Job reference: SAE-023233
Salary: £36,024-£44,263 per annum, depending on relevant experience
Faculty/Organisational Unit: Science and Engineering
Location: Oxford Road
Employment type: Fixed Term
Division/Team: Department of Materials
Hours Per Week: 1 FTE
Closing date: 25/09/2023
Contract Duration: 5 years
School/Directorate: School of Natural Sciences

Job Description

The Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub works at the interface between the Sustainable Futures research platform at the University of Manchester and the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national lab for advanced materials. The Hub supports innovation in sustainable plastics and multi-materials, with a particular emphasis on the translation of best practice into industry and policy. The team is necessarily interdisciplinary, with polymer scientists working with economists, social scientists and life-cycle experts to co-create robust solutions to managing plastic from creation to end-of-life.

We are recruiting an enthusiastic and collaborative post-doctoral research associate to join our team to work on an ambitious new project with electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar. The role will involve improving the sustainability of the diverse array of automotive plastics through increasing recycled content, developing new carbon-negative polymers and improving recyclability. The project will critically evaluate sustainability, safety and scalability throughout the project to enable translation into Polestar pilots and prototypes. The inclusion of recycled content and the development of bio-based polymers will lower the carbon footprint of automotive parts towards a greenhouse gas free future for automotive plastics.

You should have, or be working towards, a PhD or equivalent in either polymer chemistry, engineering, circular economy, life cycle assessment or a closely related field. Expertise in sustainability is essential, ideally with experience in polymers, circular economy, recycling or carbon negative materials. You should be capable of working under your own initiative, collaborating with others, and should evidence excellent communication and organisational skills. Our School and our Hub are committed to Athena SWAN principles to promote women in science and to broader equality, diversity and inclusion efforts. The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Professor Michael Shaver is Director of both the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub and the Sustainable Futures research platform. Our space supports diverse research in bio-derived polymer synthesis, functional materials, degradable multi-materials, chemical and mechanical recycling and waste management to deliver holistic solutions to retain plastics in their highest value condition and realise social, economic and environmental sustainability.

What you will get in return:

  • Fantastic market leading Pension scheme
  • Excellent employee health and wellbeing services including an Employee Assistance Programme
  • Exceptional starting annual leave entitlement, plus bank holidays
  • Additional paid closure over the Christmas period
  • Local and national discounts at a range of major retailers

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments are made on merit.

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Hybrid working arrangements may be considered.         

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Any recruitment enquiries from recruitment agencies should be directed to Any CV’s submitted by a recruitment agency will be considered a gift.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Michael Shaver


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.

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