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R&D Scientist

Highlights of the role:

  • Job Title: R&D Scientist
  • Reports to: R&D Team Leader
  • Term: Full time
  • Location: Begbroke Science Park, Oxford
  • Salary Range: £38-48k, DOE


Our purpose is to harness world-leading chemistry to deliver functional, scalable, value-added innovations for a cleaner and greener world. We use our versatile chemistry platform, called ONTO™, to control how material surfaces behave and radically transform products and technologies.

Using our ONTO™ platform, we design, develop, and manufacture thin coatings and materials for high-value applications within the zero-carbon technologies and advanced manufacturing sectors. Our products target serviceable attainable markets in excess of £9 billion by 2030.

Our scientific roots can be traced back to over 20 years of cutting-edge chemistry and materials research, and experience in bringing advanced materials to market. Privately held, OXECO was spun out from the University of Oxford’s Department of Chemistry and is situated within the heart of Oxford’s innovation hub, at Begbroke Science Park. We are venture-capital-backed, with $10.5 million raised by global, leading investors and angels (led by Lansdowne Partners) in 2022.

OXECO is a multinational, dynamic team of scientists and commercial experts, and is advised by world leaders in their respective fields. OXECO is rapidly growing, and you will have the opportunity to drive the company into its next phase of growth.

Your role

This role will be pivotal to the R&D team, supporting the expansion and advancement of our current library of coating chemistries to facilitate projects in new areas and applications.


  • Drive R&D projects in conjunction with Principal Scientists and the R&D Team Leader, from conception to manufacturing scale-up, to bring game-changing products to market.
  • Develop novel crosslinkers and coatings through lab-based experimental work and literature research.
  • Perform, collect, and interpret analytical data and present findings to the wider team.
  • Close collaboration with other team members to determine the technical direction of our synthesis projects.
  • Identification of exciting new project areas for future R&D programs, including conducting proof-of-concept testing.

Qualifications & Requirements:

  • PhD in Organic Chemistry, or master’s degree in Chemistry with at least 2 years of industry experience in synthetic organic chemistry.
  • Lab-based practical experience in organic synthesis and organic chemistry.
  • Strong appreciation of chemical characterisation.
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment and to rapidly deliver a product to market.
  • Ability to plan and manage own work streams as well as working as part of a team.
  • Demonstrable problem-solving capability.
  • Attention to detail, endless curiosity, and a desire to learn.

Desirable Skills:

  • Experience successfully delivering a new product to market, especially within the clean technology or advanced manufacturing sectors.
  • Extensive practical experience of scale-up/synthetic process optimisation.
  • Knowledge of materials chemistry and/or polymers.

What we can offer you:

  1. A competitive salary, benchmarked against the market and reviewed annually.
  2. 25 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  3. Enhanced pension scheme.
  4. Employee benefits package, including Aviva private healthcare access and mental health consultations, income protection, and life assurance.
  5. Gym discounts, tech scheme, and cycle-to-work scheme.
  6. Professional development support and the opportunity to grow with the business.
  7. Regular full-team socials.

About you

OXECO is looking for an enthusiastic synthetic organic chemist with excellent organisation skills and strong attention to detail. Equally, the ideal candidate will maintain a positive attitude, have the ability to find humour, and enjoy the journey. We expect our team to demonstrate candidness, empathy, and the ability to navigate conflicts harmoniously.

You have a pragmatic approach to the way you conduct your research, and your focus on achieving practical solutions makes you stand out. You also have a personable approach to supporting clients and colleagues, and contribute actively to a collaborative work environment where everyone feels welcome and is treated with respect, upholding our three core company values to a high level of professionalism throughout your career with us:

  1. Urgency. At OXECO, timelines are important, even if we need to switch to plan B (or plan C). A strong drive is needed to deliver products and commercial progress, with speed. This does not mean cutting corners, it means working with integrity and efficiency to deliver results.
  2. Value-based innovation. Innovation needs to be better, cheaper, or faster than the status quo. Investing 20% of our time to achieve a 1% improvement is not likely to be valuable. At OXECO we use the concept of ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP) as a great way to ensure that we know when to move on. Commercially, why spend the same time landing a £20k client as a £2m client? We must identify crucial milestones with realism and apply focus on things that will make a massive improvement.
  3. Solutions-oriented. If there is a hurdle, highlight it, but do so with a solution in hand (or better yet, two). This attitude can inspire those around you. We expect there will be some challenges that arise as part of the work we do, equally, expect our team members to bounce back quickly with new (potentially creative) ideas.