Staff Scientist

Closing Date
WorkplaceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 03/29/2023
Req ID:30501
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Arts & Science
Department: Dept of Chemistry
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)



The Acceleration Consortium (AC) is leading a transformative shift in scientific discovery, accelerating technology development and commercialization.  The Consortium, a coalition of entrepreneurs, technology companies and leading researchers from top universities, is leveraging 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.  As part of a large Canadian government initiative, AC is funded for seven years to develop advanced laboratories that carry out fundamental SDL research and apply it to relevant scientific and engineering challenges in collaboration with AC community members such as faculty and industry.


The Staff Scientists involved in the AC are highly skilled and experienced researchers who will work independently to develop AI and automation technologies.  They will be 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.


AC Staff Scientists 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.  Staff Scientists will operate with a significant degree of autonomy and latitude on how to achieve the ambitious goals.


This role will report to the Academic Director and Executive Director of the Acceleration Consortium.


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.


  1. Research Direction

Working independently to develop research programs that leverage the AC’s SDLs and supports 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.
    • Working with Product Managers to ensure research outcomes meet partner requirements.
    • Promoting AC’s research capacity, including d elivering presentations at conferences.
    • Collaboration 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.



  1. 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





  • Ph.D. in Physical/Material Chemistry or related discipline



  • At least five (5) years of postdoctoral experience in Physical/Material/Medicinal/Analytical Artificial Intelligence for Chemistry with demonstrated academic and research excellence.
  • Experience managing staff.
  • Experience working with industry partners and on industry lead research and development projects. 
  • Expert knowledge of AI and automation and experience with the development of Self-driving Laboratories.
  • Experience presenting research at academic conferences



  • Strong in communicating effectively and efficiently in oral and written English; collegial in working with team members and collaborators; The ability to work independently.



  • Must have a strong publication record
  • Demonstrated success in writing and preparing manuscripts, presentations, reports, briefs, and scientific abstracts and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.

Closing Date: 06/30/2023,11:59PM ET
Employee Group: Research Associate 
Appointment Type: Grant - Continuing 
Schedule: Full-Time
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: 
Job Category: Research Administration & Teaching

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Diversity Statement

The University of Toronto embraces Diversity and is building a culture of belonging that increases our capacity to effectively address and serve the interests of our global community. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized persons, women, persons with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual and gender identities. We value applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognize that diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise are essential to strengthening our academic mission.

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 ?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">?" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> .

Accessibility Statement

The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.

The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact .

Job Segment: Chemistry, Scientific, R&D Engineer, Research Scientist, R&D, Science, Engineering, Research
In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 2550893.