Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Engineering and Materials Science

Queen Mary University of London School of Engineering and Materials Science

Postdoctoral Research Assistant 

Department: School of Engineering & Materials Science
Salary: £34,220 - £38,084 per annum (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL24137
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 28-Jan-2021
Closing date: 28-Feb-2021


About the Role

SEMS is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to be part of an international EPSRC-funded project (TomoSAXS) to couple synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and phase-contrast micro-tomography (pCT) to enable 3D imaging of fibrillar collagenous tissue in joints and intervertebral discs (IVD).

About You

The post holder will have a PhD in physics, bioengineering, materials science, or related fields, and preferably research and expertise in some or all of the following: synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering and diffraction, tissue mechanics and modelling, biological sample preparation and handling, scientific programming, and synchrotron X-ray imaging. Your expertise should be at a level appropriate to conduct research and publish new knowledge in leading international research journals.

About the Project

This is a joint project between Queen Mary University of London (QMUL),  University College London (UCL) and Diamond Light Source (DLS:, funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in collaboration with ESRF (, ETH-Zurich, University of Manchester and Oregon State University (USA). It aims to develop a path-breaking new X-ray bioengineering modality (TomoSAXS) combining synchrotron tomographic (micro) and X-ray scattering (nano) imaging in the same platform to visualise biophysical structural dynamics from the molecular to the macroscale in hydrated collagenous tissues concurrently.

You will 1) develop experimental and modelling techniques for 3D synchrotron SAXS reconstruction of model fibrillar tissues and IVD 2) combine the 3D SAXS reconstruction with 3D pCT imaging and in situ loading to develop a validated TomoSAXS technique in collaboration with other researchers 3) use TomoSAXS to measure multiscale strains and injury mechanisms in IVD under physiological loading with nano-scale accuracy. The synchrotron studies will be primarily at Diamond Light Source (DLS) at Harwell and will be supported by research placements at ESRF and at ETH-Zurich. A second PDRA, based at UCL, will lead the pCT development and development of the in situ mechanical rig.

About Queen Mary University of London

QMUL is a leading UK research university, and member of the Russell Group. The post is in the Institute of Bioengineering and School of Engineering and Materials Science (, and the candidate will be based at DLS at the Harwell Science Campus near Oxford, in a vibrant multidisciplinary research team comprising of members of the PI’s (Dr. Gupta) and coIs’ (Profs. Peter D. Lee and Nicholas J. Terrill) groups.

Benefits include access to a comprehensive range of personal and professional development opportunities.

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment for 3.5 years, with an expected start date of 1st April 2021. The salary will be Grade 4, £34,220 - £38,084 per annum (pro rata).

Queen Mary’s commitment to our diverse and inclusive community is embedded in our appointments processes. Reasonable adjustments will be made at each stage of the recruitment process for any candidate with a disability. We are open to considering applications from candidates wishing to work flexibly.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Himadri S. Gupta at

To apply for the role, please click the ‘apply’ button below.

The closing date for applications is 28 February 2021.

Interviews are expected to be held in the middle of March 2021 or shortly thereafter.

Apply online