Research Fellow, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

United Kingdom
Oct 17, 2016
Nov 14, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

To be an active member of the research project team being responsible for the design, synthesis, characterisation and testing of a range of heterogeneous catalysis for CH4 combustion at Queen’s University, Belfast. To organise appropriate visits to partner universities and the Research Complex at Harwell and to spend time at these institutions. Assist in the development of research proposals and dissemination materials. To ensure the planning and delivery of the research activity and that the overall research objectives of the project and the school are met.


  • Synthesise and characterise functionalised microporous materials; test these materials for total CH4 combustion and subsequently analyse and write up the results of these experiments.
  • Develop and plan an area of personal research and expertise and undertake research under supervision within the specified research project as a member of the research team.
  • Design, develop and refine experimental apparatus and experiments in order to obtain reliable data.
  • Carry out analyses, critical evaluations, and interpretations using methodologies and other techniques appropriate to the area of research.
  • Present regular progress reports on research to members of the research group and to external audiences to disseminate and publicise research findings.
  • Prepare, often in consultation with supervisor, material for publication in national and international journals and presentations at international conferences.
  • Assist grant holder in the preparation of funding proposals and applications to external bodies.
  • Carry out routine administrative tasks associated with the research project/s to ensure that project/s are completed on time and within budget. These might include organisation of project meetings and documentation, financial control, risk assessment of research activities.
  • Carry out occasional undergraduate supervision, demonstrating or lecturing duties within the post holder’s area of expertise and under the direct guidance of a member of academic staff. Read academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast of developments in own specialism and related disciplines.

Planning and Organising:

  • Plan for specific aspects of research programmes. Timescales range from 1-6 months in advance and contribute to research group planning.
  • Plan for the use of research resources, laboratories and workshops where appropriate.
  • Plan own day-to day activity within framework of the agreed research programme.
  • Plan up to a year in advance to meet deadlines for journal publications and to prepare presentations and papers for conferences.
  • Coordinate and liaise with other members of the research group over work progress.

Resource Management Responsibilities:

  • Ensure research resources are used in an effective and efficient manner. Provide guidance as required to support staff and any students who may be assisting with research.


Internal and External Relationships:

  • Liaise on a regular basis with colleagues and students.
  • Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration.
  • Join external networks to share information and ideas.
  • Contribute to the School’s outreach programme by establishing links with local community groups, industries etc.


  • BSc or BEng (Hons.) or equivalent in Chemistry or related subject.
  • Normally have or be about to obtain a relevant PhD (Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Materials Science).
  • At least 3 years recent relevant research experience in:

- Activity testing of heterogeneous catalysts for gas phase reactions.
- Practical experience of preparing supported catalyst materials.
- Lab-based characterisation (particularly spectroscopy/scattering methods) of inorganic materials.


  • Ability to contribute to broader management and administrative processes.
  • Contribute to the School’s outreach programme by links with industry, community groups etc.
  • Sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes.
  • Proven record of ability to conduct high quality research, as reflected by the authorship of publications (ideally as first author) and other research output, in areas such as heterogeneous catalysis, inorganic or materials chemistry.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, to build contacts and participate in internal and external networks.
  • An excellent knowledge of written and spoken English is required for report writing, presentations and journal/conference applications.
  • Demonstrable intellectual ability.
  • Ability to assess and organise resources.
  • Good interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Proven record of ability to manage time and work to strict deadlines.
  • Willingness to work at other sites when required.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours as needed.
  • Understanding of laboratory safety practice.


  • Practical experience in:
  • The synthesis of functionalised microporous materials;
  • Acquiring and analysing data collected at central facilities;
  • Acquisition and analysis (Rietveld refinement) of powder diffraction or XAFS data;
  • In situ catalyst characterisation;
  • Analysis of kinetic data.