Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Job title Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Department Chemistry

Salary Starting from £33,199, rising to £39,609

Grade Grade 7

Placed on Thursday 25 October 2018

Closing date Sunday 25 November 2018

Interview date Monday 03 December 2018

Reference CC6261


This post is part of a large IB Catalyst project, Gelenz, on “New Enzymatically Produced Interpenetrating Starch-Cellulose Gels”, involving collaborators at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, and East Anglia (UEA), the John Innes Centre (JIC) and industrial partners Croda and Unilever. We are developing interpenetrating starch-cellulose gels with the aim of making novel, sustainable, biodegradable and edible materials with end uses in food or in personal/home care products. The post holder at Bath will work largely in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath but will also be expected to spend time with our academic and industrial partners, using skills in enzymatic or synthetic chemistry to functionalise biopolymer materials including starch and cellulose. You will be expected to work closely with PDRAs at Bath, Bristol, UEA and JIC, as well as with PhD students working on the project. 

Applicants should have expertise in enzymatic or synthetic methods for biomaterials functionalisation, particularly aimed at modifying polysaccharides, and characterisation of the materials prepared. Experience in the study of polymer and/or surfactant solutions is desirable, as is experience in applying these in emulsions, gels or aqueous formulations such as creams or lotions. Knowledge of methods for characterisation of formulations such as rheology, scattering, microscopy, NMR and previous experience of working with industrial stakeholders would also be advantageous. 

You will use this expertise to liaise with our project partners, to design materials which aim to meet formulation application requirements, and with the other PDRAs and PhDs in the project study the use of modified materials in formulations based on starch/cellulose components, along with other common formulation ingredients (oils, aromas, salts, surfactants). Characterisation techniques used in the project include rheology, scattering of light, neutrons and X-rays, TEM, SEM confocal microscopy and AFM, as well as solid-state NMR in collaboration with UEA.

Candidates should have:

  • a PhD (or submitted thesis) in a relevant discipline (e.g. enzymatic synthesis, polysaccharide chemistry, soft matter, colloids, polymers, food science, physical chemistry of materials or other relevant subject),
  • experience of design of experimental protocols and interpretation of results, and
  • evidence of good scientific writing skills.

Travel to work with the collaborators on this grant within the UK and to large-scale facilities in the UK and France for scattering measurements will be required.

The University of Bath is committed to equality of opportunity. We invite applications from candidates irrespective of their gender, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. We particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as women.

This is a fixed-term post and is expected to last for up to 12 months.

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Karen Edler ( or Prof Janet Scott (

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:
The University of Bath is an equal opportunities employer and has an excellent international reputation with staff from over 60 different nations. To achieve our global aspirations, we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.