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Experimental Scientific Officer

Requisition ID:  5271

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date: 


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £30,942 - £35,845 per annum


Closing Date:  1 November 2020


The role


The BioImaging Unit is looking to recruit an Experimental Scientific Officer to support research in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.  You will support and help to establish a new experimental platform combining large-scale, high-density multielectrode array (MEA) neurophysiology and optical recordings for neuroscience related projects. You will be required to provide support with the analysis of information-rich datasets obtained with this novel combined analytical approach.


You will join a successful and experienced core imaging facility, and will take part in cutting-edge cellular and in vitro network neuroscience research programs across the Faculty.


You should hold a PhD degree (or have equivalent experience) in a relevant discipline, including: experience in multielectrode array neurophysiology; cellular imaging and programming (Matlab, Python) for big data handling and analysis.  


This is a ful time, fixed term post available for the duration of 24 months.


Informal enquiries should be made to evelyne.sernagor@ncl.ac.uk (project lead) and alex.laude@ncl.ac.uk (core facility manager)


Key Accountabilities


  • To provide advice and guidance to a wide range of staff and students in all aspects of in vitro recordings based on MEA neurophysiology and epifluorescence cellular imaging as well as develop basic analysis routines to handle the large datasets generated using this combined approach
  • To assist PIs on developing grant proposals for research bids, contributing to writing technical reports and contributing to research papers for publication
  • To support staff/students/customers carrying out in vitro recordings using the combined MEA and imaging approach offered by the experimental platform. To assess their requirements, conduct an analysis of the information and make appropriate recommendations. To help academics interpret and analyse research outputs from their recordings and make recommendations for future research directions
  • To be responsible for the day-to-day operation, maintenance and servicing of equipment of the experimental platform to ensure maximum availability and access
  • To assist in training and providing advice to staff and students in techniques and good laboratory practice to ensure that all staff are able to carry out their own research in a safe and cost-effective manner
  • Attendance at and involvement with expert academic user group
  • Maintain a high level of up-to-date specialist knowledge of in vitro MEA neurophysiology and cellular imaging, by reading relevant journals and participating in relevant conferences
  • To be involved in developing enterprise opportunities and helping to maintain already established links with national and internationally recognised companies/ organisations
  • To support the PI and Senior ESO to ensure that the experimental platform is maintained in a fit operational state including regular provision of operator routine maintenance and liaison with service engineers
  • To support the quality assurance processes within the unit
  • To support the PI and Senior ESO to promote effective communication in order to maximise publicity and highlight unit services both within the university and also to potential external customers. This may include updating of facility website and other marketing material and involvement with other marketing activities
  • Any other duties within the remit of the grade as required by the PI and Senior ESO


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • An in-depth specialist understanding, and interest in evaluation and possible acquisition of, the latest breakthrough technologies, in in vitro MEA, optical recordings and computational neuroscience
  • Good knowledge of Python and Matlab
  • Well-developed understanding of health and safety regulations and procedures within a higher education environment
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and experience
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to be able to work with range of internal and external customers
  • Experience of working in a support environment and delivering project outcomes to academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Experience of providing training in MEA/optical recordings and programming guidance to users of varying experience


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Keep up to date with new/improved MEA neurophysiology and microscopy knowledge, skills, techniques and research
  • Maintain an up-to-date specialist knowledge of neurophysiology and computational neuroscience, including through subscriptions to specialist journals, attendance at workshops and seminars and, where appropriate, attendance at scientific conferences



  • PhD (Desirable), or degree in a scientific field with relevant experience (Essential)


Behaviours (Success Factors)

Delivering Services          

  • Sees other departments and colleagues as “customers” and follows through on their enquiries and requests
  • Keeps fellow team members up to date with progress
  • Co-operates with others in achieving targets
  • Takes responsibility for achieving own targets
  • Has a positive attitude for doing things better
  • Looks for ways to make immediate improvements (quick wins)
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Strives to deliver high quality results
  • Is enthusiastic in getting the job done on time


Planning and Organising

  • Works in a planned and structured way
  • Uses own and others’ time effectively
  • Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives
  • Plans workload and tasks in a systematic way
  • Ensures that all activities are completed on time
  • Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date
  • Keeps work systems up to date, neat and tidy
  • Ensures that others know how process and systems work


Gathering Information     

  • Keeps up to date with University issues
  • Gathers relevant information and facts
  • Is thorough in investigating an issue; “no stone left unturned” approach
  • Pieces together information to identify trends
  • Is wary of assuming things
  • Has an eye for detail, spotting errors and ensuring accurate information


Team Working        

  • Respects the expertise and contribution of others even if own opinion is different
  • Shares relevant and useful information with others
  • Keeps other team members up to date with progress
  • Gets involved with team tasks
  • Willing to help others and share workloads
  • Supportive of team decisions
  • Asks others’ opinion
  • Encourages others to get involved
  • Talks about other team members in a positive way
  • Respects the value that different views bring to the team








Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Requisition ID: 5271