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Ref no:
RGU Garthdee, AB10 7GJ
£8,500 per year
Contract Type:
Fixed Term
Position Type:
Part Time
18.5 hours per week

This position has expired.

Job Summary

The School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences is a vibrant academic community and provides education in a number of subjects including pharmacy, forensic science, biomedical science and nutrition. The School is housed in a state of the art building and has facilities designed to simulate both clinical and community settings providing a stimulating learning environment. Our vision is to provide dynamic and transformational learning, teaching and research that makes a leading contribution to improving the health and well-being of local, national and global communities.

This post provides an exciting opportunity for a Research Assistant to work in Aberdeen and Bonn, Germany. The successful candidate will be responsible for the development of an electrochemical system for the production of green hydrogen from brewing biomass.

The brewing industry is a major contributor to both the Scottish and the German economies. This research will inform the generation of a circular economy, where brewing biomass will be employed as feedstock to produce green hydrogen. Currently, the generation of hydrogen, is associated with energy-intensive production methods. It is essential therefore, to identify a less energy-intensive system that does not absorb a vast portion of the renewable energy produced in Scotland. Keeping renewable resources in mind, when considering alternatives to water and alcohols in the creation of hydrogen by electrolysis, it makes sense to consider the brewing industry’s spent grains. These grains are rich in polysaccharides, which can be used as feedstock in an electrochemical cell purposely designed to produce hydrogen, which has been shown to reduce the voltage required tenfold in a similar system. In this project, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences, will establish the sustainable sourcing and deployment of brewer’s biomass, based on life cycle analysis, and the design of a suitable electrochemical system will be carried out at Robert Gordon University.

Applications are sought for a part-time Research Assistant to carry out research at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, (June 2022 to December 2022) and Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, University of Applied Sciences, Bonn, Germany (January 2023 – June 2023) under the supervision of Dr Alberto Di Salvo (RGU), Dr Carlos Fernandez (RGU), Professor Stefanie Meilinger (H-BRS) and Professor Tanja Clees (H-BRS).

The successful candidate will be required to relocate to Aberdeen for the first 6 months and to Bonn for the subsequent 6 months. You must have the ability to relocate to these places in order to apply.

Job Description

RESPONSIBLE TO: Dr Alberto Di Salvo

RESPONSIBLE FOR: No Supervisory Responsibilities

PURPOSE OF POST:  Contribute to delivery of milestones of the project Generation of green hydrogen from brewing biomass


The core activity will be to carry out the research aims of this investigation for the generation of green hydrogen from brewing biomass.  This will include development of the electrochemical system, analysis of the biomass, life cycle analysis of the biomass and green hydrogen generation.

Contribution to record keeping and dissemination of the data generated.

Maintain up-to-date project plans and provide a progress reports for presentation at regular meetings.

Deliver the project objectives / milestones as detailed in the project plan.

Any other duties that may be reasonable, assigned by the project’s team.



Qualifications and Professional Membership

Applicants should have a very good BSc (Honours) (First or Upper Second class) degree or a Master degree (with Distinction or Merit) in chemistry or related discipline.

Knowledge and skills

Excellent organisational, communication and team working skills.

English language competency (with a suitable qualification for international applicants).




Experience in communicating scientific work (through papers, posters, reports, etc.)

Experience liaising and building relationships with industrial partners.


Behaviour 1 - Communication - Ability to receive, understand and convey both straightforward information, and information requiring careful explanation, in a clear and accurate manner

Behaviour 2 - Decision Making - Experience of using own judgement to make decisions, making collaborative decisions with others to reach conclusions and providing advice or information that will influence the decisions of others

Behaviour 3 - Service Delivery - Experience of giving customers a positive and satisfactory service, by providing accurate and up to date knowledge of services available in own and related areas of work

Behaviour 4 - Liaison and Networking - Experience of circulating information in an accurate and timely manner and working across team boundaries to build and strengthen working relationships

Behaviour 5 - Planning and Organising Resources - Experience of planning, prioritising and organising your own work or resources to achieve agreed objectives 

Behaviour 6 - Analysis and Research - Experience of identifying and using a range of sources to produces reports that combine different types of data 

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