Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Exeter
March 06, 2024
Offerd Salary:£41,732 to £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The starting salary will be from £41,732 to £44,263 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.


Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

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JD P91339.pdf
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Job description

Project Single-molecule in vivo biosensor based on microlasers

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This new full time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis until 31 October 2024.

Summary of the role

The Faculty wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in developing a single molecule in vivo biosensor.

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented Postdoctoral Researcher to join our interdisciplinary team at the University of Exeter, Laboratory of Prof Vollmer, see

The successful candidate will lead a pioneering research project focused on the development of single molecule in vivo biosensors based on whispering gallery modes (WGMs). This project presents an exciting opportunity to advance the frontier of biosensing technology and make significant contributions to the fields of biophotonics, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering.

Background : Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are a class of optical microresonators renowned for their ability to confine light waves within whispering gallery-like trajectories along the circumference of a circular or spherical cavity. These resonators exhibit exceptionally high quality (Q) factors, enabling prolonged photon lifetime and ultra-sensitive detection of minute changes in the surrounding environment. Over the years, WGM resonators have found diverse applications in optical sensing, spectroscopy, and telecommunications.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in leveraging the unique properties of WGM resonators for the development of single molecule biosensors. By functionalizing the resonator surface with specific biomolecular receptors, such as antibodies or aptamers, WGM biosensors can detect and quantify individual biomolecules with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity. This capability holds immense potential for elucidating fundamental biological processes, studying molecular interactions, and diagnosing diseases at the single molecule level.

Despite significant progress in the field of WGM biosensing, several challenges remain, particularly in extending these techniques to in vivo applications.

The job : In this context, the postdoctoral position aims to address the critical need for developing single molecule in vivo biosensors based on whispering gallery modes of microlasers. The successful candidate will play a pivotal role in advancing the frontier of WGM biosensing technology and overcoming the barriers to in vivo molecular detection. By integrating expertise in photonics, molecular biology, and biomedical engineering, the postdoctoral researcher will lead groundbreaking research efforts aimed at designing, fabricating, and characterizing WGM microlaser biosensors tailored for in vivo applications.


Design and fabricate whispering gallery mode (WGM) biosensors capable of detecting and characterizing single molecules in living systems. WGM biosensors will be based on microlasers, see the relevant section of this perspective article: https: //

Develop innovative experimental methodologies for in vivo imaging and sensing of biomolecular interactions and dynamics at the single molecule level using WGM microlasers.

Conduct rigorous experimental studies to validate the performance, sensitivity, and specificity of the developed biosensors in biological samples and complex environments.

This EPSRC-funded post is available immediately to 31 October 2024. The successful applicant will fabricate microlaser sensors based on microbeads and customise optical platform to image the sensors and acquire the optical spectrum which contains information on molecule detection. Applicant will characterise the sensing performance and apply these sensors for in vivo sensing applications working together with biologists.

Review article: Review of biosensing with whispering-gallery mode lasers

https: // www.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in photonics with applications to molecule sensing and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to fabricate whispering gallery mode microlasers, built experimental platform for excitation of microlasers, imaging and spectroscopy. Postdoc will have the skills to collaborate with biologists and develop in vivo sensing applications.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career

  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a Fertility Treatment Policy

  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon

  • The University of Exeter

    We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 and QS World University Ranking 2024). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2023, underpinned by Gold ratings for Student Experience and Student Outcomes.

    Our world-leading research impact has grown more than any other Russell Group university in recent years, and we are home to some of the world's most influential researchers, seeking to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today. More than 99 percent of our research is of international quality and 47 percent is world-leading (2021 Research Excellence Framework).

    We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City

    Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

    We are committed to ensuring reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

    Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community.

    With over 30,000 students and 7,000 staff from 150 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN and Project Juno for Physics), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer.

    We are proud signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and welcome applications from service people.

    Further information

    Please contact Frank Vollmer, [email protected] or telephone (01392) 72411.

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