Closing soon
Closing soon

Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

The role

We are looking to appoint a Research Assistant/Associate in the computational structure prediction of solid-state battery materials in the Ion Transport and Interfaces Group of Dr. James A. Dawson at Newcastle University. The position is initially for 2 years with the possibility of extension to 4 years.

The position is focused on both cathode and solid electrolyte materials for solid-state batteries. Specifically, the successful candidate will use atomistic modelling methods to predict and validate the crystalline, amorphous and glass-ceramic structures of state-of-the-art and new solid-state battery materials.

The project will focus on developing and applying atomistic modelling to characterise the structure of lattice energy surfaces to understand finite temperature effects on the landscape of possible crystal structures and kinetic influences on which structures are formed experimentally. The successful candidate will also be expected to perform molecular dynamics and density functional theory simulations on the predicted materials and their interfaces to determine their properties, including, for example, ionic conductivity and interfacial stability.

You will be involved in a large UKRI Frontier Research Grant (“AMPed”) that will be carried out in collaboration with world-leading experimental partners in the UK, Europe and North America. Our ambition is to develop and apply state-of-the-art computational and experimental techniques to provide a fundamental understanding of structure, ion transport and interfaces in solid electrolytes for clean energy applications. Such an understanding will allow for the design of enhanced solid-state batteries and other energy devices.

Applications should be made through the Newcastle University jobs portal:, where you are invited to provide evidence of how you meet the essential criteria required for the role outlined in ‘The Person’ by uploading a letter of application along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Key accountabilities

  • To plan and perform atomistic simulations to predict the structures of crystalline and amorphous/glassy materials for batteries
  • Contribute to the development of new and existing codes for the prediction of solid-state materials
  • To run computational experiments, as part of collaborations with experimental collaborators, and ensuring that these experiments are appropriately supervised and supported
  • Record, analyse and write up the results of simulations
  • To disseminate research results through appropriate media. This will include authoring or co-authoring papers for publication in high-quality academic journals
  • To contribute to the training of new research staff, students and outside groups, including industrial scientists, in the use of the computational tools
  • Contribute to learning and development through the provision of documentation, training and advice
  • Undertake relevant training and development activities in order to develop an awareness of own professional development needs
  • To prepare progress reports on research for funding bodies as required
  • Any other duties within the scope and general nature of the grade which may be required

The person

  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  • Experience in the prediction of solid-state and/or energy materials
  • Experience in developing and/or adapting code for structure prediction
  • Experience in molecular dynamics and electronic structure simulations
  • Experience in Python programming
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • High level of problem-solving capacity

Attributes and behaviour

  • Comfortable working both individually and have good team working skills
  • Capacity for original thought
  • Enthusiasm and a strong work ethic
  • Ability to interact with researchers with different backgrounds
  • Ability to communicate scientific results to a broad or non-specialist audience
  • Ability and willingness to work in interdisciplinary environments
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication skills that enable you to engage external and internal stakeholders and work effectively in a multidisciplinary team


  • An undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject, such as chemistry, physics or materials science
  • A Ph.D. in the field of computational chemistry or materials science or a related discipline is essential for appointment at associate level

About us

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.

We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.

At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC. We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.

In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.