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Research Assistant (Joy and Frank Williams Dove Time Series)

Requisition ID:  245

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  04-Oct-2019



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: £28,331.00 - £30,046.00 

Closing Date: 8 November 2019



The role


We are seeking to recruit a Research Assistant to collect, curate and analyse the Long Term Plankton and Benthic Dove Time Series. Sustained observations of biota in coastal time series are required to separate climate-driven signals from the noise of natural fluctuations to disentangle responses of species, communities and ecosystems to global drivers from regional and local scale impacts. You will raise the profile of these research assets externally, work towards embedding the data sets into marine observatory networks and contribute to the publication of research outputs in peer-reviewed journals.


Based at the School’s coastal field station, the Dove Marine Laboratory, you will have a clear commitment to pursuing a career in marine science research. You will have a good degree in an appropriate science subject, and expertise in biological oceanography or marine ecology and knowledge of marine species. You will have expertise in biological (either planktonic or benthic invertebrate) sample processing and experience of working in a laboratory environment. You will contribute to the delivery of ecology and biological oceanography teaching to undergraduate students, supporting the day-to-day supervision of their projects.


The post is full-time and for a fixed term period of 5 years. For informal enquiries contact Dr Jane Delany (


As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


Key Accountabilities


  • Field sampling on board the University’s research vessel, the RV Princess Royal, on a monthly basis to sustain the ongoing collection of samples
  • Appropriate storage and curation of the plankton and benthic invertebrate samples
  • Presentations at internal and external meetings. Preparation of material and assistance with writing reports
  • Ongoing identifcation and processing of the samples
  • Input of the data to databases and subsequent analysis
  • Possible supervision and demonstration duties within undergraduate laboratories and field classes or in teaching small seminar classes
  • Contributions to group meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars
  • The preparation of risk assessments and maintaining safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH) in consultation with academic staff
  • Organisation and assistance in general laboratory duties e.g. stores, equipment maintenance, and laboratory cleaning
  • Supporting delivery of ecology field programmes to internal and external students


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Demonstrable expertise in biological oceanography, marine ecology or knowledge of marine species
  • Proven ability to use initiative and to adopt a creative approach to problem solving
  • Ability to take an active role in determining the future directions of a research project
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills, both oral and written for scientific and non-scienctific audiences
  • Excellent project management skills, including time management and organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise workload, work under pressure and to meet multiple deadlines
  • Understanding of the requirements of working effectively in a laboratory environment


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to develop effective working relationships with a range of staff and to work well within and across teams
  • An awareness and understanding of customer relationship management and an ability to work effectively with external customers
  • Manages time and resources by prioritising and organising effectively
  • Maintains flexibility in work plans to allow for changing circumstances
  • Evidence of interest in pursuing a career in research
  • Shares relevant and useful information with others, and keeps colleagues up to date with progress
  • Respects the expertise and contribution of others even if own opinion is different




  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject – preferably marine science
  • Desirable: Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject – oceanography, marine science, biology, ecology

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: 245