Postdoctoral Research Associate in Industrial Applications of NMR Crystallography

Durham, United Kingdom
£35,333 per annum
08 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
09 Oct 2022
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Chemistry

Grade 7: - £35,333 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 18 Months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date : 09-Oct-2022, 6:59:00 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.

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

Durham Chemistry is one of the very best in the UK, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked fifth overall in REF2014 and first for impact, we are an active and vibrant department, pursuing innovative research agendas and hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award supporting the development of women in science.

The Role

Applicants are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate, working in the area of NMR crystallography, who will be seconded to work on 4–6 month projects at three UK-based companies. The Collaborative Computational Project in NMR Crystallography (CCP-NC) supports a multidisciplinary community of NMR spectroscopists, crystallographers, materials modellers and application scientists by developing and integrating software across the area of NMR crystallography. Building on prior successful experience, we are looking to recruit a researcher who will work with the selected three companies (GSK, Pfizer and Johnson-Matthey) to further the use of NMR crystallography in Industry, assisting with the deployment of CCP-NC software, identifying research requirements, and helping address those needs. The post-holder will be employed through Durham University, but will be primarily on secondment at each of the three companies, although a certain degree of remote working can be accommodated. The researcher will interact closely with other members of the CCP-NC community, particularly Prof. Paul Hodgkinson (Durham University, Director of CCP-NC, grant-holder), Prof. Sharon Ashbrook (St. Andrews University) and Prof. Steven Brown (Warwick University).


  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Project Partners.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Project Partners.
  • To work with the Project Partners to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Project Partners Ir and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to industrial colleagues as appropriate.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses.   

This post is fixed term for a period of 18 months.

The post-holder is employed to work on research projects which will be led by the Project Partners for a given secondment. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post no later than 1 Jan 2023.

How to Apply

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to informally discuss the position with Prof. Paul Hodgkinson, paul.hodgkinson@durham.ac.uk.   

Applications must be submitted 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 detail your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include a review of qualifications and experience, a task-based presentation and an interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.

The Requirements



  • A first degree in the physical sciences and a PhD (or have submitted a thesis) in a field closely aligned to NMR crystallography.


  • Demonstrated expertise in first-principles calculations of NMR parameters for the solid state.
  • Experience in conducting high quality research.
  • Excellent oral presentation skills, including presentation of research at conferences and communication of complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.


  • A good fundamental understanding of the areas of science relevant to NMR crystallography.
  • Ability to work independently on own initiative, with a track record of effective working.
  • Excellent team-working and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written presentation skills, including demonstrable ability to prepare and deliver accurate written reports.



  • Strong publication record relevant to NMR crystallography in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  • Experience of interacting with scientists working in industry.
  • Experience of practical work in a solid-state NMR laboratory.
  • Experience with Python and task automation.
  • Experience of assisting less experienced researchers in their work and overseeing their development of the knowledge and research skills.


  • Understanding of current questions in the field of NMR crystallography and their applications in a commercial context.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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