Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Durham, United Kingdom
20 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
12 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Grade 7: - £33,797
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 3 years
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-Dec-2020, 7:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of the UK’s best Mathematics departments with an outstanding reputation for teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked 7th in terms of grade point average intensity in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, it has an active programme of internationally recognised research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics and Probability. The research culture is vibrant, with many visitors, seminars, international conferences and workshops. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The Department, which currently has 88 permanent members of staff, is set to grow significantly, and in early 2021 we will move to a brand new building.

The Department hosts the active Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics Group, whose research areas include quantum field theory, string theory and gravity, cosmology and solitons in field theory. There is a wealth of relevant expertise, with the Group counting amongst its members several internationally leading researchers working on topics closely related to the position. For further details please visit the Group’s web pages at http://www.dur.ac.uk/mathematical.sciences/research/cpt.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. The Department also supports the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme, whose aim is to support mathematics departments embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices.

Durham University is committed to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. For further information please visit the Research Staff web pages at http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/researchstaff/.

 The Role

The Department of Mathematical Sciences invites applications for a 3-year postdoctoral position beginning in October 2021. The successful candidate will work with Dr Ben Hoare and other members of the Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics Group, contributing to the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project “Quantum Symmetries in String Theory.” Candidates with a strong track record in integrability, string theory and related areas are encouraged to apply.

The position is a full time Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on a UKRI funded project within the Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics Group in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Interaction and exchanges of ideas will primarily take place with members of the Group, and occasionally with other members of the Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Physics.

Responsibilities :

  • To play an active role in the research activity of the Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics Group.
  • To understand and convey material of a specialist nature through discussions and presentations within the Group.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
  • To publish research outputs in internationally leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and open-access electronic archives.
  • To present research outputs at seminars and international workshops and conferences, as well to broader audiences.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator and other members of the Group to identify new areas for research, as appropriate.
  • To help address problems that may affect research outputs by discussing with the Principal Investigator and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To make new contacts that develop knowledge and understanding and to form relationships for potential future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To be involved in the supervision of PhD students, as appropriate.
  • To contribute to fostering a respectful working environment, which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship supporting the Department, as appropriate.
  • To continue own professional development by attending relevant training and development courses, as appropriate.

This post is fixed term for 3 years and includes a generous travel allowance. Funding for the position is available until 30th September 2024. As such, successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st October 2021.

The post-holder is employed to work on a research project led by Dr Ben Hoare. The expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project through the development of their own research ideas and the adaptation and development of research protocols.

How to Apply

 For informal enquiries please contact Dr Ben Hoare via email at ben.hoare@durham.ac.uk. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  • A personal research statement of at most 2 pages.

Next Steps

 It is anticipated that short-listed candidates will be invited for interview via video conference in late December / early January.

The Requirements



  • A PhD in Theoretical Physics or a related subject. It is expected that candidates will have submitted their PhD by the start date of the position. 


  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable the ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly ranked journals.
  • Demonstrable the ability to present results and communicate research ideas both to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  • Demonstrate the ability to respond to new developments in the field of research.


  • Ability to work cooperatively and exchange ideas as part of a research team
  • Ability to work independently and to deadlines.
  • Ability to use initiative and creativity to advance a research project.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Strong publication record in leading peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with career stage.
  • A track record of presenting research at international conferences and workshops, commensurate with career stage.
  • Demonstrable the ability to develop research proposals in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience guiding the development of higher-order thinking skills (analysis / evaluation / creativity) in students.


  • Demonstrable the ability to plan and manage independent research.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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