Research Technician in Chemistry

Research Technician in Chemistry


Job description and selection criteria

Job title

Research Technician in Chemistry

Research topic

Synthesis of Substrates for Biocatalytic Oxidation, and Characterisation and Elaboration of the Products


Environment and Biotechnology

Reporting to

Professor Jeremy Robertson

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

20 November 2020

Application closing date

31 October, 2020

Vacancy reference


Additional information

Technical support for the equipment and operations associated with synthetic organic chemistry and analytical chemistry laboratories

The role

The OSCAR Research Technician (RT) will work with OSCAR Research Scientists (RSs) on the selective oxidation of organic compounds by engineered variants of cytochrome P450 enzymes for applications in the synthesis of high-value intermediates and active ingredients for the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. The post is tenable for three years starting 1 January 2019. The RT will report to Professor Jeremy Robertson, the joint-PI (with Professor Luet Wong) of the programme.


The RT will support the work of the RSs whose research concerns the synthesis and biocatalytic oxidation of a variety of classes of small molecules; the RSs’ research will be conducted primarily within synthetic chemistry and microbiology laboratories, and a third laboratory housing the on-site analytical (e.g. HPLC, GC, SFC) and spectroscopic (e.g. MS, NMR, IR, UV, polarimetry) equipment required to confirm the identity of all compounds prepared. Accordingly, the RT will ensure that all equipment in these laboratories (with particular responsibility for the synthetic chemistry and analytical laboratories) is maintained in good order, arrange repair and replacement where necessary, act as a point of contact for maintenance contracts, and help to arrange the use of off-site facilities. In addition, the RT will support the purchase and provision of laboratory reagents, gases, and items of consumable equipment; will assist in the preparation of routine stock solutions, the purification of reagents where necessary; will coordinate local protocols for short- and long-term storage of research samples, and ensure that appropriate measures are in place for regular liquid and solid waste disposal. Full training will be provided on techniques and procedures if necessary.




  • Support the research as directed by the PI and the RSs to a high degree of professional competence.
  • Assist in adapting existing and developing new techniques and experimental protocols.
  • Use and maintain specialist scientific equipment in a laboratory environment.
  • Ensure that chemicals, reagents, glassware and consumables are kept in stock by tracking inventory and re-ordering.
  • Assist in keeping the synthetic chemistry equipment and analytical facilities serviced, maintained and in good working order.
  • Be a point of contact in relation to: maintenance contracts, use of external facilities, and (where necessary) requests from the team’s collaborators in academia and industry.

Selection criteria


  • Hold a Masters (MSc) degree in Chemistry or Chemical Biology (or have submitted an MSc thesis in a relevant area prior to taking up the appointment).
  • Have research experience in synthetic organic chemistry.
  • Have relevant experience with techniques such as distillation, recrystallisation, and manual chromatography (column and plate).
  • Be familiar with analytical techniques such as GC and HPLC, and compound characterisation techniques such as NMR, IR, UV and MS.
  • Communicate well in English in writing and in oral presentations.
  • Be able to demonstrate competence and success in the Masters thesis research area, e.g. by poster or oral communication at local and national scientific meetings.
  • Be viewed as a motivated, enthusiastic, organised member of a team who can work with a minimum of supervision but at the same time extract the benefits of an excellent research environment.
  • 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.
  • Maintain detailed records of work completed and report on this at regular intervals.



  • Be familiar with techniques in microbiology and molecular biology.
  • Be willing to learn new techniques and apply them in an interdisciplinary research environment to expand and improve technical and theoretical knowledge.
  • Have a track record of delivering project objectives against deadlines.




About OSCAR (Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research)  

OSCAR, the first overseas research centre of the University of Oxford, is working closely with the Suzhou Industrial Park and both academic and industrial collaborators in China to progress a range of exciting societal and economic development opportunities.

As a multidisciplinary research, innovation and technology centre, OSCAR focuses on research challenges and technologies that both complement the Centre’s location in Suzhou Industrial Park and capitalise on current Oxford research strengths. Research will initially be focused around the areas of biomedical engineering, biomedicine, advanced functional materials, electronic / optoelectronic / photonic devices, environmental technology, energy, mathematical and computational applications in finance and in health, and other related science and engineering disciplines.

The Centre is positioned in Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District (SEID), a district in southern SIP with a high concentration of science, education and innovation activity. SEID is the prototype of higher education internationalization in China which hosts 32 local and foreign universities and institutions. The Centre, housed in a nine-storey building with a gross space of 20,000 m2, offers flexible access to facilities for multi-functional activities such as labs, seminars, workshops, training, public events, and administration, etc. 


Guidance for Applicants

Thank you for your interest in applying for posts at the Oxford-Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR). Please read the following tips to help you proceed with the application process.

Before the application: 

Please read carefully the job description and selection criteria for the post for which you are applying at the OSCAR website: to determine whether you have the required skills, knowledge, and experience as advertised. Please DO NOT apply for the posts which are currently unavailable. We typically receive many applications for each post, and so you will need to show in a covering letter how you meet the essential criteria and the desirable criteria in order to be shortlisted for interview.

Required Application documents:

  1. Please submit a covering letter and CV (both in English and in PDF) by email attachment to
  2. Email subject: the title of the post for which you are applying. 
  3. Email content: please include your contact information, name, telephone number, and any dates for which you would not be available for interview.


Covering letter (no longer than one page)

Use the covering letter to explain your motivation for joining OSCAR, and state how your skills and experience match these requirements. Please provide evidence that you have the skills, knowledge, experience, qualifications that match the requirements of the post. The strongest applications provide examples of previous work that demonstrate how you meet the essential and desirable criteria.  Check your spelling and grammar; successful applications are typically proof-read to give the best impression to the selection panel.

Curriculum Vitae (CV, no longer than 8 pages)

Check that your CV is up-to-date and keep your CV within the page limit.  Highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the post for which you are applying. Avoid sending a generic CV; the strongest applications are those for which CVs are tailored for the needs of the post for which the candidate is applying.  Give details of your education, employment history, publication record, lists of prizes, and voluntary experience.


After the application:

When you submit an application, the information you supply on your application will be provided to a selection panel, who will use it to assess your suitability for the post against the published selection criteria. You may be contacted via e-mail at any date regarding your application.

Your information is held securely in a database that is owned by OSCAR. The data will not be passed to external organisations or individuals other than those acting in a capacity as agents for OSCAR for software support purposes, or where an external body is party to the recruitment process.

When you submit an application to OSCAR you must confirm that you agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use, including the following declaration. 

  • The information provided in the application materials is true and complete. I understand that any offer of employment may be conditional upon satisfactory screening. 
  • I consent to be contacted by OSCAR at any date regarding my application. 
  • I consent to the information given in this application being stored and processed in accordance with the data protection rules at OSCAR. 

Thank you again for your interest in applying for a post at OSCAR.


Recruitment Office

Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research