Research Scientist in Surface Organic Materials Chemistry (Professor Mark Moloney)

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Job Description and Selection Criteria

Job title

Research Scientist in Surface Organic Materials Chemistry (one post)

Research topic

Surface modification and polymerisation methodologies for the functional materials


Environment and Biotechnology

Reporting to

Professor Mark Moloney

Group website

Salary Range

A competitive remuneration package will apply


Full time

Contract type

Fixed-term (3 years), with the possibility of extension

Start date

1 Oct 2021

Application closing date

15 April 2021

Vacancy reference

Overview of the role

The OSCAR Research Scientist (RS) in Polymer and Materials Chemistry will be part of a team working on the development of novel surface modification and polymerisation methodologies, and of novel surface active organic materials. The RS will contribute to the effort to develop novel surface modification strategies, and/or to develop novel polymerisation approaches, both of which will be used for the preparation of novel functional polymers (for recent work, see: Tetrahedron Letters, 2020, 61, 151672, ACS Omega, 2018, 3, 15554, RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 29645; Macromolecules, 2017, 50, 1422–1429; RSC Advances, 2016, 6, 111276-111290; Langmuir, 2016, 32, 7917–7928; Langmuir, 2015, 31, 11086-11096). This work will involve synthetic organic chemistry and materials and polymerisation chemistry, and will include extensive surface and polymer analysis and characterisation.  The RS will report to the PI (Professor Moloney) who leads this aspect of the OSCAR programme. 


1. Manage own research and small-scale project management, co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.

2. Adapt existing and develop new techniques and experimental protocols.

3. Use and maintain specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment.

       4. Test hypotheses and analyse results from a variety of experiments, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate to advance the project.

5. Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports, journal articles, and grant applications.

6. Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the chemistry team on scientific protocols and experimental techniques.

7. Supervise RTs and visiting students associated with the programme.

8. Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the research team or alone, and regularly liaise with the PI relating to project design, execution and outcomes.

9. Develop collaborative projects with industrial partners.

Essential Selection criteria

  1. Hold a PhD in Organic, Polymer or Materials Chemistry or a related discipline (or have submitted a PhD thesis in a relevant area prior to taking up the appointment) ideally with 1 or 2 years postdoctoral or industrial experience.
  2. Research experience in synthetic organic chemistry of small organic molecules (MW ~50–500) and materials and/or polymer chemistry (synthesis and characterisation).
  3. Research experience of multistep synthesis (up to ~5 steps) with the majority of this being at the 1–500 mg scale.
  4. Familiarity with handling reactive reagents and conducting reaction protocols, and preparing applicable safety, risk and hazard assessments.
  5. Familiarity with routine methods for compound purification (manual and automated column chromatography, plate chromatography, crystallisation).
  6. Familiarity with spectroscopic methods for organic compound characterisation (NMR, MS, IR, polarimetry), polymer characterisation (MALDI-TOF, GPC) and materials characterisation (XPS, ATR-IR, contact angle, TGA/DSC).
  7. Experience of research supervision, e.g. of graduate students.
  8. Excellent communication skills in English, in writing and in oral presentations.
  9. Be able to demonstrate competence, understanding and success in the PhD thesis research area (and postdoctoral work if appropriate).
  10. Be viewed as a motivated, enthusiastic, organised self-starter who can work with a minimum of supervision but at the same time extract the benefits of an excellent research environment.
  11. Show the ability to work supportively in a laboratory environment and take part in joint projects through co-operation and the exchange of information, skills and reagents.
  12. Maintain detailed laboratory records and report on progress at regular intervals, and to operate   in compliance with relevant Health and Safety regulations.
  13. Have a track record of delivering project objectives against deadlines.


  1. Have an excellent general knowledge of organic chemistry and polymer/materials science through reading of the literature, online database searching, or attendance at seminars and conferences.
  2. Be willing to learn new techniques and apply them in an interdisciplinary research environment to expand and improve technical and theoretical knowledge in surface science.

How to apply

Applicants should submit a covering letter and CV in English as a PDF attachment by email to before the closing date of 12:00 midday on 31st March 2021. The email subject should specify the title of the post for which you are applying and you must include your full name and telephone number.


Recruitment Office

Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research


OSCAR website: