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Research Assistant/Associate Bioinformatics

Requisition ID:  19790

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  28-Apr-2022


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.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community 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.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global 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 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.



Research Assistant: £28,756 to £30,497 per annum

Research Associate: £31,406 to £33,309 per annum


Closing Date: 05 June 2022


The Role


Following recent success securing MRC funding, a research assistant/research associate position is available for a bioinformatician in the Haematopoiesis and Immunogenomics Lab at Newcastle University. We wish to recruit a highly motivated individual, with a passion for discovery science, who will take a lead role in data analysis and development of analysis techniques, to understand how immune cell development is regulated to maintain the integrity of the immune system.


Human immunity critically depends upon the coordinated production of functionally specialised cells by haematopoiesis, a process regulated by a network of transcription factors. The mechanisms by which transcription factors maintain equipoise in health but respond to exogenous challenges, such as infection or cancer, are unknown. Led by Dr Venetia Bigley, in collaboration with bioinformaticians in Newcastle and Wellcome Sanger Institute, the postholder will work on the project ‘dynamic regulation of human immunity by interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8)’. You will integrate transcriptomic, epigenetic and protein-DNA binding analyses to characterise the role of haematopoietic transcription factors within single cells. Association of genomic and single cell transcriptomic datasets will identify expression quantitative trait loci for IRF8 and other critical haematopoietic factors, aiming to identify how genetic differences between individuals affect immunity.


Experience in bioinformatics, transcriptomics or genomics is essential. Experience in single cell analyses and laboratory work is desirable. Opportunities can be made to incorporate wetlab experimental work. You must hold a PhD or be close to submitting a PhD thesis.


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.


The post is full time and fixed term until 02.05.27


Applicants are encouraged to make informal enquiries to Dr Venetia Bigley (


Key Accountabilities

  • Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, you will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial 'added value'
  • Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate bioinformatic techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
  • Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
  • Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
  • Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
  • Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
  • Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
  • Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
  • May be involved in the supervision, with guidance, of final year undergraduate research projects and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
  • Will need to work with the support staff and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute.
  • May contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
  • Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
  • Liaise with collaborators in Newcastle and Wellcome Sanger Institute (Cambridge) to use and develop pipelines for the integration of complex, large, multi-omic datasets.
  • Take a lead role in data management and sharing, including deposition of datasets and metadata in public archives.
  • Take a role in junior staff and student supervision


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge in bioinformatics and biology
  • Expertise in programming using R or Python
  • Experience analysing and integrating large datasets
  • Experience handling computational biological resources
  • 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


  • Analysis of single cell transcriptomic or multiomic data
  • Analysis of whole genome or whole exome sequencing
  • Experience supervising junior staff, postgraduate or undergraduate students
  • Experience of hands-on laboratory experimental work


Attributes and Behaviour

  • High level of self-motivation, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Strong critical thinking skills and ability to take a logical approach to solving biological problems
  • Excellent interpersonal skills



  • Good honours degree (or equivalent) and a PhD (Research Associate), or close to PhD thesis submission (Research Assistant) in a relevant subject


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: 19790