Experimental Scientific Officer

Requisition ID:  25510

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  17 May 2023


Salary: £33,348 to £35,308, with progression to £43,155 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 08 June 2023



The Role


As an Experimental Scientific Officer, you will support research in the Faculty of Medical Sciences by applying machine learning and neural network algorithms to ‘big data’, providing analytical services for high-throughput ‘omics techniques and assist PIs, postdocs, students and external customers with bioinformatic analysis.

You will join a successful and experienced core facility and will take part in cutting-edge research programs across the Faculty, especially those using large data repositories like UK Biobank and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink along with sources generating high-throughput (“next generation”) sequencing data. More detail on the Bioinformatics Support Unit is available here.


This is a full time vacancy, fixed term for 2 years


Informal enquiries should be made to Ann Hedley email: Ann.Hedley@newcastle.ac.uk

Key Accountabilities

  • To develop the use of machine learning (ML) and neural network techniques and to provide advice and guidance in all aspects of machine learning, AI, bioinformatics and the facility to a wide range of staff, students and commercial users. (e.g. advising on methods, experimental design and the validation of results etc)
  • Develop semi-automated pipelines for the necessary QC and pre-processing of omic, electronic health care data and other relevant types of big data, using ML and AI methods where possible
  • Suggest and implement appropriate ML/AI methods that apply to the data given the clinical/experimental research questions
  • To assist PIs on developing grant proposals for research bids, contributing to writing technical reports and contributing to research papers for publication
  • To support and participate in the research of bioinformatics by running computational experiments, maintaining and setting up research infrastructure and protocols
  • To support staff/students/customers carrying out bioinformatics investigations. To assess their requirements, conduct an analysis of the information and make appropriate recommendations. To help academics interpret and analyse research outputs from bioinformatic investigations and make recommendations for future research directions
  • To assist in the day-to-day operation, maintenance and servicing of equipment in the Bioinformatics Support Unit 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 groups
  • Maintain a high level of up-to-date specialist knowledge of machine learning and bioinformatics, by reading relevant journals and participating in relevant conferences, so as to support the Senior ESO in making strategic decisions on purchases and upgrades to place the bioinformatics at the forefront of these techniques
  • To be involved in developing enterprise opportunities and helping to maintain already established links with national and internationally recognised companies/ organisations
  • To support the Senior ESO to ensure that the Bioinformatics Support Unit and its equipment are maintained in a fit operational state including regular provision of operator routine maintenance and liaison with service engineers. With Senior ESO, regularly review service support structures and administrative requirements, including designing and delivering support mechanisms to maximise service quality, efficiency and continuity
  • To support the quality assurance processes within the unit
  • To support the 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 Senior ESO


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • An in-depth specialist understanding and interest in the latest breakthrough technologies in computational biology, ML, AI and bioinformatics and / or a desire to acquire these skills
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills and experience
  • Specific experience with data engineering, data quality assessment and   im-provement methods, and with their implementation using either python or R 
  • Knowledge of R/BioConductor
  • Experience with Linux operating systems and/or MacOS platform
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to be able to work with range of internal and external customers
  • Well-developed understanding of health and safety regulations and procedures within a higher education environment
  • Experience of working in a Bioinformatics support environment and delivering project outcomes to academic and non-academic stakeholders (Desirable)
  • Experience of providing training in bioinformatics to users of varying experience (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Keep up to date with new/improved machine learning and bioinformatics knowledge, skills, techniques and research
  • Maintain an up-to-date specialist knowledge of computational biology, including through subscriptions to specialist journals, attendance at workshops and seminars and, where appropriate, attendance at scientific conferences
  • Maintain a good working relationship with the rest of the Bioinformatics Support Unit team members, respecting their expertise and contribution. Co-operating on achieving targets and providing progress updates
  • Has a positive attitude for doing things better, a keen attention to detail and a ‘no stone unturned’ attitude to research
  • Works in a planned and structured way to ensure own and others’ time is used effectively
  • Strives to ensure tasks are completed on time and in budget
  • Uses systems and tools to ensure records and audit trails are clear and up to date



  • Relevant postgraduate degree or equivalent qualifications and/or experience in a relevant scientific/technical role
  • Postgraduate (PhD) qualification in a relevant subject in Computer or Data Science 


Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 25510