Research Associate/Assistant in Ultrafast Microscopy of Functional Materials

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

Applications are invited for a Post-doctoral Research Associate/Research Assistant position in Ultrafast Microscopy of Functional Materials in the group of Prof. Akshay Rao at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate with a strong background in ultrafast spectroscopy/microscopy.

To be successful in this role you should have: 1. A PhD or be about to obtain your PhD in Physics, Chemistry or a related area, and should have demonstrated excellency in multi-disciplinary research projects. 2. 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

Experience with ultra-short pulse generation, time-resolved microscopy, pulse shaping techniques, high-speed data acquisition and optical holography/tomography would be a plus.

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 [1-6].

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.

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)

The Research Associate (grade 7) salary falls within the range £34,308 - £42,155 pa. The Research Assistant (grade 5) salary falls within the range of ££27,929 - £32,348 pa

The position will be for a period of three years (36 months) initially.

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

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/s41467-022-33647-57yyh y

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 deadline for applications is 12th February 2023

For queries regarding the role, please email Prof Akshay Rao, Professor of Physics:

Please quote reference KA35036 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.

In your application, please refer to


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