Research Fellow – Physics and Astronomy – 56997 – Grade 7-(2100018C)


Position Details

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Physics and Astronomy

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK 

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Grade 7

Full Time

Fixed term contract until 31st October 2022

Closing date – 30th July 2021


Atom interferometry has become a versatile tool for fundamental research and, more recently, has started to move out of the laboratory towards quantum sensing for a wide range of applications. The atom interferometry group at the University of Birmingham is focused on the development of sensors for the measurement of gravity and gravity gradiometry. 

The group is now seeking candidates to fulfil a key role in the development of a new strontium atom interferometry laboratory for research into techniques to improve large momentum transfer and enable improvements in sensitivity. This is part of the recently funded Atom Interferometry Observatory and Network project (AION), funded within the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics Program. The successful candidate will develop the strontium laboratory and perform research into techniques, including improved atom optic schemes and suppression of wave front aberration, to enable increased fidelity and large momentum transfer. This will include working to get the best from the local team, with opportunities to provide leadership and direction, and interacting with the wider consortium to support delivery of the overall AION project.

The successful candidate will be based in the Technology Transfer Centre at Birmingham, and facilitate linkages with the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensing and Timing. The group has a strong track record in securing funding, delivering research outputs and career development. The composition of the wider team is diverse, and includes people with a range of expertise across physics and engineering. Our work combines precision metrology with innovation, striving for fast-paced development. We are seeking an individual who is excited by research, and with a keen interest in technology development. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusivity and fostering an inclusive working culture.


• Play a key role in the development of the strontium atom interferometry laboratory and within research into enabling large momentum transfer
• Support the local team and wider consortium in pursuit of the AION project, including undertaking tasks and roles within the wider project and interacting with counterparts at partner universities
• Contribute to research outputs
• Analyse and interpret research findings and results 
• Contribute to generating funding 
• Contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as revenues, asset or company sales, IP generated) and/or public understanding of the discipline or similar

Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.
• Play a key role in the development of the strontium atom interferometry laboratory and within research into enabling large momentum transfer
• Support the local team and wider consortium in pursuit of the AION project, including undertaking tasks and roles within the wider project and interacting with counterparts at partner universities
• Project reporting and liaison with academic project partners
• Management of local project team and activities under supervision of project leader
• Contribute to writing bids for research funding
• Analyse and interpret data
• Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
• Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
• Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
• Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods 
• Undertake management/administration arising from 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, often under supervision of a project leader
• Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews *
• Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters *
• Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research *
• Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines*
• Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

* These indicative responsibilities may also be included in a research role at grade 6.

Person Specification

• First degree in Physics or related discipline and a higher degree in experimental physics or related discipline, or equivalent qualifications/experience
• Experience in relevant experimental techniques from atomic, molecular and optical physics and/or relevant related technical areas
• An excellent team player with great initiative, a positive attitude to change, and the ability and desire to provide direction and encouragement to colleagues and students
• High level analytical capability
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly
• Adaptable to project management structures, such as conventional and agile project management approaches, including understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes 
• Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
• Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively 
• Ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
• Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
• We welcome applications from a range of levels of experience
• If your experience looks a little different from what we have identified and you think you could thrive in the role we would still like to hear from you
• Knowledge of, and/or willingness to be trained in, the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

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


:Physics and Astronomy



Job Posting

:08.07.2021, 7:00:00 PMGrade (for job description):Grade 7

Salary (Pay Basis)


Maximum Salary


Advert Close Date

:30.07.2021, 6:59:00 PMFixed Term Contract End Date31.10.2022

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