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Research Assistant/Associate (Organic Chemistry)

Requisition ID:  721

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  18-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 - £32,817.00 

Closing Date: 17 November 2019

The role


We are seeking to appoint an outstanding postdoctoral researcher with expertise in synthetic organic chemistry to work on a Medical Research Council-funded Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) grant entitled ‘Novel mode of RNA polymerase inhibition by a new natural rifamycin, which is active against rifampicin-resistant RNA polymerases and bacteria’.


You will work closely with industrial and academic partners to develop and implement synthetic methodology for the semi-synthetic modification of a series of ansamycin natural products. The project aims to understand and improve on the biological activity (RNAP inhibition) of rifamycin like natural products at the molecular level. The main focus is the synthesis of a targeted library of semi-synthetic derivatives towards the development of new antibacterial agents.


You will have a PhD (or be near completion) in synthetic organic chemistry. Postdoctoral experience in organic synthesis, ideally with experience of natural product synthesis, small scale synthesis and the analysis of complex molecules, is desirable. You should have a publication track record consummate with your experience. Good communication and strong synthetic and analytical skills are essential.


Preliminary work on this project can be found in our recent publication Molecular Cell 2018, 72(2), 263-274.


This is a full time, fixed term position available initially for 12 months.


Informal enquiries can be made to


For more information, please click here:


Key Accountabilities


  • To undertake a synthetic organic chemistry role, including synthesis, semi-synthesis, reaction design and analysis of complex molecules (NMR, HPLC, LCMS, X-ray)
  • To delivery semi-synthetic materials for biological assessment, on time and of the required purity
  • To participate in academic and industrial collaborations as agreed with supervisor, including liaising with both the microbiology and industrial partners
  • Provide guidance, where necessary, to other staff and students, including possible supervision of PhD and undergraduate project students as agreed with supervisor
  • Write up research findings for publication and dissemination


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Synthetic organic chemistry skills
  • Analytical chemistry skills
  • Natural product chemistry skills
  • NMR
  • LCMS
  • HPLC
  • Post-doctoral experience in synthetic organic chemistry
  • Small scale synthetic chemistry (<10mg)
  • Publications in quality refereed Journals or evidence of manuscripts in preparation or under review
  • Experience of presenting research work at scientific meetings


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Capacity for original thought
  • Good communication skills
  • Willingness to work flexibly by mutual arrangement
  • Clear commitment to a career in research
  • Ambitious with a demonstrable drive to succeed and produce work at the highest level
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • Willingness to supervise Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students



  • PhD (awarded or near completion) in synthetic organic chemistry
  • BSc/MChem in Chemistry or a closely related subject

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.


Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 721