Human Resources

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - QMUL19013

Department: School of Engineering & Materials Science
Salary: £33,614 to £37,411 per annum (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL19013
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 10-Jun-2019
Closing date: 05-Aug-2019

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Postdoctoral Research Assistant - Engineering of Polymer/Protein Nanosheets for Stem Cell Technologies

Applications are invited for a three-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position, to work on a research project funded by the European Research Council, within the group of Dr Julien Gautrot.

Biointerfaces play an essential role in the field of biomedical engineering, in particular for the control of cell adhesion, proliferation and fate decision. In addition to biochemical cues directing cell phenotype, the physical properties of the cell microenvironment modulate such behaviour. In particular, our group demonstrated that nanoscale mechanical properties play an important role in determining cell behaviour. This project aims to develop and characterise novel soft matter interfaces based on protein/polymer nanosheets with controlled viscoelastic properties and able to regulate cell adhesion and phenotype at liquid-liquid interfaces for the development of stem cell bioreactors and for tissue engineering.

The applicant will study the self-assembly of synthetic polymers and proteins at liquid-liquid interfaces and characterise their morphology (electron microscopy and AFM), as well as nanoscale mechanics (via interfacial rheology). The project will establish structure-property relationships between polymer design, nanosheet morphology and nano-mechanics, and stem cell phenotype at the corresponding liquid interfaces.

Our research group has a strong track-record in the field of materials science, biomaterials science and polymer coatings (see Chem. Rev. 2014, ACS Nano 2018, Nano Lett. 2018 and 2014, Nature Materials 2012, Nature Cell Biology 2010). See our webpage ( for further details. The successful candidate will join our multidisciplinary team and build a strong expertise in the characterisation of biointerfaces and nanocomposites, for the culture of adherent stem cells.

Applicants should have, or be about to gain, a PhD or equivalent in Chemistry, Materials Science or equivalent subjects. Experience in the fields of soft matter chemistry and mechanics, self-assembly and biointerfaces is also required.

The post is full time and fixed term for 36 months. The project, funded by the ERC, is expected to start 1st October 2019.

Starting salary will be in the range of £33,614 to £37,411 per annum

Additional Information

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Julien Gautrot via email to

Application enquiries should be directed to

Details about the School of Engineering and Materials Science can found at

The closing date for applications is 5 August 2019.  Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.

The School of Engineering & Materials Science and Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science and is a registered member of WISE. We are committed to the equality of opportunities and to advancing women’s careers. We have policies to support staff returning from long-term absence, for flexible arrangements for staff with parental responsibilities and for childcare support for the attendance of conferences. As part of the School’s commitment to the Athena SWAN and the WISE principles we strongly encourage applications from women.


Valuing Diversity & Committed to Equalit

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