Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Microbial Sciences

Surrey, United Kingdom
£34,308 to £39,745 per annum
28 Nov 2022
End of advertisement period
19 Dec 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Microbial Sciences

Location: Guildford
Salary: £34,308 to £39,745 per annum
Fixed Term
Post Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Friday 23 December 2022
Reference: 086522

The increased use of Li-ion batteries (LiB) has caused a high demand for Li, a high-tech metal found only in a few locations worldwide. Li production is costly, energy-demanding, and environmentally damaging: It is essential to design and optimise methods for recovering Li from spent LiB. Li recycling is complex, expensive, and inefficient, recovering only a small quantity of low-grade Li. Regulations are expected to be introduced in the UK to ensure a high recovery of strategic metals.

This project will focus on designing and optimising a bioelectrochemical system (BES) to recover high purity Li. Exploiting the ability of some microbial species to transfer electrons to external acceptors, we will design a microbial electrochemical system to recover Li from LiB waste, focusing on the main aspects affecting the process: microorganisms, reactor configuration, electrodes, metal concentration, substrates, etc. We will screen diverse microbial species and communities for their capability to remove Li from the waste and test them in different reactor designs (microbial fuel, electrochemical and desalination cells, and tubular reactors). This will provide qualitative and quantitative correlations between metal removal, microbial community composition, electrochemical performance, and the characterisation of different designs of microbial electrochemical reactors for efficient processing of LiB waste.

We are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher preferably with a background in microbial biotechnology and expertise in microbial electrochemical systems, ideally with hands-on experience in metal recovery from wastewaters.

The appointed researcher will design, carry out and analyse experiments to select the best performing species and test their performance in diverse BES configurations to recover Li form diverse waste streams. The researcher will liaise, train, and exchange transfer skills and methodology with colleagues from related projects and set up and optimize the experimental system to optimize the process. There will be opportunities to collaborate with world-class researchers at other leading academic institutions, as well as with our industrial partners.

This project is funded by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) initiative “Towards a circular bioeconomy for technology-relevant metals and textiles” and is a collaboration between the Department of Microbial Sciences, the Centre for Centre for Environment and Sustainability, and the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering of the University of Surrey.

This is an 18months Contract.

Potential candidates interested in discussing details of the project should contact Professor Claudio Avignone Rossa - ( Prof Jhuma Sadhukhan ( or Dr Siddharth Gadkari (

Further details: Job Description

For more information and to apply online, please download the further details and click on the 'apply online' button above.

In return we offer a generous pension, relocation assistance where appropriate, flexible working options including job share and blended home/campus working locations (dependent on work duties), access to world-class leisure facilities on campus, a range of travel schemes and supportive family friendly benefits including an excellent on-site nursery.

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

The University of Surrey is committed to providing an inclusive environment that offers equal opportunities for all. We place great value on diversity and are seeking to increase the diversity within our community. Therefore we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

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