Post Doctoral Research Associate

King's College London

Facial disfigurement due to hard and soft tissue loss can have a major impact on people’s social interaction  and quality of life. Facial prostheses are needed when patients are treated for certain cancers, congenital deformities and trauma perhaps relating to accidental injuries affecting for example the nose, lip, eyes, ears or skin or a combination of these depending upon the size of the facial difference. Current methods of rehabilitation rely on custom-made individual facial prostheses. These current methods of manual crafting by maxillofacial specialists are time consuming and difficult to meet patient expectations.

The overall purpose of this research work is to provide support for realising Advanced Additive Manufacturing of User-Focused Facial Prostheses with Real-Life Colour Reproduction. KCL component of the grant is related to developing base line life like skin characteristics of facial skin populations using polymeric materials such as silicone elastomers that are suitable for 3D printing. Both spatial and spectral face data are needed to capture reflective properties, texture and translucency under pose and illumination. This will require the applicant to be conversant with surface imaging techniques and spectrophotometry to capture facial skin data.

This PDRA post is part of a multicentre EPSRC programme grant working with 4 other Universities and the applicant will be expected to work closely with the PDRA’s within the other University teams.

The focus of the Academic Centre of Reconstruction research is to rebuild faces using innovative prostheses based on novel technologies. Thus our research informs our clinical practice by translation research. The patients rehabilitated include children, young adults with congenital malformations of the face, adults who have treated for oral cancer, and those following trauma to the face and neck or suffering from war wounds. This centre is one of the few working in this field worldwide and has established collaborations with centres in the USA, Canada, India, China and in the middle East. Previous translational research has been adapted for use in the NHS and falls into main areas of interest : 1. Digital Technology, 2. Colour Science.

This post will be offered on an 2 year fixed term role with a possible 3 year extension.

This is a full-time  post

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

•       Organizing the collection of surface contour data of various facial profiles.

•       Record different ethnic colour data bases and develop new pigment data bases suitable for dispersing within appropriate polymers suitable for 3D printing of skin colours and matched to various ethnicities.

•       Compare and contrast current standards of colour formulation of various skin ethnicities with newly developed skin colour data bases.

•       Writing documentation for achieving ethical approval

•       Able to work independently, and be open to learn new analytical procedures after suitable training and support from the team

•       Work in an independent manner to attain project goals and solve problems

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Essential criteria

1.       PhD in Dental Materials / Bioengineering or Mechanical Engineering.

2.       Supervisory, planning and organizing skills particularly in relation to experimental design and project management.

3.       Strong analytical skills and problem solving capabilities.

4.       Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.

5.       Well-developed understanding of Health & Safety regulations & procedures and the implication of non-compliance on other staff.

6.       Leadership qualities and ability to work unsupervised, produce own job plans, exercise initiative and self-motivated to further own professional development.

7.       Understanding of and participation in administrative and day-to-day management structures relevant to the laboratory environment.

8.       Excellent organisational and budgetary monitoring skills.

9.       Evidence of ability to engage in high-level research in an interdisciplinary context, with publications commensurate with stage of career

10.   Willingness to network with collaborators on research projects and travel to other sites to conduct research work and meetings.

Desirable criteria

1.       Knowledge of spectrophotometry/ colorimetry

2.       Flexible, cooperative and a willingness to work outside normal hours when required.

3.       Ability to relate to and provide assistance to academics, researchers, students and other technicians when required.

Further information

Interview dates between 20th and 24th March 2023

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