Call for academic leadership in Materials Science

A post is available in for an experienced materials scientist to support the UK geological disposal programme.

  • Post Reference: NuclearRSO/DL007/MAT
  • No of roles: 1
  • Duration: Up to 6 days pa
  • Remuneration: Honorarium
  • Closing Date: 06/04/2022
  • Post Category: Discipline Lead (academic)
  • Business Unit: Nuclear Waste Services Research Support Office
  • Location: UK-wide


The Universities of Manchester and Sheffield are collaborating to host the Nuclear Waste Services Research Support Office (RSO). The RSO is led by Katherine Morris (Manchester), Claire Corkhill (Sheffield), Sam Shaw (Manchester), and Lucy Bailey (Nuclear Waste Services) and acts as a hub, with the mission to work with leading universities to co-ordinate research aligned to Nuclear Waste Services’ needs.

The RSO was launched in 2020 and has established a collaborative working dynamic between academic Discipline Leads, Nuclear Waste Services Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and the RSO Core Team leading to multiple calls for research funding. The Discipline Leads have proved invaluable for both their expertise and reach into the wider academic community in their respective fields. Since the establishment of the RSO, the Materials Sciences area has been particularly active as it encompasses such a broad range of underpinning research. Due to a change in personnel we are seeking to identify a new Discipline Lead in the Materials Sciences area. This new Discipline Lead will work closely with the other Discipline Leads already in place and their Nuclear Waste Services counterparts.

The role

The Discipline Lead in Materials Science will work within the RSO to deliver relevant research needs (both within discipline and multi-disciplinary). They will therefore have to engage with the wider academic, research and innovation communities (e.g. other universities, UKRI, Catapult Centres, National Nuclear Laboratory, BGS, STFC facilities and EU / international funders). Discipline Leads will work with Nuclear Waste Services to develop a set of SMART objectives for their discipline. They will each work closely with a relevant Nuclear Waste Services subject matter expert and the Core Team to assist the community in developing high quality, relevant research projects. Since the research programme will often overlap multiple disciplines, it is very important that the Discipline Leads function well as a team, and work effectively together. 

The person

The Discipline Lead will be an academic researcher with a responsibility to understand Nuclear Waste Services mission and research needs in the context of their discipline. They also need to understand their community and represent it within the RSO. The Discipline Lead will support and develop their community and demonstrate leadership in this role. They will lead the topic meetings, present the outcomes at the Programme Executive and, with support of the core team and their community, foster new proposals for the Nuclear Waste Services-run funding competition. Appointees may be drawn from academia or industry and all levels of academic career will be considered.


It is expected that the Discipline Lead role will require a commitment of around 6 days pa, and for this an honorarium will be offered. The costs of travel and subsistence incurred in connection with the role will also be covered. These roles will be administered via a letter of terms from The University of Manchester. Typically, appointment will be for 3 years subject to an annual review.


To apply for a Discipline Lead role, please complete the application form within this guidance document and send it, along with a  summary CV (2 pages max), to

To discuss this opportunity further, please send any queries to the RSO (

Closing date: 06/04/2022

As an equal opportunities employer we encourage applications from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All engagements are made on merit.

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