Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biomedical Engineering

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
£32,817–£40,322 (Grade 7)
26 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
15 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Location Edinburgh, GB      
Organization Name IMPEE      

About Heriot-Watt University          

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team          

We are excited to be able to recruit a biomedical engineering postdoctoral research associate to the Soft Tissues and Biomedical Devices Lab at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. The selected candidate will join a multi-disciplinary team to work on an EPSRC funded project seeking to understand the process of wound healing, from a biomechanics/materials science perspective.  Working with skin immunologists, engineers and clinicians, this post will identify the key mechanical data that is required to develop novel wound sensing, treatment and diagnostic methods.       

Detailed Description          

This project seeks to understand the biomechanics of wound healing - which is well established biologically, but poorly understood mechanically, especially at the microscale. This role will study these and their underlying structure during healing.

The successful candidate will make use of our excellent facilities including dedicated biomedical tissue laboratories, and cutting edge equipment including a broad suite of tissue processing equipment, mechanical testing equipment, imaging equipment (microscopy and optical coherence tomography) and a cleanroom with substantial capacity for microfabrication.  Some more details are available at http://tissuedevices.hw.ac.uk.

We are looking for someone who is ambitious and collaborative, with a passion for solving biomedical problems.  The post will be for 12 months.  There may be the opportunity for the post holder to develop their own fellowship applications during this post, with support from the PI.

The successful candidate will work in a department that has an international reputation for engineering, strong expertise in biomedical engineering and world-class equipment and facilities.

Key duties and responsibilities          

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Plan and execute work plans to progress investigations into the structural and mechanical properties of tissue samples, to understand wound mechanics.
  • Lead and contribute to research dissemination (i.e. papers and conference attendance)
  • Work with the PI (and team) to analyse, interpret and present experimental and modelling data
  • Work closely with other postdoctoral associates, PhD students and collaborators to ensure smooth research team function
  • Participate actively in group meetings
  • Take a leadership role in the lab to ensure the safe and effective running of the lab.
  • Participate in outreach activities, which may involve talks for the general public, attendance at science festivals or and preparation of experimental demonstrators.
  • Contribute, under supervision, to the planning of research projects, including the development of new grant/contract proposals.

Responsibilities will also include assistance in the day-to-day running of the experimental facilities, liaising with companies and external collaborators.

 Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post.  Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. 

Education, qualifications and experience          

Essential Criteria

  • A PhD in one of the following areas:
  • Material characterisation of soft and/or biological materials; or
  • Tissue imaging and image analysis-based modelling of soft tissues

A strong understanding of biological material behaviours (e.g. soft tissue structure and mechanical properties)


  • Experimental experience in material testing methods such as nanoindentation, tensile testing, dynamic mechanical analysis, atomic force microscopy force spectroscopy or similar; or
  • Imaging (histology/microscopy) for tissue modelling (finite element or equivalent)
  • Experience of programming for data acquisition and/or analysis (e.g. LabVIEW, MATLAB etc.).
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary environment/team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • A record of high quality, peer-reviewed publications and evidence of contribution to the writing of these publications proportionate to opportunity.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience with imaging techniques such as SEM, confocal microscopy, optical coherence tomography, histology etc.
  • Aspiration to write personal fellowships to expand research career
  • Experience working on a microscale for material characterisation

When applying, please include a cover letter addressing these selection criteria. 

How To Apply          

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 15 November 2019.

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

Part-time working may also be considered.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary 32817      
Maximum Salary 40322      
Currency GBP