Research Fellow (High-performance elastomer sealing technology) (107426-0523) . Job Reference: 1891063

University of Warwick
May 29, 2023
Offerd Salary:£33,348 - £43,155
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed Term Contract
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Vacancy Type/Job category

Research Only




£33,348 - £43,155 per annum


University of Warwick, Coventry

Vacancy Overview

Fixed Term Contract for 24 months, 36.5 hours per week (1.0 FTE)

High performance elastomers are indispensable for critical applications, such as oil & gas, transport, semi-conductor and nuclear industries. Proposed chemical regulations will restrict use of fluorinated (PFAS) materials commonly used in demanding applications. The Research Fellow will develop novel high-performance elastomer compounds to comply with the proposed regulation via industrial-compatible manufacturing processes, characterisation and evaluation of the structure-properties relationship. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance your career within a research- intensive, and commercially focused environment. You will be based at the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM) and WMG, working with the rubber research team, with full access to the start-of-the- art polymer research facilities at WMG and Warwick. Collaborating closely with the industry funder James Walker you will be involved from material concept design through to scale up and product validation. We are looking for a candidate who has been educated in polymer science and characterisation, with sound experience in a range of practical laboratory skills. Project work will cover hands on mixing of novel elastomers, analysis of material properties and evaluation of structure-property relationships. The ideal candidate should also be highly motivated and have skills and experience in both polymer chemistry and processing. We offer a comprehensive range of benefits including a generous pension scheme and 26 days annual leave (plus 4 customary days taken over the Christmas period). Some fantastic savings on a wide range of products and services, and excellent learning and development opportunities.

At WMG we are committed to supporting staff to achieve their potential. We currently hold the Athena SWAN Bronze Award and the University of Warwick holds an Institutional Silver Award: a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. We are supportive of staff with caring responsibilities including a generous maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave policy, and onsite childcare facilities. We will consider applications for employment on a part-time or other flexible working basis, even where a position is advertised as full-time, unless there are operational or other objective reasons why it is not possible to do so.

If you have not yet been awarded your PhD but are near submission or have recently submitted your PhD, any offers of employment will be made as Research Assistant on level 5 of the University grade structure (£32,411). Upon successful award of your PhD and evidence of this fact, you will be promoted to Research Fellow on the first point of the level 6 of the University grade structure (£33,348).

Informal enquiries about the role can be made by email to Dr Wan ([email protected])

Interview Date: TBC

Job Description


To undertake research in the area of elastomer science and manufacturing in collaboration with James Walker. Work alongside the PI, and the industry collaborator in the successful execution of the project.



1. To establish a sound research base within the Department in order to pursue individual and collaborative research of high quality consistent with making a full active research contribution to the Department and HVMC in line with its research strategy.

2. To attend and present research findings and papers at academic and industrial conferences, communicating with industry and establishing collaborations.

3. To continue to update knowledge and develop skills.

4. To apply patents for newly developed technologies.

5. To publish research outcomes in appropriate journals of international standing and to publish and disseminate the result of research and scholarship in other reputable outlets.

6. To contribute to the research plans developed by the Department, including providing such information as may be required by the Department to monitor the progress of each member of staff's research programme and to support the Department fully in the preparation of material required for the REF or similar activities.

7. To help draft research reports for the Project Leader/Director.

Teaching and Learning Support:

1. Supervise student projects. 2. To give demonstrations to students and industry visitors. 3. To contribute to introductory courses if required, for example on the use of research methods and equipment.

Administration and Other Activities:

1. To participate in department life and may be required to attend departmental meetings.

2. To ensure compliance with health and safety in all aspects of work.

3. To communicate with industry partners and explore collaborations.

4. To work within budget constraints.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.

Essential Criteria 1

Honours degree, 2.1 or above in Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Science & Engineering. (a)

Essential Criteria 2

Possession of a PhD or expecting a PhD with a submitted thesis in polymer science, polymer chemistry, and rubber technology. (a)

Essential Criteria 3

Either strong academic record demonstrated by publications or knowledge and understanding of the synthesis methods, characterisation strategies and processing techniques for polymers and composites. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 4

Knowledge and practical appreciation of rubber processing and characterization. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 5

Strong research potential with the ability or potential to publish high- quality work in relevant field; patent preparation. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 6

Very good skills in technical writing and presentations. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 7

Sufficient breadth or depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within own area. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 8

Range of quantitative and/or qualitative research skills. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 9

Understanding of equal opportunity issues as they may impact on areas of research content. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 10

Able to work autonomously and as part of a team. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 11

Ability to initiate, plan organise, implement and deliver programmes of work to tight deadlines. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 12

Strong interpersonal and communication skills, written and verbal, industry communications. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 13

A flexible approach to working. (a, c)

Desirable Criteria 1

A range of Quantitative and/or Qualitative research skills. (a, c, d)

Desirable Criteria 2

In possession of or working towards a PhD. (a)

Desirable Criteria 3

Ability or potential to generate external funding (grants, contracts etc) to support research projects. (a, c)

Further Particulars

For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars.

For further information about the WMG department, please visit the departmental website.

The Project:

The Research Fellow will develop novel high-performance elastomer compounds with improved sustainability, which will comply with the proposed regulation, via industrial-compatible manufacturing processes, characterisation and evaluation of the structure-properties relationship.

For further information about WMG and the research facilities available to support this role, please visit: here.

The Industrial Funder

James Walker is a British, privately owned, high performance engineering company with operations across the globe. With a 142 year history the company has an enviable reputation for the design, manufacture and supply of sealing products for critical industrial applications. James Walker's elastomer seals are specified in nuclear power plants, on off shore wind turbines, in production plants for COVID vaccine and in the deepest off shore oil and gas wells.

For more information on the James Walker sealing division web-site, please visit: James Walker.

To learn more about James Walker group please visit: Please visit: James Walker Group.

Right to work in the UK

If you do not yet have the right to work in the UK and/or are seeking sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa in the UK points-based immigration system please click on this link which contains further information about obtaining right to work in the UK and details about eligibility for sponsorship for a Skilled Worker Visa.

The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual's differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010. To find out more about our social inclusion work at Warwick visit our webpages here.

We will consider applications for employment on a part-time or other flexible working basis, even where a position is advertised as full-time, unless there are operational or other objective reasons why it is not possible to do so.

Warwick is committed to building an organisation of mutual respect and dignity, promoting a welcoming, diverse and inclusive working and learning environment. We recognise that everyone is different in a variety of visible and non-visible ways, and that those differences are to be recognised, respected, and valued. Where possible, we go beyond legislation to provide a place where everyone can thrive, supporting all staff to achieve their full potential. We aspire to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that may otherwise prevent people from succeeding. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all communities regardless of culture, background, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion/belief, or sexual or romantic orientation.

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants' suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University's Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice.

Closing Date

29 May 2023

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