Research Associate

Imperial College London

Job description
Job summary

The Department of Chemical Engineering is seeking a Research Associate to work on materials for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting.

We are seeking an outstanding individual to develop novel approaches to develop materials for photoelectrochemistry, their synthesis, characterisation, and tests, with special emphasis on the interfaces of photoanodes and photocathodes. Our target is to achieve efficient solar energy devices for water splitting (hydrogen generation) and explain property-performance relationships for a rational design.

The post will involve synthesis and development of novel materials (oxide, halide, organic, 2D, … semiconductors) and composites to boost charge transfer and separation, as well as the use of advanced characterisation techniques covering physico-chemical, optoelectronic, and electrochemical properties (XRD, XPS, EIS, LSV, …).

This project is part of an EPSRC project of Dr Salvador Eslava to advance in the research and delivery of materials for the production of hydrogen from sun and water, developing future solar devices for disruptive technologies. Dr Salvador Eslava is a Reader in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.

Duties and responsibilities

  • To take initiatives in the planning of research
  • To direct the work of small research teams
  • To identify and develop suitable techniques, and apparatus, for the collection and analysis of data
  • To conduct data analysis
  • To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times
  • To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • To write reports for submission to research sponsors
  • To present findings to colleagues and at conferences
  • To submit publications to refereed journals
  • To provide guidance to staff and students
  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider community
  • To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College
  • To provide guidance to PhD Students
  • Contribute to bids for research grants
  • To conduct and plan own scientific work with appropriate supervision.
  • To maintain highly organised and accurate record of experimental work
  • To actively participate in the research programme of the Group
  • To publish in high quality journals and to present data at national and international meetings
  • To participate in Group research meetings and internal seminars
  • To collaborate with other allied scientists within Imperial College and elsewhere in London and abroad, as appropriate
  • To contribute to the smooth running of the Group’s laboratories and, facilities with other scientists, clinicians, technicians and students within the laboratories
  • Assist in the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate research students and research assistants as required
  • To comply with the College, Division, and Unit safety practices and to attend courses on safety when appropriate
  • Any other duties as may be deemed reasonable by Head of group as well as Head of Division/Department/Section
  • To undertake any necessary training and/or development
  • To undertake appropriate administration tasks
  • To attend relevant meetings
  • To undertake any teaching as and when required by the Department 

Essential requirements

  • Hold a PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, or Materials Science or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience
  • Practical experience within a research environment and / or publication in relevant and refereed journals
  • Practical experience in a broad range of techniques including microscopies and spectroscopies
  • Practical experience within a research environment and / or publication in relevant and refereed journals
  • Knowledge of semiconductors, electrocatalysis, solar cells or related
  • Knowledge of research methods and statistical procedures
  • Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature
  • Ability to develop and apply new concepts
  • Creative approach to problem-solving
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people
  • Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication
  • Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision
  • Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines
  • Advanced computer skills, including word-processing, spreadsheets and the Internet
  • Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work
  • Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative
  • Flexible attitude towards work
  • Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times
  • Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role
  • Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences

Further information

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £40,694 – £43,888 per annum.

You can start immediately and ideally no later than by April 2024.  The contract will run for 12 months in the first instance, with the possibility of extension subject to extra research funding achieved in the group. The post is based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (South Kensington Campus).

*New appointments will have a maximum starting salary of £49,305 based on experience. 

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Salvador Eslava ([email protected] )

To apply, please click the Apply now button at the top of the page. Please ensure you include a completed application form with your submission. 

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 Sunday 7th January 2023.

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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