Research Assistant

Requisition ID:  26155

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  14 Sep 2023


Salary: £31,396 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: 20 October 2023



The Role


We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced researcher to recruit and consent participants who have had a confirmed COVID diagnoses more than at least 6 weeks before testing and who suffer from fatigue. You will also carry out all electrophysiological and behavioural tests required to ascertain which brain systems have been affected (at weeks 1, 8 sand 16 for each participant), instruct participants in the use of the intervention (VNS or sham VNS) and home monitoring devices (smart phones and biosensors), collect blood samples, oversee data storage/curation and assist with analysis. In effect, you will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the study.


About a quarter of people who have only suffered very mild symptoms of acute COVID19 report suffering from fatigue – post Covid Fatigue (pCF) - after they have otherwise fully recovered. 


This randomised controlled study has been designed to assess the potential efficacy of a repurposed low-cost therapeutic technology – transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) - optimised to deliver a repurposed therapeutic intervention -vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) - to treat pCF.


By carefully phenotyping people with pCF using electrophysiological and behavioural tests to probe different parts of the peripheral and central nervous system, we hope also to predict those who will respond to VNS and thus stratify the application of this therapy in the future.


This is a full time position, fixed term until 29 February 2024

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Mark R Baker
Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.
Find out more about our Research Institutes here.


As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, 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
•    Contribution to the research programme of the School/Institute under the clear guidance of a member of an academic staff or Principal Investigator
•    Use initiative and creativity to analyse and interpret research data and draw conclusions on the outcomes
•    Co-ordinate own work with that of others, deal with problems which may affect the achievement of research objectives and contribute to the planning of the project(s)
•    Present information on research progress and outcomes to a Principal Investigator or groups overseeing the research project
•    Write up results from own research activity and provide input into the research project’s dissemination, in whatever form (report, papers, chapters, book)
•    Work to deadlines and manage, with support, competing priorities
•    Ensure that personal knowledge in relevant fields of study is kept up to date
•    Use research resources (including, where required, laboratories, workshops and specialist equipment) as appropriate
•    Maintain academic standards and freedom, and work in accordance with university policies (e.g. equal opportunities, health and safety policies)
•    Possible supervision and demonstration duties within undergraduate laboratories and example classes or in teaching small seminar classes
•    Undertake relevant training and development activities to develop capacity for taking on wider responsibilities
•    Develop, with advice, an awareness of own professional development needs and a personal development strategy


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Detailed subject knowledge (PI to describe subject knowledge required) in the area of research 
•    Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects 
•    High level of analytical and problem-solving capability 
•    Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others 
•    Experience of research with clear transferable skills and some experience or awareness of the research environment 
•    Presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications 

Attributes and Behaviour
•    Enthusiastic and hard-working with a willingness to work flexibly
•    Ability to work with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail, whilst meeting deadlines
•    Ability to work independently, as a member of a team, and to establish effective working relationships with a range of colleagues and stakeholders at all levels of seniority
•    Commitment to own personal development
•    Problem-solving ability and willingness to develop and design new

•    First Class Honors degree in Biochemistry
•    Master’s degree in Neuroscience


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: 26155