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Postdoctoral Research Associate

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604 - 32,548 a year
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Role Description

A fixed term postdoctoral appointment is available in the Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, part of the Department of Chemistry, to support two recently funded projects associated with measurement of VOCs and other air pollutants.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York. The Department was placed in the top ten UK universities for Research Power by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF).  As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.


The position will involve collecting and analysing whole air samples during research flights around oil and gas drilling platforms in the North Sea, UK, and assist in apportioning the source of enhanced methane.  The second project will utilise the same instrumentation to observe VOCs in Hanoi, Vietnam in order to identify key VOC emission sources and compare these to identical observations being made in Ho Chi Minh City as part of the same project.  These will then be placed in the context of other emerging megacities.

The position will also involve performing lab tests to better understand and quantify the uncertainties involved in the sampling of VOCs.  The processes of current concern include: effects of ozone; effects of humidity; and the incomplete transfer of compounds leading to carry-over.  This will require close collaboration with colleagues at the University of York and other Universities and research institutes, with a view to developing better methodologies in the future.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

As well as being suitable for candidates with a background in chemistry, this appointment would also equally suit you if you have a first degree in Physics or Engineering. You are expected to have an appropriate PhD level qualification in one of these areas.

You should have research expertise in data manipulation and a broad knowledge of atmospheric science and a good knowledge of gas chromatography applied to VOC measurement techniques.  You will also have knowledge of a range of research techniques, in particular methodologies for in situ gas phase observations.  You should have a willingness to travel and an ability to communicate effectively with both scientists and non-scientists.

In addition you will have:

  • Highly developed oral and written communication skills including competency to make presentations at conferences
  • The ability and experience of writing up research work for publication and engaging in public dissemination
  • The ability and experience of developing research objectives, projects and proposals and conducting research projects
  • The ability to identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds, with collaborators if required         

The post is full time and fixed-term for a period of 12 months and will be available from 1st June 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. Further funding may be available to extend this post to 21 months in total.

Salary from £31,604 - £32,548 on grade 6 of the University’s salary scales.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr James Hopkins ( 

Closing date: 30 March 2018

Interview date: 23 April 2018

The Department of Chemistry values all employees for the qualities and skills they bring to the workplace and aims to be a diverse and egalitarian community in which all can thrive. 


The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community  – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

Athena Swan Gold 

 A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatYork



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Why York?

York is one of the most successful universities in the UK.

With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.