Postdoctoral Research Associate in Quantum Light and Matter

Durham, United Kingdom
£36,333 to £38,474 per annum
08 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
06 Apr 2023
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Role

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available to pursue experimental research in the field of atomic and laser physics within the Durham Quantum Light and Matter group. The position is associated with the Zeeman-Sisyphus Deceleration of Molecules grant funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). The aim of which is to build and optimise a novel decelerator for calcium monofluoride molecules.

The post holder will work closely with Dr. Hannah Williams and other members of the research group and will be expected to display the initiative and creativity, together with the appropriate skills and knowledge, required to lead and develop the experiment to meet the project goals. These include: (1) Building and characterising a molecular buffer gas source (2) Simulations of the deceleration method (3) Complete characterisation and optimisation of the decelerator to produce a slow molecular beam.

The post holder is therefore expected to have experience and familiarity with the techniques used in the study of ultracold gases, including experimental expertise in vacuum and laser systems as well as strong data analysis and simulation skills. The post holder is expected to be able to work effectively both independently and as part of a small research team. It is expected that the post holder will enhance the international contacts of the group through the presentation of work at international conferences. The post holder will also be expected to aid in the supervision of graduate students within the group as well as contributing to the undergraduate teaching within the Department.

The Quantum Light and Matter group (QLM) is one of the UK's leading groups for atomic, molecular and optical physics research. Projects within the QLM investigate experimental and theoretical topics ranging from laser cooling and Bose-Einstein Condensation to nonlinear optics and Rydberg physics. The QLM comprises 10 faculty, 11 post-doctoral researchers and 22 Ph.D. students.


  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • 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 Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, 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 Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for 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 deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.

This post is for a fixed term of 15 months.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. 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 by June 2023.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs