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Research Associate (Limited Term) - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
Job Number: 1800465
Faculty / Division: Faculty of Arts and Science
Department: Chemistry
Campus: St. George (downtown Toronto) 

The Department of Chemistry in the University of Toronto invites applications for a Research Associate (Limited Term) for an 18 month appointment.  The anticipated start date is September 4, 2018.

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto is seeking a dedicated NMR Facility research associate to work with over 70 faculty and 350 students, postdoctoral trainees and researchers. The research interests of our faculty encompass organic and medicinal chemistry, a wide range of materials chemistry, peptide and protein chemistry, biophysical chemistry, polymers, and nanoparticles. NMR applications are therefore diverse and there is an opportunity for the incumbent to directly participate in the research and make a valuable contribution by providing NMR expertise and insights.

The NMR Facility supports research with a total of ten NMR spectrometers, ranging in field strength from 200 to 700 MHz, and an X-band continuous wave EPR spectrometer. Some systems are used in a walk-up fashion, while others employ sample changers to facilitate routine NMR acquisitions. The Facility has both Agilent/Varian and Bruker spectrometers and a diverse array of NMR probes, including two cryogenically cooled probes, solids probes, and an assortment of double and triple resonance liquids probes.

The incumbent will be under the general direction of the Facility Manager and will provide scientific and technical support services, with a focus on NMR spectroscopy and some EPR spectroscopy. Specifically, the incumbent will assist with the following principal duties in the facility: research and development, client services, instrument maintenance, training, and developing operational workflow within the lab. The incumbent will be expected to take a lead role in the implementation of solid state NMR, protein NMR, and EPR spectroscopy at the facility.

Job duties may include:

Research and Development

  • developing NMR-related research in collaboration with facility users
  • implementing NMR and EPR experiments
  • keeping abreast of current trends in experimental NMR and EPR by maintaining familiarity with current literature
  • developing a knowledge-base to effectively assess a diverse range of samples using a variety of NMR and EPR experiments
  • participating in external training and courses
  • performing specialized experiments on the CSICOMP NMR instrumentation, particularly solid state NMR, protein NMR, and EPR
  • implementing new NMR techniques on the CSICOMP instrumentation
  • preparing and testing macros for the vendor software to enhance the instrument performance and user experience

Client services

  • corresponding with and assisting research personnel in this and other universities to provide expert opinion on NMR techniques, sample handling, spectrometer use, NMR processing, and data interpretation
  • scheduling experiments
  • determining the feasibility of and performing specialized experiments on the CSICOMP NMR instrumentation, particularly solid state NMR and EPR

Instrument maintenance

  • performing routine calibrations and adjustments on the spectrometers and related accessories
  • assisting with troubleshooting and spectrometer repair, including related hardware, software and operating system (i.e. Linux) maintenance and management
  • assisting with cryogen fills


  • updating and maintaining teaching pedagogy
  • assisting with new-user training

Developing operational workflow within the CSICOMP facility

  • assisting with sample-tracking, record keeping, billing, and other associated paperwork for the NMR accounts
  • developing and maintaining online notes and documentation that relate to troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair efforts


Ph.D. in the field of chemistry, physics, or biochemistry.


  • Minimum two years’ experience in an NMR laboratory environment; experience maintaining NMR instrumentation is an asset
  • Experience with solution state NMR techniques, including sample preparation, experimental methodology, data processing, and interpretation
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • solid state NMR techniques including calibrations, sample preparation, acquisition, processing, and analysis (advanced experience is preferred)
    • protein NMR techniques including calibrations, experimentation, data processing, and analysis (advanced experience is preferred)
  • Experience with NMR spectrometers and associated hardware
  • Experience handling cryogens, compressed gases, dewars, and gas cylinders
  • Experience with EPR techniques, along with related instrumentation is an asset
  • Experience with common spectrometer and magnet maintenance, such as cryogen fills and probe changes, are an asset
  • Teaching and training experience is an asset


  • Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a customer-focused environment with changing priorities, unanticipated urgent demands and frequent interruptions
  • Proficiency with Outlook, Word and Excel
  • Basic knowledge of computer operations including vendor-packaged software
  • Experience with Unix and/or Linux is an asset


  • Demonstrated proficiency in the field of NMR spectroscopy as indicated by peer-reviewed publications and/or conference presentations
  • Ability to troubleshoot technical problems related to the spectrometers, associated hardware, and software. This includes operating system (i.e. Linux) maintenance and management

Travel: None

Notes: Applicants should apply online (https://utoronto.taleo.net/careersection/10000/jobdetail.ftl?job=1800465&tz=GMT-04%3A00) and include a covering letter, curriculum vitae, and three reference names with their contact addresses and phone numbers by the closing date of July 26, 2018.  Any questions regarding the position should be directed to Darcy Burns at darcy.burns@utoronto.ca

Diversity Statement
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized  persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see http://uoft.me/UP.