Graduate Research Assistant - Internship

£4,000 - 3 months full time / 6 months part time
20 Jun 2017
20 Jul 2017
Contract Type

Excellent opportunity to join a company with significant heritage in areas of chemistry and market application!

Wolf Formulations Ltd is a micro enterprise based in Scotland that develops and formulates fully biodegradable super concentrates (less than 5 to 10 % of water) for the household, industrial & institutional (I&I) and car cleaning sector. These biodegradable concentrates are encapsulated in water soluble PVA film to give water soluble capsules (similar to the laundry capsules currently on the market) that serve as refill capsules to a range of cleaning products. This revolutionary way of cleaning allows plastic containers such as trigger spray bottles to be reused, reducing the environmental impact of household, I&I and car care products whilst saving the consumer money. This year, Wolf Formulations Ltd offers an excellent opportunity for a talented graduate, to join them as a Research Assistant, to aid in the development of the described super concentrates.   

Full employment with a starting salary of £ 18,000 per annum will be offered at the end of the internship, if the company is satisfied with the performance of the Research Assistant.

Job Purpose

As Research Assistant at Wolf Formulations Ltd the candidate will aid in the development of the described super concentrates. 

Job Accountabilities

This is a Laboratory and office role

  1. Assist in developing new and effective super concentrate formulations by selecting blending and optimising the right combination of surfactants, preservatives, builders, performance additives, modifiers suit specific cleaning applications and soil types
  2. Assist in selecting the appropriate PVA film type and product dosage for each newly developed super concentrate.
  3. Analyse the physical properties (such as pH, viscosity, specific gravity etc.) of all new super concentrate formulations.
  4. Perform the necessary stability and PVA film compatibility tests (such as artificial aging experiments, UV stability, PVA film stress and dissolution tests) on new super concentrate formulations to ensure their viability, consumer safety and long term (2 year) shelf stability prior to commercialisation.
  5. Test the cleaning performance and surface modification effects (if applicable) of all newly developed super concentrates on different soil types against other market leading products to ensure their effectiveness and substantiate any product claims
  6. Determine the source of any incompatibilities within formulations and adjust the formulations accordingly
  7. Careful and meticulous documentation and reporting of all observations and developmental research efforts
  8. Assist in the generation of visual material (such as photographs and videos) of product performance and testing for marketing purposes

Expected learning Outcomes:

During the internship period at Wolf Formulations Ltd, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to learn about the following topics, skills, methodologies, and technologies:

  1. The consumer care industry in general
  2. The business considerations and marketing strategies that enables a micro enterprise to compete with larger, established companies
  3. The different types of surfactants, builders, performance additives, solvents, biocides, rheology modifiers etc. used in the consumer care industry.
  4. The role of different types of surfactants, builders, additives, biocides etc. and the differences between products in subgroups of these.
  5. How to select the best components for a particular product based on the application, soil type to be removed and desired surface modification (for example: water beading/sheeting, anti-fogging, gloss, anti-static dust repellence etc
  6. The different soil types and charges and the surfactant combinations most suitable for their removal.
  7. The compatibility of different surfactant types and the art of formulations and blending mixtures of surfactants etc., particularly at high concentration (5 to less than 10 % water).
  8. The different types of PVA film and their restrictions and limitations in terms of product compatibility
  9. The environmental and consumer health impact of the different surfactant classes and combinations thereof
  10. The current legislation on the classification of surfactants and the product labelling and registration implications thereof (for (for example: REACH, CLP, BPR etc.)


The successful candidate is expected to have a scientific background, preferably in chemistry and have experience in documenting and reporting scientific research findings and results. It is essential that the successful candidate has basic skills in using Microsoft office (word, excel and PowerPoint) software.

Knowledge of any of the following would be advantageous:

  • Surfactants, interfacial phenomena and/or surfactant based formulations
  • Experience in the consumer product or personal care industry
  • Experience in product marketing / website and catalogue design and editing / video and image editing
  • Transferable skills: the ability to work as part of a team, be punctual, able to meet set deadlines, manage their time efficiently, self-motivating, meticulous and organised with attention to detail.
  • Innovative and creative with problem solving skills and forward thinking. An eye for aesthetic details. The ability to drive projects forward

Relevant Disciplines

GRADUATES holding Chemistry related degree. This internship is only open to: 

  • Graduate
  • Postgraduates
  • PhD
  • Person returning to work after a career break