Research Fellow (Group Leader) in Polymer Chemistry – School of Chemistry – 59576 – Grade 8-(210001CA)


Position Details

School of Chemistry, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £41,526 to £49,553. With potential progression once in post to £55,750 a year.

Grade 8

Full Time / Fixed Term Contract for up to 3 years

Closing date 15 August 2021


To create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of activities within an established research programme/group.

Summary of Role

  • To initiate, undertake and direct original research into the synthesis of polymers, their self-assembly and characterisation under the supervision of Prof. Rachel O’Reilly.

  • To support and lead research within the group to solve problems, collaborate and innovate in scientific directions for the group.

  • To provide leadership on broader scientific skills within the group (at all levels) including mentoring students, leading on administrative/organisational tasks and helping to develop writing and presentation skills

  • To produce regular written and oral reports pertaining to the projects as requested; attend regular project meetings; give regular presentations to the group

  • To attend national and international conferences giving poster and oral presentations to discuss results of own and others’ research

  • To write papers and publish results of own research for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals and draft grant proposals.

  • To play an active role in the O’Reilly research group, participating in all group meetings and activities. You will supervise research students, be responsible for installation and maintenance of equipment and training of personnel on equipment.

  • Participate in collaborative meetings, both academic and industrial from yours and others’ research, and work with the project collaborators

  • Develop and make substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement by participating in collaborative meetings, both academic and industrial from yours and others’ research, and work with the project collaborators

  • Develop and make substantial contributions to outreach/public engagement activities and teaching (tutorials, lectures, laboratory supervision) or similar activities at Department/School level or further within the University

  • Main Duties/Responsibilities

    The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

  • Perform research and collect data in agreed areas to a high level of competency and quality

  • Maintain a high level of knowledge of the immediate and surrounding literature for both your own project and those more widely in the group

  • Plan, publish and/or execute high quality research

  • Project manage research activities to develop new ideas, directions, research objectives, techniques and methods in order to advance the group’s research and enhance it’s quality

  • Lead in setting the group culture and introducing new group members to all aspects of their role

  • Pursue personal research including developing research ideas and winning support, including financial support by developing proposals for own and joint research in collaboration with Prof O’Reilly.

  • Analyse and interpret data generated from all aspects of the group’s work and where required develop novel methodologies and techniques appropriate to the type of research being pursued

  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding

  • Draft scientific papers and significantly contribute to the improvement of other scientific papers originating in the group.

  • Disseminate research findings by oral and other presentation in a range of fora from group meetings to research seminars and conferences etc.

  • Demonstrate leadership through constructive criticism and questioning in group meetings and other suitable fora for scientific discussion

  • Supervise and examine masters and PhD students on research related work and provide guidance to support staff and students in the group

  • Provide expert advice to colleagues and students within discipline

  • Undertake management/administration arising from own and group research

  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration

  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University

  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines

  • Contribute to some administrative activities within the University, typically relating to research

  • Actively manages equality, diversity and inclusion through monitoring and evaluation and actively challenging unacceptable behaviour

  • Person Specification

  • An experimental PhD in Chemistry or Materials Science

  • Significant additional postdoctoral experience and strong leadership skills

  • Extensive research experience and scholarship within subject specialism

  • Excellent research profile in the area of in the area of polymer synthesis and self-assembly

  • Experience and achievement reflected in a growing reputation

  • Proven experience in polymer synthesis and functionalisation, polymer and materials characterisation.

  • Extensive experience and demonstrated success in planning, undertaking and project managing research to deliver high quality results

  • Ability to lead and direct research across the scope of the group.

  • Interest in interdisciplinary research and willingness to learn new techniques.

  • Ability to keep up to date with new developments in the fields relevant to own research projects as well as others.

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, both as a leader and team member, on research programmes.

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including the ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary project area of research.

  • Ability to initiate, plan, organise, implement and deliver programmes of research work to tight deadlines.

  • Ability to write and give presentations to both national and international audience standard and communicate complex information clearly.

  • Ability to install and maintain relevant equipment and to train other personnel on operation of the broad range of equipment maintained within the group

  • High level analytical capability and experience in use of characterisation of polymers and materials by a range of techniques including NMR, IR, chromatography, light scattering, TEM, AFM, DSC, TGA

  • Excellent writing skills and record of success in published papers

  • Extensive experience and achievement in public engagement and outreach or similar activities

  • Experience of championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in own work area

  • Ability to monitor and evaluate the extent to which equality and diversity legislation, policies, procedures are applied

  • Ability to identify issues with the potential to impact on protected groups and take appropriate action

  • Informal enquires to Professor Rachel K. O’Reilly,

    Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

    We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working

    Primary Location



    :Academic Non-clinical





    Job Posting

    :21.07.2021, 10:14:44 AMGrade (for job description):Grade 8

    Salary (Pay Basis)


    Maximum Salary


    Advert Close Date

    :15.08.2021, 6:59:00 PMFixed Term Contract End Date16.10.2024

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