University of Exeter

Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow

University of Exeter

Exeter, United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow


Closing: 28/05/2019

Postdoctoral Research Associate from £29,515 up to £34,189 on Grade E. Postdoctoral Research Fellow from £35,211 up to £43,267 on Grade F. Appointment will be made to the appropriate level, depending on qualifications and experience.

Job Category: Research

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences – Living Systems Institute

The College wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral Research Fellow to support the work of Professor Frank Vollmer. This full-time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis for up to 36 months from the start date.

Summary of the role/position

You will develop QUANTUM NANO-SENSORS for analysis of SINGLE-MOLECULES. You will integrate advanced quantum optical measurement technologies with single-molecule sensors pioneered in Prof Vollmer’s laboratory to lead a paradigm shift in biomolecular detection and analysis. The quantum optical correlation based integrated sensing system will be one of a kind as this bring together three strong streams of photonics which will drive the research in photonics further i.e. Biophotonics, Nanophotonics and Quantum Optics.

You will be part of the UKRI Molecular Mechanics Initiative at the University of Exeter. The UKRI funded Molecular Mechanics Initiative is a cutting-edge research programme that aims to achieve breakthroughs in how we detect, analyse, and manipulate molecules at the ultimate single-molecule level. The programme will develop novel quantum sensing capabilities which will be at the forefront of developments showing that the technique holds the key to the next generation of enabling analytical and healthcare technologies on sensor chips.

Prof Vollmer’s laboratory is pioneering optical sensors and spectrometers to visualise and detect processes at the micro- and nanoscale. For more information on Prof Vollmer’s laboratory:

Project details: What we are looking for…

You have experience with the use of correlated single-photon sources and optical measurement techniques in quantum optics. You are passionate about applying quantum optics and nonlinear optics for biosensing and single-molecule studies.You have experience with a variety of laser-based measurement techniques including interferometry and metrology. You are excited about working as part of a multi-disciplinary team composed of phycisists, engineers, and biologists.You will work at the newly established Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter which provides state-of-the-art research facilities for realising one of the first quantum optical approaches to study the energetics and dynamics of biomolecular machines:


  1. Subramanian S, Wu H-Y, Constant T, Xavier J, Vollmer F.(2018) Label-Free Optical Single-Molecule Micro- and NanosensorsAdv Mater, DOI:10.1002/adma.201801246.

Requirements for the role

Extensive experience with quantum optics,measurements with correlated single-photon sources, and non-linear optics is required. Familiarity with interferometry, metrology, and optical precision measurements is desirable

For the Postdoctoral Research Associate

The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) in Physics, Engineering or a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will experienced in chemistry, surface chemistry, molecular machines, molecular electronics, or single-molecules.

For the Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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 in Physics, Engineering or a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in chemistry, surface chemistry,molecular machines, molecular electronics, or single-molecules 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.

You can view the job description and person specification for both levels here:

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 (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
– A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon.

Further information

Please contact Professor Frank Vollmer, or (01392) 724771. 

To apply:

This role may be subject to additional background screening.

The College is working towards department Silver Athena SWAN awards as a commitment to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science,technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.