Research Technician in Physical Acoustics (Prof. James Kwan)

Job description and selection criteria

Job title

Research Technician in Physical Acoustics (depending on experience)

Research topic

Physical Acoustics


Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare

Reporting to

Professor James Kwan

Group website

Salary Range

A competitive remuneration package will apply


Full time

Contract type

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

Application closing date

Open until filled

The role

The aim of the project is to facilitate research in one or more of the following areas:

  • Ultrasound assisted gene delivery,
  • sonochemistry,
  • multi-functional contrast agents,
  • ultrasound assisted bioremediation.

This project is the first step in the process of establishing a world-class basic and applied research program in the applications of physical acoustics principles to a range of problems in industrial and biomedical ultrasonics, based at the Oxford-Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR). The job will involve establishing a new laboratory, launching new research initiatives, growing research partnerships with colleagues, and engaging in collaborative sponsored research with external academic and industrial partners.

Reporting to Prof. James Kwan of the Dept. of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, the post holder will adopt a leadership role in establishing the laboratory and help lead a research program broadly based in industrial and biomedical ultrasonics, with initial emphasis on cavitation mediated gene delivery and bioprocessing, sonochemistry, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and acoustic cavitation fundamentals. The post holder will be a founding member of a new research group and will provide day-to-day assistance to researchers and perform their own research as well.

The successful candidate will possess a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree with at least three years research/industrial work experience. Fresh graduates may be appointed

for outstanding cases. The applicant must have their degree in a relevant field with experience in one or more of the following areas: experimental physical acoustics, cavitation noise signal processing, sonochemistry, micro- and nanoparticle synthesis, HIFU, and acoustic cavitation. Knowledge of photoacoustics, laser ultrasonics, laser optics and/or biomedical ultrasound imaging is desirable.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Prof. James Kwan, email:


  • Assist in the establishment of the physical acoustics research lab equipped to address problems in industrial and biomedical ultrasonics, with specific emphasis on acoustic cavitation and its application to drug or gene delivery and/or sonochemistry
  • Assist in the development of research questions within a specific context, conduct individual research, analysing detailed and complex qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.
  • Facilitate and conduct original research in the lab
  • Develop, establish, and pursue appropriate analytical protocols and techniques to support research.
  • Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports and journal articles. Present papers at national conferences, and lead seminars to disseminate research findings.
  • Use scientific equipment in a laboratory environment.
  • Contribute to the day-to-day running of an experimental laboratory.
  • Carry out collaborative projects with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups.

Selection criteria


  • Hold a relevant Master’s degree; or a Bachelor’s degree with at least three years research/industrial work experience. Outstanding fresh graduates may be considered.
  • High degree of competence in experimental work.
  • Good oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to perform research projects and methodologies.


  • Expertise in biomedical ultrasound imaging technologies and methodologies.
  • Expertise in biomedical ultrasound therapy technologies and methodologies.
  • Expertise in sonochemistry and analytical chemistry.
  • Experience with laser optics, optical detectors, and physical optics instrumentation.
  • Experience working with biological samples and tissue phantoms.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multidisciplinary team of researchers with a variety of both physical and life sciences backgrounds.
  • Prior experience of instrument interfacing and control and data processing, ideally using Matlab.
  • High degree of competence in experimental work involving acoustic measurements, including experience in the generation and measurement ultrasound waves and the use of ultrasound imaging instrumentation.
  • Experience of supervising staff. (Senior Research Scientist)
  • Experience of managing a research budget. (Senior Research Scientist)
  • Experience of preparing successful grant applications. (Senior Research Scientist)

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 20,000m2, 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