Applications are invited for up to two postdoctoral Innovation Fellowships funded by the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub.
Fellowships will be for a period of up to two years and are aimed at early stage researchers looking to take the first step towards an independent research career. Innovation Fellowships are open to national and international researchers and will be hosted by the most appropriate UK institutions to support the aims of the research. Fellows will benefit from access to facilities and expertise across existing Hub members.
Applicants are expected to develop a proposal at TRL 1 to 3 to facilitate a fundamental step-change in composites manufacturing technology within the UK. The proposal should examine a subject area that is ambitious and high risk, identifying key challenges and research questions not currently being addressed. This can include the development of new manufacturing technologies, analytical studies to develop a fundamental understanding of state-of-the-art processes, or the development of process modelling and optimisation techniques. Proposals must focus on composites manufacturing, rather than the development of next-generation materials and address at least one of the five Hub priority areas.
Whilst fellowships are for a fixed period of up to two years, the successful candidate will be expected to generate additional funding to extend this period and expand their research.
The EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub was launched in January 2017 and is a £10.3m investment to expand the national research effort towards delivering a step change in the production of polymer matrix composites, whilst training the next generation of composite engineers. The Hub is led by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol and includes 8 other Spokes; Brunel University London, the University of Cambridge, Cranfield University, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, the University of Glasgow, the University of Manchester and the University of Southampton.
The Hub aims to be the national centre of excellence in fundamental research for composites manufacturing, building on the foundations of CIMComp, the previously funded EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites, which ran from 2011 to 2016.
The Hub will drive the development of automated manufacturing technologies to deliver components and structures for demanding applications, having identified five research priority areas with help from industry partners and the broader composites community:
Over the seven year period, the Hub will underpin the growth potential of the composites sector, developing the underlying processing science and technology to enhance manufacturing robustness. This forms a key element in the UK’s composites manufacturing R&D strategy.
Scope of the Call
Research must be novel and fundamental, addressing low TRL (1-3) problems. Applicants are invited to submit proposals that are complementary, but distinct, to the current research being conducted by the Hub. Proposals should also fit within the overall vision of the Hub and address one of the two Grand Challenges outlined above. Projects can include the development of new manufacturing technologies, analytical studies to develop a fundamental understanding of state-of-the-art processes, or the development of process modelling and optimisation techniques.
Proposals must be step-changing and disruptive in order to facilitate the aims of the Hub. Incremental developments on existing processes/technologies offering marginal improvements in productivity, cycle time, cost etc. will not be funded. Proposals should also focus on overcoming manufacturing related challenges, rather than material developments.
Proposals must also fit within one of the 5 priority areas:
Proposals must focus on the manufacturing of composite structures rather than the development of new materials. Nanomaterials or graphene are not considered to be within the scope of the Hub. Details of other Hub funded projects can be found at www.cimcomp.ac.uk/#research
Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant subject and a strong publication record. Experience in modelling, manufacturing and performance of polymer composites or technical textiles would be a distinct advantage. This call is open to all national and international researchers through a peer review process. Applicants are expected to hold a PhD by the start date of the fellowship or have equivalent research experience. There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether the applicant holds a permanent academic position. Consideration will also be given to applicants who have taken a non-standard career path after their primary degree. Applications are also welcomed from candidates who wish to re-establish themselves after a career break or other period of absence from active research.
Funding will be provided to cover 80% of the full economic cost for each postdoctoral researcher (up to 2 positions available). Salaries will be set depending on experience and the chosen host organisation (typically £26,495 – £47,722). An annual research expenses grant will be provided, consisting of up to £3,000 for travel and £7,000 for project consumables per year.
The fellowship can be hosted at any UK-based university nominated by the applicant, providing the university is eligible to hold an EPSRC grant: https://epsrc.ukri.org/funding/applicationprocess/fundingguide/eligibility/organisations/
The host institution does not need to be an existing member of the Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub, but the applicant must justify their choice, for example in terms of the track record of the academic supervisor and the facilities and equipment available at the chosen institution. The Hub reserves the right to change the host institution if the applicant’s choice is considered to be inappropriate for successfully delivering the programme of work.
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