Research Associate

Imperial College London

Job description
Job summary

An opportunity has arisen for a Research Associate to work on a funded research project involving biobased detergent in the Department of Chemical Engineering . Imperial College is seeking a formulation scientist for an Innovate UK project in collaboration with Bioataraxis.

Today, most of the surfactants used in cleaning products are derived from fossil fuels, contributing to climate change. While the implementation of green surfactants has been achieved in small extent, this often results in products that are more expensive and with lower performance. The implementation of biobased surfactants derived from renewable sources which can deliver the same performance in cleaning compared to fossil options can lead to enormous advantages in improving the environmental credentials of this industry and establish new consumer products which can meet the price targets and performance expected in the market.

The project will involve c developing new formulations using a new biobased surfactant developed by the Imperial College spin-out Bioataraxis with the aim to establish new highly performing finished products for cleaning applications which can match the performance of commercial fossil fuel-based ones.

Duties and responsibilities

You will study cleaning behaviour of this surfactant in a mixture with other ingredients to optimize the cleaning performance towards a specific set of stains.

You will carry out research programmes to investigate the behaviour and design of catalysts for oxidative biorefining. The project will involve the synthesis and characterisation of heterogeneous catalysis, oxidation reactions and preparation and characterization of biobased surfactants. The reactions will be carried out in a multiphase flow system.

Essential requirements

  • Hold a Masters or PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or a closely related field, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience.
  • Practical experience within a research environment and / or publication in relevant and refereed journals
  • Experience with a range of analytical techniques, including HPLC, UV-vis, surface and materials characterisation
  • Willingness to work within a team and to be open-minded and collaborative
  • Experience in organising data
  • Good presentation skills

Preferably, you will also have previous experience in formulation science and design of experiments.

Further information

You can start immediately and ideally no later than by 1st of June 2023.  The contract will run for 4 months in the first instance, with the possibility of extension subject to research funding. The post is based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (South Kensington Campus).

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant (£38,194 to £41,388 per annum). 

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Professor Jason Hallett ([email protected] )

To apply, please select the Apply Now button at the top of this page.  Candidates will need to complete an online application.

Further information about the post is available in the job description.

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact [email protected] .

Closing date:Midnight on Thursday 01 June 2023

Interview date(s): Will be arranged flexibly for the candidates

For technical issues when applying online please email [email protected]

The College is currently trialling a Work Location Framework until early 2023.  Hybrid working may be considered for this role and the role holder may be expected to work 60% or more of their time onsite, with 40% the minimum time spent onsite.  The opportunity for hybrid working will be discussed at interview.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.   

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people


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