a wide range of audiences, and record data in a thorough and organised manner, to ensure the publication of reproducible results.

The post holder will be located at the Department of Physics Cavendish Laboratory JJ Thomson Avenue Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK.

Salary Ranges: Research Assistant: £27,929 - £32,348. Research Associate: £34,308 - £42,155.

Appointment at 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).

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.

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

If you have any questions about this vacancy please contact Professor Paul B. Rimmer (pbr27@ If you have any questions about the application process, please contact

Please quote reference KA35456 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.

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