Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC253289
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £33459
Date Posted 18 March 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 18 April 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £33,459
Grade: D
Contract Type: Fixed Term (2.5 years)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 18th April 2020

STFC are advertising for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate based at the ISIS to work on a Horizon 2020 funded project regarding ammonia synthesis and decomposition catalysts.

The position entails the synthesis, testing and detailed characterisation of ammonia synthesis and decomposition catalysts, as well as planning and executing significant scale-up of said catalysts in collaboration with project partners. The position is based at the ISIS Facility in the group of Professor Bill David and requires a PhD in chemistry, materials or a related field (candidates who have submitted but not yet defended their thesis at time of application will also be considered). The position is part of ARENHA, a project funded by the EU, consisting of 11 project partners, that aims to demonstrate every part of the process of synthesising ammonia using renewable power, storage thereof, and release via direct use of ammonia or by release of hydrogen, with the ultimate aim being to demonstrate the viability of ammonia as a viable non-carbonaceous energy store suitable for a net-zero carbon future. The project partners are from a number of different European countries and, as a result, you will be required to travel to attend meetings and present work and foster collaboration. The role is full-time, however requests for flexible working will be considered.

About STFC and ISIS: The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology/engineering. STFC’s ISIS facility is a leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. The facility performs cutting edge research into the structure and properties of materials at an atomic and molecular level.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


  • PhD in chemistry or related discipline or equivalent experience (applications will be considered where a PhD thesis has just been or is about to be submitted) (S)
  • Experience working with both solid and gaseous, hazardous materials and knowledge and experience of appropriate safety measures (S&I)
  • Experience in solid-state synthesis techniques (S&I)
  • Experience using gas lines for conducting lab-scale experiments (S&I)
  • Experience in characterisation techniques for solid-state materials (e.g. powder diffraction, thermal analysis and Raman spectroscopy) (S&I)
  • Excellent verbal communications skills and the ability to present scientific concepts simply and effectively (I)
  • Quality of the cover letter in communicating candidate’s fulfilment of the selection criteria. (S)


  • Experience in the use of ammonia (S&I)
  • Experience in scale-up of chemical processes (S&I)
  • Experience running experiments at beamline facilities such as Diamond and ISIS (S&I)
  • Experience using programming language (e.g. Python) for data analysis. (S&I)

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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