Research Associate in Supramolecular Chemistry and Molecular Walkers

University of York
April 16, 2024
Offerd Salary:£36,024 - £44,263
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Research Associate in Supramolecular Chemistry and Molecular Walkers




£36,024 - £44,263 per year


Grade 6

Contract status

Fixed term

Hours of work


Based at

University of York campus

Posted Date


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Job Reference



  • Job description 13236.pdf (PDF, 304.38kb)
  • Role Description

    Applications are invited for a research associate to work in the group of Professor Victor Chechik. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this post is available for 36 months and aims to develop “molecular sprinters”, molecular machines that move rapidly along surfaces.


    The post-holder will work on the development of molecular sprinters. The sprinters will be based on the reversible, associative reactions of the moving molecules with the organic functional groups on the underlying surface (self- assembled monolayers). The first challenge will thus include testing the selected chemical reactions for suitability for molecular sprinting, initially in bulk solutions. This part of the project will involve some (rudimentary) organic synthesis, and mechanistic investigations. The second objective will be to apply the chosen reactions to surface walkers, and develop methodologies for monitoring their movement. We plan to use fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy for this purpose, including building specialised cells. The third objective will be to make the movement of molecular sprinters directional rather than random. This is the most exciting but also risky part of the project.

    This project will apply a physical organic chemistry approach (understanding of reaction mechanisms and factors affecting rates of reactions) and advances in dynamic covalent chemistry to the world of surface molecular walkers. If successful, the development of fast molecular sprinters will change our perception of macroscopic changes which could result from the movement of individual molecules. However even if we fail to make the very fast molecular sprinters, the development of fast and reversible reactions could conceptually change our approach to design of dynamic systems by moving them to a completely different timescale.

    The research associate will provide guidance to other staff and students as required and may assist with undergraduate teaching. The successful candidate will join a welcoming, diverse and supportive team in the Chechik group. We value and support career-development opportunities throughout the project.


    The Department of Chemistry at the University of York is renowned internationally for its research. This research reputation stands alongside the Department's distinctive and highly praised approach to teaching, and also to its sector-leading family friendly working policies. The department is one of the largest and most successful departments at York. As a department, we strive to provide a working environment that allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena Swan Gold Award.

    Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed

  • First degree and PhD in Chemistry or related discipline.

  • Expert knowledge of research techniques and methodologies used in organic chemistry

  • Research interest in physical organic (mechanistic) chemistry

  • Knowledge of supramolecular chemistry research (e.g., molecular machines)

  • Ability to produce high quality publications, using high level analytical skills.

  • Ability to be an effective team member and to forge meaningful relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

  • Committed to personal development and keeping your knowledge and skills up to date.

  • Interview date: To be confirmed

    Informal enquiries are welcome: please contact Professor Victor Chechik, [email protected], 01904 324185.

    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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