Research Assistant, Polymers Chemistry

Melbourne, Australia
28 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
26 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Full-time, 1.5 years, fixed-term contract; based at RMIT City campus but may be required to work and/or based at other campuses of the University
  • Opportunity to undertake laboratory research activities on recycled polymers (i.e. from recycling operations of waste plastics such as Polyethylene and Polypropylene) with emphasis on organic chemistry and suitability for bitumen modification
  • Be part of a national research initiative funded by Austroads
  • Reports directly to the Discipline Leader, Geotechnical and Infrastructure Engineering
  • Remuneration at Academic Level A ($68,983 - $93,569) + 17% superannuation

About us

RMIT is a multi-sector university of technology, design and enterprise with more than 91,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. RMIT offers postgraduate, undergraduate, vocational education and online programs to provide students with a variety of work-relevant pathways. 

Our purpose is to offer life-changing experiences for our students, and to help shape the world with research, innovation, teaching and industry engagement. With strong industry connections forged over 130 years, collaboration with industry remains integral to RMITs leadership in education, applied and innovative research, and to the development of highly skilled, globally focused graduates.


Our Values inspire us, wherever we are in the world, and guide how we live and work together.

Imagination. Agility. Courage. Passion. Impact. Inclusion.

What unites us is our purpose and our values; they are at the heart of who we are, what we stand for, how we make decisions and connect with each other.

Our people make everything at the University possible. We encourage new approaches to work and learning, stimulating change to drive positive impact. RMIT exists to create transformative experiences for our students, getting them ready for life and work. You will be a part of a productive and collaborative team, who values working relationships and outcomes through open and inclusive planning, continuous information sharing and transparent work practices.

About the College

The College comprises three Schools delivering a broad range of programs in science, engineering, health and technology at higher education certificate, bachelor, masters and PhD levels. There is a vibrant research community attracting funding from a range of government and industry sources. The College has an annual income of approximately $500 million (with over $50 million in external research income p/a) and employs around 1,400 staff providing on and offshore programs to approximately 30,000 students (including 1,200 PhD students).

The School of Engineering comprises a diverse range of disciplines: Aerospace Engineering & Aviation; Chemical & Environmental Engineering; Civil & Infrastructure Engineering; Electrical & Biomedical Engineering; Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering; Manufacturing, Materials & Mechatronic Engineering; Mechanical & Automotive Engineering.

As a top 100 university in the world for engineering (2015 QS Rankings by Faculty; Engineering and Technology), RMIT Engineering provides students with work-relevant education programs, access to excellent research facilities and opportunities to engage in creative real-world project work through robust relations with local and international industry leaders.

More details on the School of Engineering in this link.

About You & the Role

  • Conduct high impact research and development activities with multidisciplinary researchers leading to high quality publications, conference presentations and scientific knowledge specifically polymers testing and organic chemistry
  • Contribute to the discovery and validation on virgin and recycled polymers (i.e. from recycling operations of waste plastics such as Polyethylene and Polypropylene) with emphasis on organic chemistry and suitability for bitumen modification
  • Preparing and producing competitive research grant proposals through active and effective liaison with industry and government
  • Work independently as well as collaboratively within the project research teams contributing to competitive research outcomes and developing new research initiatives, as well as communicate and effectively present your research concepts and outcome through submission of high-quality papers, delivering seminars/webinars and attending conferences
  • Pro-actively participate in various research development strategies of this research team in delivering impactful research outcomes and information that are relevant to the technical advancement in the project research area through documentation of project progress and projects reports to a national and internal audience
  • Planning, developing and assisting in managing research projects timelines ensuring research reports meet compliance requirements
  • Contribute 10% of your time to mentor & supervise undergraduate students and attend to varied administrative functions related to the research project

You will have:

  • Solid theoretical and in-depth working knowledge on polymers testing in the laboratory together with an exceptional understanding of organic chemistry and its applications
  • Proven experience in conducting wet chemistry experiments and chemical synthesis through various methods and techniques such as spectroscopy, imaging techniques, mass spectrometry and separation techniques, rheology
  • Emerging track record in research and scientific investigations on polymers analysis and synthesis
  • Experience preparing and submitting competitive research grant proposals and applications as well as the drive to lead & co-author technical reports delivered to industry
  • Capability to analyse, communicate and present research findings, concepts and knowledge with sound problem-solving and analytical skills in dealing with ambiguity
  • Ability to manage and plan your time effectively and efficiently to conduct innovative research independently and collaboratively, and to share research findings across multi-disciplinary teams and with industry and government
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and a passion and commitment to build strong relationships across all levels of professional staff within the organization


Mandatory: PhD qualified or have recently submitted their thesis in the field Applied Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

Preferred: Completion of the Essentials in Tertiary Teaching Practice program or equivalent (if the appointed candidate does not meet this requirement at time of appointment, they will be supported to complete this as a requirement to fulfil their probation).

Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children check.

Bring your whole self to work

We are better for our diversity. When we listen to those who are different to us, or challenge us, we grow stronger together. When we feel like we belong, we can achieve so much more. We respect each other, embrace our differences and build a sense of belonging in our team and beyond.

We are proud that our dedication to diversity has been recognized by a broad spectrum of external organizations. Visit our Linkedin Life pages to learn more and see some of our most recent wins.

To Apply

Please submit your updated resume and cover letter outlining your experience & achievements by clicking on the 'Apply now link. Please note that a separate response to Key Selection Criteria as stated on the Position Description is required. For any enquiries regarding this role, Dr Filippo Giustozzi ( )

We are also happy to make adjustments to the recruitment process for your accessibility requirements. Please contact us via your preferred type of communication: email or call Kassie on +61399252442 with your request(s).

Applications close Thursday 26th November 2020.

RMIT is an equal opportunity employer committed to being a child safe organisation. We are dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing our people regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age. Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community and we strongly encourage applications from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.

Please note that whilst we still accept applications from any persons interested in our roles, due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are currently prioritising applications from those with current working rights in Australia and who are not affected by travel restrictions. Please see the latest updates to Australias immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak: