Research Assistant in Analytical Polymer Chemistry

Cardiff University


Research Assistant in Analytical Polymer Chemistry
Cardiff School of Chemistry
Cardiff University

We seek to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated scientist with proven intellectual and technical abilities to work on a 6 month project, Plastic fish: assessing the scale, chemical properties and biological effects of petrochemical plastics and bioplastics on aquaculture fish, in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Biosciences, and funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

This collaborative project focuses on developing protocols for analysing polymers and plastics from biological samples, which will be provided by collaborators in the School of Biosciences. Training on gel permeation chromatography and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry will be provided but an appreciation for the challenges faced with polymer analysis will be an advantage.

Further information is available at the following group webpages:
Dr Benjamin Ward:            

For informal enquiries about the role and the Cardiff School of Chemistry, please contact Dr Benjamin Ward, email: [email protected] .

For further details about working at Cardiff University, please contact: Ms Caroline Pasmore ([email protected] ; Tel. +44 (0)29 2087 4073).

This position is full time (35 hours per week) and is available from immediately for 6 months.

To work for an employer that values and promotes equality of opportunity, please visit and search for vacancy number: 16317BR.

Salary: £29,762 – £34,314 per annum (Grade 5). We do not anticipate that an appointment be made above £31,411 per annum (Grade 5.26).

Important note: It is the University’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.  Please ensure that the evidence you are providing corresponds with the numbered criteria outlined below. Your application will be considered based on the information you provide under each element.

When attaching the supporting statement to your application profile, please ensure that you name it with the vacancy reference number, e.g. Supporting Statement for 16317BR.

Date advert posted: Thursday, 16 March 2023

Closing date: Thursday, 13 April 2023

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world. In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Main function

To contribute to research within polymer chemistry, particularly polymer analysis from biological samples, carrying out supporting work that helps lead to the publishing of high-quality research. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • To undertake research, e.g. by planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcome of experiments.
  • Actively participate within the research group, communicating and presenting research at meetings, through publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate, ensuring information is communicated to internal and external partners.
  • To contribute and support research publications and presentations as required.
  • To contribute and support research funding bids as required.
  • To analyse and communicate complex ideas, concepts and data using appropriate methods and packages.
  • To resolve issues and support colleagues in devising procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
  • To generate research output and contribute to the development of  independent  and original ideas as appropriate.
  • To provide support in research activities for undergraduate courses and research programmes and provide guidance to other members of staff within the research team.
  • To maintain and update area of specialist knowledge, researching and critically appraising relevant literature within the area.


  • To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • To ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties.
  • To abide by the University policies on Health and Safety and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

1.           A degree in chemistry, or equivalent experience

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

2.           Knowledge of research methods and techniques in analytical polymer chemistry, including sample preparation

3.           Knowledge of methods used to analyse polymer samples (e.g. gel permeation chromatography and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry)

4.           Proven ability to analyse complex information and summarise appropriately

5.           Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies

Communication and Team Working

6.           Proven communication skills, including presentation to various audiences

7.           Excellent organisational and team-working skills


8.           Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and teamworking within work

Desirable Criteria

1.           Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience

2.           Relevant professional qualification(s) – master’s degree in chemistry

3.           Evidence of collaborations with researchers from other disciplines.

4.           Proven ability to work without close supervision

5.           Proven ability to adapt to the changing requirements of the Higher Education community.

Additional Information

Additional Information

This project will focus on developing protocols for analysing polymers and plastics from biological samples, which will be provided by collaborators in the School of Biosciences. Training on gel permeation chromatography and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry will be provided but an appreciation for the challenges faced with polymer analysis will be an advantage.

Job Category

Academic – Research

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