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Job id: 086747. Salary: £43,205 – £46,732 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 21 March 2024. Closing date: 21 April 2024.

Business unit: Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sci. Department: Physics.

Contact details: Dr James Millen.

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

The Levitated Nanophysics Group in the Department of Physics is looking to recruit a post-doctoral research assistant to join their diverse and dynamic team. The successful candidate will join a group at the heart of the global levitated nanoparticle research community, and a key player in the UK’s Quantum Technologies landscape. See for more details. 

The Department of Physics at King’s College London is diverse, international, and friendly with a positive atmosphere of collaboration and support between research groups. We offer a welcoming environment and welcome applications from applicants of all backgrounds.  

The successful candidate will work closely with Dr. James Millen on the theory and simulation of thermodynamic processes at the microscale, supporting a parallel experimental effort in the application of levitated microparticles for analogue simulation. The candidate will have the opportunity to shape the research agenda of the project, explore their own ideas, and work with a wide pool of collaborators from the physical, mathematical and biological sciences. 

The successful candidate will mentor PhD and Masters students, have the opportunity to run summer projects, forge new collaborations and attend international conferences. Our group not only has an innovative research portfolio and vision, but undertakes an exciting programme of public engagement activities.  

A successful candidate may have skills from a wide range of backgrounds, including (but not limited to) stochastic thermodynamics, statistical physics, computational physics, and particle levitation, but the critical requirements are a proven ability to learn fast, to think creatively and to work in a team. 

Within King’s, you will be part of the department of Physics, which belongs to the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES). Supporting our staff is important to us and we offer a range of provision including flexible working, caring support, and training opportunities. The university is making significant investment in the Faculty and both student and staff numbers are growing. Our staff come from over 45 countries and around 56% of our students are from outside the UK.  

Further details are available at 

The study of Physics at King's dates back to the foundation of the College in 1829. The Department is currently undergoing significant growth with substantial investment in new appointments, research infrastructure and laboratory space refurbishment. We offer a range of BSc (three-year) and MSci (four-year) undergraduate courses as well as MSc and PhD programmes. 

Further information may be found at: 

Do not hesitate to contact Dr. James Millen with any questions: 

This post will be offered on a fixed term 18 months contract 

This is a full-time  post

Key responsibilities

Leading research on stochastic thermodynamics with levitated particles in collaboration with the group leader Dr. James Millen. 

  • Mentoring PhD students.
  • Managing collaborations.
  • Problem solving and independent learning.
  • Creative project planning.
  • Data analysis and preparing scientific manuscripts.

Ensuring an inclusive and supportive working and learning environment is a key part of the Department of Physics' equality and diversity strategy. In 2019 the Department of Physics was awarded Juno Champion status and an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of its work to embed equality of opportunity in all areas of work and to ensure that all members and prospective members of staff and students are treated solely on merit, ability and potential.  We want new staff to embrace and support our efforts in this area.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria

1.       The ability to clearly express your ideas and communicate in a team. 

2.       The ability to work independently, and motivate junior members of the team. 

3.       The ability to see the bigger picture, to put research into context, and to develop vision for the future. 

4.       The ability to solve problems in a creative way. 

5.       Proven skills at high quality data analysis. 

Desirable criteria

1.       Familiarity with stochastic thermodynamics. 

2.       Familiarity with the field of levitated particles. 

3.       The ability to programme lab hardware.  

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6. 

Further information

Candidates are requested to provide a Curriculum Vitae and Personal Statement