Research Assistant / Associate in investigating frictional behaviour of plant-based foods

Job summary

The Tribology Group at Imperial College London wishes to appoint a Research Associate to conduct experimental research into the frictional behaviour of plant-based foods.

This is an opportunity to work in an emerging research field that builds on recent work on how the friction behaviour of foods within the mouth affects their taste perception. The project is of a fundamental nature, seeking to understand molecular interactions, however, the outputs of the project are expected to be practical and far-reaching. For a dedicated researcher, this project will provide an important step in their scientific career, with the opportunity to publish and present extensively, and get their name associated with ground-breaking research.

The Tribology Group at Imperial College London is one of the largest Tribology research groups in the world, with extensive experimental and numerical research facilities and an international reputation for research excellence. The Group cohort includes PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and academic staff, who perform fundamental and applied research, and offers a vibrant and multicultural working environment.

Duties and responsibilities

  • To study the frictional behaviour of foods you will be conducting sliding experiments on compliant specimens under conditions that mimic those in the mouth.
  • To monitor the contact using situ spectroscopy techniques in order to understand in contact lubrication mechanisms as plant proteins are entrained.
  • There are clear objectives for the project, however you will be encouraged to come up with ideas and steer the research yourself.

Essential requirements

  • You will have, or be close to completing, a PhD in tribology, chemistry, physics, biology or a closely related discipline.
  • You will be required to work independently and take responsibility for your work.
  • You should have some understanding or experience in Tribology testing (e.g. friction, film thickness measurements)
  • A broad understanding of biology and chemistry is essential.

Experience/understanding of the following would be advantageous:

  • Analytical techniques such as such as Atomic Force Microscopy, Raman and infrared spectroscopy.
  • Lubrication theory.

Further information

This is a fixed term position for up to 12 months in the first instance.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694 – £39,888 per annum.

Queries relating to the position should be directed to Dr Tom Reddyhoff at .

To apply, please click “APPLY NOW” to go through to the online application form. Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact ME-.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes which are ultimately aimed towards finding new treatments and making scientific and medical advances, and where there are no satisfactory or reasonably practical alternatives to their use. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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