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Canadian Association of University Teachers
Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d'université

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Research Associate – Acceleration Consortium

University of British Columbia

The Acceleration Consortium (AC) is leading a transformative shift in scientific discovery, accelerating technology development and commercialization. The Consortium is a coalition of entrepreneurs, technology companies, and leading researchers from top universities. It leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, materials sciences, and high-throughput quantum chemistry to create Self-driving Laboratories (SDL), also called Materials Acceleration Platforms. These autonomous laboratories will rapidly design high-performance materials and molecules, with applications ranging from renewable energy and consumer electronics to drugs. AC Research Associate will advance the state-of-the-art in AI-driven autonomous discovery and develop the materials and molecules required to address society's largest challenges, such as climate change.
The AC is developing seven advanced SDLs. These include:
1) Inorganic solid-state materials
2) Organic small molecules for advanced material
3) Drug discovery with chemical probes
4) Polymers for materials science and biological applications
5) Formulations for pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and coatings
6) Biocompatibility (organ-on-a-chip), and
7) Synthetic scale-up of materials and molecules.
We are hiring Research Associates to develop the hardware and software needs for each of these SDLs and to conduct research programs levering these labs for materials and molecule discovery.
The Research Associates involved in the AC are highly skilled and experienced researchers who will work independently to develop AI and automation technologies. They are required to build robust and scalable self-driving labs, manage these SDLs, and design and implement research programs (based on the direction of the AC's scientific leadership team) that leverage the SDL platforms to discover materials and molecules.
The Research Associate will lead the AC research enterprise and set objectives and directions for a subgroup of Research Associates. This role will report to the Academic Director and Executive Director of the Acceleration Consortium. These positions involve a significant degree of autonomy and latitude on how to achieve the ambitious goals of the AC. We seek individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise to support developing Self-Driving Labs and materials discovery.
The background of the team hired will cover the following topics. Candidates that have experience in several or as many of the areas below will be prioritized:

Artificial Intelligence / Automation
• Machine Learning for Molecules and Materials
• Physical, theoretical and/or computational chemistry
• Robotics
• Experimental planning and design/optimal control
• Programming and high-performance computing
• Cheminformatics

Automated Chemical Synthesis and Characterization
• High-throughput materials synthesis and processing (polymers, inorganic and organic molecules (including lipids))
• Nanomaterial synthesis and characterization
• Polymer physics
• Structural, electrochemical, and microstructural characterization of materials and molecules
• Screening electrocatalytic conversion
• Analytical chemistry and separation method development
• Chemical reactions and analytics
• GLP formulation skills
• Electrochemistry
• Organic synthesis methodology development

Drug Discovery / Medicinal Chemistry
• Medicinal chemistry
• Protein biophysics/biochemistry
• Mass spectrometry
• Controlled release properties and processes
Organ on a chip / Organoid
• Pluripotent stem cell differentiation
• Molecular biology
• Toxicology pharmacology

The components and duties of the work include:

1. SDL and Automation Development
Working with the AC community, including faculty and partners, to determine the required capabilities of the SDLs to be built.
Developing SDL plans to meet user requirements and designing novel instruments for automated material synthesis and characterization.
Developing customized hardware and Python software packages to build SDLs. Selecting, procurement, and installation of the equipment required for SDLs.
2. Facility Management and Operations
Working with the Chemistry, Facilities and Operations department, and AC research staff to ensure the AC labs are fully operational.
Overseeing the activity of the laboratory technicians servicing the labs
Supporting the selection, procurement, and installation of equipment
Managing laboratory budgets
Scheduling and coordinating lab access

3. Research Direction
Working as a co-investigator, in partnership with the Principal Investigator, independent management, development, and execution of research programs that leverage the AC's SDLs and support the research objectives of AC faculty and industry partners. Using SDLs to synthesize and characterize large quantities of candidate molecules, calibrating theoretical models with experimental data, predicting promising candidates with computational tools and machine learning algorithms, and elucidating structure-property relationships of emerging molecules, polymers, solid-state materials, formulations, etc. Tasks include:
Managing the research and development projects of AC's industry partners when implemented in AC labs.
Developing plans supporting research collaborations and estimating financial resources required for programs and/or projects.
Supervising the work of Software Engineers, other Research Associates, and Post-doctoral Fellows.
Working with Product Managers to ensure research outcomes meet partner requirements.
Monitoring and reporting on relevant research activity to the Academic Director and Executive Director.
Promoting AC's research capacity, including delivering presentations at conferences.
Collaborating in preparing and submitting research proposals to granting agencies and progress reporting.
Preparing manuscripts for submission to peer review publications/journals and stewarding them through the process.

4. Other
Supporting consulting services related to the application of SDLs for materials discovery for the AC's partners.
Support research-focused events such as Annual Symposium
Education – Ph.D. in chemistry, materials science, life sciences, physics, engineering, robotics, computer science, or related discipline
At least ten years of post-doctoral experience in Physical/Material/Medicinal/Analytical Artificial Intelligence for Chemistry,
Materials or Drug Discovery with demonstrated academic and research excellence.
Experience working closely with a Principal Investigator or as a Principal Investigator or as Project Director with responsibilities of managing, developing and executing a major research project
Strong experience and expert knowledge of AI and automation.
Experience with the development of Self-driving Laboratories and overseeing the activities of a lab
Experience working with industry partners and on industry lead research and development projects
Strong experience presenting research at academic conferences
Experience managing research staff.
Experience managing a laboratory budget and procuring equipment
Must have a strong scholarly publication record.

Strong in communicating effectively and efficiently in oral and written English
Collegial in working with team members and collaborators;
Ability to work independently
Demonstrated success in writing and preparing manuscripts, presentations, reports, briefs, and scientific abstracts and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been under-represented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. UBC's strategic plan identifies inclusion as one of our key priorities. We welcome colleagues with the experiences and competencies that can contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity and diversity throughout campus life. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
Please indicate your legal status to work in Canada

Only applications received through UBC’s online job board here <; will be considered. Application must be received before June 20, 2023.
Application must include a CV and contact information for references.