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Research Associate

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,817 - 40,322 a year
Interview Date
Week beginning 6 September 2021
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description


The Department of Physics is at the forefront of pioneering global research and technological advancement in our world leading research centres, focused around biophysics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, and plasma physics and fusion energy at the York Plasma Institute. 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 aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education, and are proud of our Juno Champion Award and Athena SWAN Silver Award.


We seek a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to work under the direction of Prof. Matt Probert (Department of Physics) on an EPSRC funded projected entitled ‘Anisotropy in Antiferromagnets’. The main objective of the project is the investigation of the origin of the anisotropy in antiferromagnetic materials via a combination of experimental measurements and first principles modelling. This position will focus on the theoretical aspects of the project including first principles modelling of the origin of antiferromagnetism in a range of different materials, and doing a combined crystal structure + magnetic structure search for new candidate antiferromagnetic materials. The results of the modelling will be validated against the experimental studies that will be proceeding in parallel. Funding for this appointment is available for 48 months. The initial appointment will be for 24 months (subject to an initial probation period) and may be extended further.

The aim of this part of the project is to develop a fundamental understanding of the origins of anisotropy in AF materials, investigate the factors that control it, and search for new candidate AF materials. The tools used will be CASTEP – a widely used Density Functional Theory (DFT) program co-developed by our group, CASTEP-GA – a multi-objective global optimization program that uses CASTEP to search both crystal structure and magnetic structure space for candidate materials and is sole developed by our group, and VAMPIRE – a micromagnetics program developed by colleagues in the Department.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • You will have a strong first degree in Physics or related subject and a PhD in the field of first principles modelling of materials.
  • You should have experience in computer programming, ideally with modern Fortran.
  • You should have experience in using parallel computers with Linux.
  • Ideally you should have experience of modelling magnetic systems using DFT
  • Ideally you should have experience in using CASTEP.
  • You should be knowledgeable and experienced in the planning, conduct, analysis, interpretation and validation of scientific findings and in the publication and presentation of high-quality research, evidenced by publication. 
  • You should be enthusiastic and have the organisation skills to help co-ordinate a cross-site, multi-disciplinary team.

Interview date: Week beginning 6 September 2021.

For informal enquiries: please contact Prof. Matt Probert on ( or contact

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

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