PDRA in Organometallic Catalysis for Advanced BN Materials at University of York

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work with Professor Andrew Weller for up to 36 months. The project will focus around an exciting opportunity to develop truly robust, scalable, controllable and efficient catalyst systems for the manufacture of polyaminoboranes (BN analogs of polyolefins) and their subsequent use in the manufacture of high-performance BN materials. The post is full time (with flexibility if required) and is available from 1st October 2024. The project is collaborative with our academic partner Nicole Grobert (Oxford Materials) and a number of major international companies and centres of excellence.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York, placed in the top ten UK for Research Power by the 2021 Research Excellence Framework exercise. As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel.


  • To conduct research under the supervision of senior colleagues and to contribute to the production of research
  • To assist in the identification and development of potential areas of research and the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects 

The overall goal of this EPSRC-funded project is to manufacture high-quality hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) materials on the multigram batch scale by developing straightforward, controlled and efficient routes to precursor polyaminoboranes; for which detailed mechanism-led design strategies will optimise catalytic control over the resulting polymer and materials characteristics. The production of these bespoke B‚ÄďN main chain polyaminoboranes on scale will unlock their use as precursors for the fabrication of ultra-light-weight, mechanically strong, h-BN materials. Applications for this post are welcomed from candidates who are excited about, and can make significant contributions to, addressing fundamental questions in organometallic catalytic chemistry and polymer science, and problem-solving in a project that blends both organometallic synthesis (Weller) and materials science (Grobert). While undoubtedly challenging, the project builds upon ideas and methods developed by the Weller and Gobert groups over the last 10 years. 

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • An undergraduate degree in Chemistry and PhD in Organometallic (or closely related) Chemistry, or have submitted your thesis prior to taking up your appointment. 
  • Expertise in air sensitive organometallic chemistry and catalysis (essential), a keen interest and experience in multi-nuclear NMR spectroscopy (essential), interest and expertise in materials or polymer science (essential), experience of single crystal x-ray diffraction (desirable).
  • Ability to demonstrate competence and success in the thesis research area (and postdoctoral work if appropriate).
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media.
  • Ability to plan and prioritise own work in order to meet deadlines, exhibiting self-initiative.
  • Highly motivated and professional work ethic, with commitment to high quality research, a collaborative ethos and a willingness to proactively support colleagues and students.

Application deadline: 13/05/2024

Expected start date: 01/10/2024

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Andrew Weller on andrew.weller@york.ac.uk

For more information and to apply visit https://jobs.york.ac.uk/vacancy/pdra-in-organometallic-catalysis-for-advanced-bn-materials-556141.html

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