Research Associate in Engineering or Physical Science

Edinburgh, UK
Nov 06, 2018
Dec 05, 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

A Research Associate is sought to work on BIODROP: "Pattern analysis of evaporated drop deposits for early diagnosis and follow-up of bladder cancer" a project sponsored by the Katip Celebi Newton Fund and run in conjunction with Sabanci University in Turkey. The project would be suited to a Chemical or Mechanical Engineer or Physical Scientist interested in experimental work and theoretical analysis. The work will involve characterisation of the evaporation of bio-drops of simplified 'blood serum' and 'urea' model solutions on a variety of both structured and plain substrates using goniometers and micro PIV to characterise the evaporation process, along with analysis of the resulting deposition patterns. Whilst prior experience with velocimetry techniques, such as PIV, would be advantageous, these can be acquired in the role. The successful candidate will liaise with researchers at Sabanci University regarding deposition studies of human blood, blood serum and urine samples from both bladder cancer patients and healthy people and liaise with colleagues in Artificial Intelligence and Chemistry regarding deposition patterns formed and their composition. The postholder will also spend time at Sabanci University ensuring consistency of the techniques performed there relative to those in Edinburgh.

This is a fixed-term appointment for 10 months.

The culture of the School of Engineering and the University is open and diverse and we are committed to reflecting that in our appointment process.

1. Job Details

Job title: Research Associate in Engineering or Physical Science

School: School of Engineering

Unit: Institute for Multi-scale Thermofluids

Line manager: Dr John R E Christy

2. Job Purpose

This Research Associate position will contribute to the "Pattern Analysis of Evaporated Drop Deposits for Early Diagnosis and Follow-up of Bladder Cancer" within the Institute for Multi-scale Thermofluids at the University of Edinburgh, which is funded by the Katip Celebi Newton Fund, the post will be carried out in collaboration with colleagues at Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey.

3. Main Responsibilities

  • Undertake research related to wetting, evaporation and deposition pattern on dry-out of drops of complex fluids. This will entail both independent research work and working in collaboration with other researchers on the "Pattern Analysis of Evaporated Drop Deposits for Early Diagnosis and Follow-up of Bladder Cancer". The successful candidate will proactively engage with collaborating researchers to identify fruitful lines of research in this area, with a view to understanding, defining, and quantifying deposit patterns indicative of the existence of bladder cancer and its spread. (60% of time)
  • Dissemination of research findings through internal reports, conference proceedings, and journal publications. (15% of time)
  • Liaison with and support of colleagues on the Katip Celebi Newton Fund funded "Pattern Analysis of Evaporated Drop Deposits for Early Diagnosis and Follow-up of Bladder Cancer", possibly including domestic and international travel and support of meetings at the University of Edinburgh and Sabanci University. (10% of time)
  • Develop plans for personal research and contribute to wider development of group strategy to identify and agree priorities for current and future work. (5% of time)
  • Contribute to writing bids to win ongoing research grants. Provide guidance to other staff and students interested in integrating methods/results from this work into their own activity to ensure most effective use, particularly within the University of Edinburgh and Sabanci University. (10% of time)

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    • Work with the line manager to define and plan a programme of relevant research work and then to produce publishable results within appropriate timescales
    • Work independently to plan the schedule of tasks to ensure that work of the projects progresses according to agreed overall timetable
    • Organise own time so that different aspects of the project can proceed in parallel giving due consideration to the needs of other members of the team
    • Be proactive in interacting with project partners to share data and ideas
    • Take a leadership role in regular project meetings to report and review progress, and to generate new ideas and lines of research
    • Determine the aims, objectives and deadlines for short to medium term work plan, in discussion with the Line Manager (particularly for medium term planning).
    • Contribute to long-term strategic planning and development of group activities, in discussion with the Line Manager and other researchers.

    5. Problem Solving

    • Be resourceful in overcoming problems encountered in the development of new approaches and the implementation of existing techniques in the normal course of the research.
    • Define the methodology to solve the problems in the project.
    • Work in close cooperation with the other project investigators, project partners, technical staff, and PhD students working on the project to resolve problems, as required.

    6. Decision Making

    • The post-holder should be able to organise his/her work schedule to ensure satisfactory progress and to meet the demands (where realistic) of other project partners, PhD students, etc. The successful candidate will play an important role as a member of the team in making daily decisions about their own plan of work and the allocation of time and resources.
    • Manage day-to-day work load, making independent decisions about immediate priorities to meet short and medium term targets that have been agreed with Line Manager.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    Frequent (daily to weekly) contact with other researchers in the project team and relevant research groups including academic staff, other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

    Regular (weekly to monthly) contact with other researchers working on relevant problems in the University of Edinburgh.

    Regular (typically monthly) contact with researchers on the project at Sabanci University.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


    • A good undergraduate degree and a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Bio-related engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Physics, Chemistry, or a clearly related area, with a focus on fluid behaviour and interfacial science or a closely related area.
    • Proven track record of research using experimental techniques with a specific focus on interfacial science or molecular behaviour or a closely related area.
    • Experience in delivering research project results in an academic context; i.e. a record of peer-reviewed journal and conference papers in a relevant area.
    • Capable of working collaboratively with researchers from different disciplines or technical background.
    • Capable of working independently, exercising a high degree of initiative and demonstrating a pro-active and flexible approach to work.
    • Ability to work under pressure to meet agreed milestones.
    • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships.
    • Good time-keeping and time-management, with associated effective prioritisation of tasks.
    • Good communication skills; oral, writing and presentation of data.
    • Ability to contribute ideas and initiate new ways of working.


    • Ability to be adaptive and accepting of new ideas and a willingness to approach new challenges and adjusts plans to meet new priorities.
    • Previous experience in using fluid velocimetry techniques, such as PIV.
    • Previous experience in using optical measurement techniques.

    9. Dimensions

    • Potential to help supervise up to 2 PhD students and 2-4 Masters project students.
    • Work collaboratively with other PDRAs, industrial and academic partners, PhD students from the participating and related groups and researchers from other universities.
    • Responsibility for regular progress reporting to project partners.
    • Keep line manager up-to-date with progress.
    • Contribute to interactions between immediate group and broader communities working in the fields of interfacial science and engineering.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page via our Vacancy Website and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

  • Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .


    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,199 to £39,609 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
    var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i The School of Engineering The School of Engineering addresses diverse complex challenges across the entire field of engineering, at the micro- and macro/global scales. At the microscopic scale, its research supports the design and deployment of novel nanotechnology and devices for biological monitoring and medical diagnosis; at the macro/global scale, it optimises the security and sustainability of the built environment and develops engineering solutions to climate change issues. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School's joint submission with Heriot-Watt University was first in the UK in research power (662) with 94% of our research activity achieving world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) ratings. The School has a strong track record in producing more than 50 technology spin-outs and developing industry links that enable our graduates to build career-long relationships. Current research grant awards total over £75M with new awards in 2017-2018 totalling £27.5 M.

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      College of Science and Engineering ( ) The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor David Robertson, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy) as well as a national supercomputing centre (the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) and the Bayes Centre for interdisciplinary data science and innovation. We extend beyond the University through many joint activities - for example we host the cross-Scotland DataLab innovation Centre, we are a founding partner in the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, and we are a partner in UK-wide collaborations including the Alan Turing Institute and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Most Schools are located 2 miles south of the city centre at the King's Buildings whilst Informatics, EPCC and Bayes are located in the University's Central Area near George Square. The College has over 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research consortia.

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