Research Assistant in Chemistry and Entomology Ref 8793

School/department: Life Sciences- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Hours: full time or part time hours considered up to a maximum of 36.5 hours. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Contract: fixed term for 14 months
Reference: 8793
Salary: starting at £30,497 to £34,304 per annum, pro rata if part time
Placed on: 06 June 2022  
Closing date: 24 June 2022. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: TBC
Expected start date: 01 August 2022

Job description

  • We wish to appoint a motivated individual as a Research Assistant in chemistry and entomology to work on the use of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) as slow release vectors of semiochemicals in pest control.
  • The person will work on a Leverhulme-funded project led by Professor John Spencer (Chemistry) and Professor William Hughes (Evolution, Behaviour & Environment) in the School of Life Sciences. The project is in collaboration with Prof Andy Burrows (University of Bath).
  • The work will involve the analysis of pheromone-loaded MOFs, synthesised at Bath, on pest control. The successful candidate will conduct headspace analysis of pheromone levels, investigate effects of the MOFs on the behaviour of leaf-cutting ants and other insects, and synthesise and tailor ligands to maximise MOF-pheromone interactions.
  • The successful applicant will have theoretical and practical experience in synthetic organic chemistry and related analytical techniques, educated up to Masters level. A thorough knowledge of organic synthesis, NMR and mass spectrometric characterisation of organic molecules is essential and a good knowledge of entomology is desirable for this post.

Please contact Prof John Spencer (; he/his) or Prof Bill Hughes (; he/his) for informal enquiries.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref 8793 [PDF 186.28KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

  • This role may be eligible for sponsorship. For a job to be eligible for sponsorship it needs to be assigned an eligible SOC code & meet minimum salary requirements and be full time. Please contact so they can check if this role can be assigned to an eligible SOC code and meets the minimum salary requirements. You can also consult our Skilled Worker Visa Information page for further information

Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.

How to apply

Download our professional services application form - Dec 2020 [DOC 203.00KB] and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form [DOC 119.50KB] and fill in all sections.

You must email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

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