Research Associate in Soft Matter Theory (Fixed Term) University of Cambridge, Department of Chemistry United Kingdom

Research Associate - Soft Matter Theory (Fixed Term)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.


Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in the group of Dr Rob Jack, in the Dept of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The project aims to develop a computational method for accurate characterisation of soft matter systems, including colloidal mixtures and polymer solutions. The accuracy of the method will be optimised by combining information from detailed (fine-grained) and approximate (coarse-grained) representations of the systems of interest.


The position is funded by the Leverhulme trust, as part of an interdisciplinary project between chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The project is led by Dr Rob Jack (Cambridge), in conjunction with Prof Nigel Wilding and Prof Rob Scheichl (University of Bath).


The project will combine Monte Carlo methods from statistical mechanics [1] with a multi-level approach from mathematics [2], in order to obtain accurate computational results in systems where direct simulation is unfeasible. For example, in mixtures of large and small colloidal particles, the large numbers of small particles mean that simulations can be expensive, even with advanced methods [3]. Coarse-grained models can be simulated more easily, but their accuracy is limited. The successful candidate will develop and implement a method that combines the two levels of description in a self-consistent way, aiming to combine the accuracy of detailed models with the efficiency of simulation that comes from coarse-graining.


The successful candidate should have (or be about to obtain) a Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, or a related discipline, with experience of computer simulation methods and a working knowledge of statistical mechanics. They must be highly motivated, and have a strong record of innovative research consistent with the stage of their career.


The post is funded for 3 years and is available from 1 April 2018


[1] D Frenkel and B Smit, Understanding molecular simulation (Elsevier, 2001). [2] DF Anderson, DJ Higham, SIAM Multiscale Modelling and Simul. 10, 146 (2012). [3] DJ Ashton, RL Jack, and NB Wilding, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 237801 (2015); DJ Ashton, RL Jack, and NB Wilding, Soft Matter 9, 9661 (2013).


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.


For queries relating to the position or your application, please contact Dr Rob Jack via email on


Please quote reference MA14359 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.


The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.


The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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Further information

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