Postdoctoral Research Assistant, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

London, United Kingdom
£36,098 - £38,084 (Grade 4)
03 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
03 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department: School of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Salary: £36,098 - £38,084 (Grade 4)
Location: Mile End
Closing date: 03-Nov-2019


We invite applications for the position of Post-doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) as part the project ‘Multiscale structural basis of light-responsive light-harvesting in plants’. It aims at establishing the molecular mechanisms that make photosynthetic not only ultra-efficient but self-regulating. The ability of the plant light-harvesting ‘machinery’ to react to dangerous levels of light by rapidly switching to a dissipative configuration is critical to crop performance. Moreover, it would be a highly desirable feature of future light-harvesting technology.

The PDRA will initially develop a detailed theoretical picture of individual light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), predicting both their efficient and protective structures and their underlying photo-physics. This fundamental theoretical framework will then provide the basis for studying the complex networks of LHCs that occur in nature: The light-harvesting ‘antenna’ membrane. Working with the co-investigator the PDRA will be able to produce, control and characterize antenna membranes, providing a link between molecular theory and the observable properties of real systems.  

Project funding and environment: The project is fully-funded by BBSRC and is jointly held between Dr Christopher Duffy (School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London) and Dr Peter Adams (Department of Physics, University of Leeds). The PDRA will be based in the Mile End Campus of QMUL where theory development will be carried out utilizing local HPC facilities and expertise in theoretical physics. The PDRA will also make several extended visits to the University of Leeds where they will assist Dr Adams in the experimental work on antenna membranes. QMUL is one of the UK’s leading research-focused higher education institutions, with a budget of £285 million per annum.

Essentials for the post: The successful candidate will have a PhD (or equivalent qualification/experience) in Theoretical Physics (Condensed Matter), Applied Mathematics (with a focus on quantum systems) or Chemistry (with a heavy emphasis on quantum and theoretical chemistry). It is essential that they have experience with theories of energy relaxation in open quantum systems. The successful candidate will be provided with the appropriate training where necessary. A demonstrated ability to communicate well, work within a team, deliver projects within an agreed time frame, and maintain good methodological/laboratory records are also essential.

Duration and salary: The post is full-time and fixed term for 36 months.  The salary is £36,098 - £38,084 pro rata, per annum and is inclusive of London Allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a pension scheme.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Christopher D. P. Duffy at

Details about the school can be found at

To apply, please click the link below.

The closing date for applications is 3 November 2019. Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.  

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