Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Roll-to-Roll Vacuum Deposition for Wearable and Flexible Technologies - University of Oxford

Job description

Department of Materials, Parks Road, Oxford

Grade 7: Salary in the range £31,076 - £34,956 p.a.

In this role you will be responsible for carrying out research on manufacturing scale-up (including vacuum roll-to-roll processing, of materials for wearable and flexible technologies). This will be within the wider project and in collaboration with other researchers. Your research will include consideration of the challenges of high-throughput processing onto polymer substrates, control of layer thickness, integration of various layers and components, and routes to in-line patterning of layers. You will be expected to attend regular project meetings and to work across institutions, to contribute to project reports and disseminate results through conferences and papers.

The post-holder will need to liaise closely with the rest of the research team and proactively work with other members of the team to tackle the requirements for large area high-throughput manufacture of candidate materials and devices.  Current specific areas for development include materials for power generation, thermally evaporated OPV and sputtered chalcogenide thermoelectrics, sensors based on just-percolated organic conductors, sputtered phase change materials for display and memory functions, and device modelling and in-situ metrology.

The PDRA will need to participate in regular project meetings and be willing to travel to collaborating institutions for joint research, as well as to national and international meetings for dissemination.  There will be a requirement to contribute to project reports to disseminate results through conferences and papers.


  • Manage your own academic research and administrative activities. This involves small scale project management, to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.
  • Adapt existing and develop new scientific techniques and experimental protocols, including the modification and development of the existing manufacturing capabilities
  • Use specialist scientific equipment and hazardous materials in a laboratory environment.
  • Test hypotheses and analyse scientific data from a variety of sources, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate.
  • Contribute ideas for new research projects.
  • Undertake comprehensive and systematic literature reviews.
  • Develop ideas for generating research income, and present detailed research proposals to senior researchers.
  • Proactively collaborate with colleagues on all aspects of research, including preparation of scientific reports and journal articles and occasionally present papers and posters.
  • Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on scientific protocols and experimental techniques.
  • Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the group or alone.
  • Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups.


Other duties

  • If required, supporting the Head of Department and Director of Studies in the provision of teaching for the Department’s undergraduate and postgraduate degree students.  This may include, but is not restricted to, the delivery of lectures, practical demonstrating, tutorials, classes, and/or workshops and any associated responsibilities or administrative tasks (including the setting of examination questions).  The post holder will not be expected to provide more than four hours of such tasks (on average) per week during the academic terms.
  • Assisting with other reasonable practical and administrative duties as required.


Selection criteria


Hold (or be close to obtaining) a PhD/DPhil, in Materials Science or Engineering, or in a related discipline.

Demonstrable experience of thin film in-vacuum deposition of a range of materials.

Demonstrable experience of characterization of thin film materials including microscopy, chemical and structural analysis and measurement of functional parameters.

Demonstrable experience in working with large-scale equipment and the modification and adaptation of research equipment to improve or modify functionality.

Excellent oral and communication skills, including the proven ability to write in English at a suitable standard for the preparation of written reports, publications and presentations of the work at generalist and specialist levels, including discussions with collaborators and scientists/engineers in different fields.



  • Demonstrable experience of high-throughput manufacture, especially roll-to-roll deposition.
  • Demonstrable experience of in-vacuum thin film deposition onto polymer substrates.
  • Demonstrable experience of making a characterizing functional devices.
  • Demonstrable experience of independently managing a discrete area of a research project.
  • Demonstrable experience of working in collaboration with research teams across different institutions, and with industry, and the ability to work co-operatively and to present summaries clearly in front of a multi-disciplinary audience.
  • A strong publication record, commensurate with experience, in peer-reviewed journals and other research outputs.


Hazard-specific / Safety-critical duties


This job includes the following hazards or safety-critical activities which will require successful pre-employment health screening through our Occupational Health Service before the successful candidate will be allowed to start work:

  • Lone Working
  • Work with any substance which has any of the following pictograms on their MSDS:
  • Travel outside of Europe or North America on University Business



Applicants should posses a PhD (or close to completion in materials science/engineering or a related field you will be able to demonstrate experience in thin-film vacuum deposition, materials characterisation and working with and modifying large-scale equipment.

You will be required to upload a CV and a supporting statement as part of your application.

Please do not attach any manuscripts, papers, transcripts, mark sheets or certificates as these will not be considered as part of your application.

Interviews are scheduled to take place at the Department of Materials on 27 June 2019 and you must be available on this date, either by Skype or in person.

Please note in normal circumstances only interview travel expenses within the UK will be reimbursed.


All applications must be made online using the Oxford University E-Recruitment system, no later than 12.00 noon on 14 June 2019

Closing Date : 14-Jun-2019



Grade 7: Salary in the range £31,076 - £34,956 p.a.

Full/Part Time: 
Full Time

Recruiter information

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