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Research Assistant/Associate in Communication and Industry Engagement with Biological Architecture

Requisition ID:  24888

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-Jan-2023


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.


What’s in it for you? 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.


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: £29,619 to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 to £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 23 February 2023


The Role


We are seeking a dynamic researcher to join HBBE, able to communicate and engage with the construction industry in respect to new, innovative biologically based approaches for the built environment.


HBBE is an exciting collaboration between Newcastle University and Northumbria University with over 60 members supported by substantial funding from Research England. HBBE’s vision is to develop biotechnologies to create a new generation of Living Buildings which are responsible and responsive to their natural environment; grown using living engineered materials to reduce inefficient industrial construction processes; metabolise their own waste, reducing pollution and generating energy and high-value products; and modulate their microbiome to benefit human health and ecological health and wellbeing.

We are looking for a self-motivated and adaptable researcher to help communicate and engage others in the scientific concepts and the prototypes already emerging from HBBE. Experience in engaging industry partners would be welcome though not essential. The successful candidate will be based in the Responsible Interactions theme and will collaborate with researchers across the other research themes of Building Metabolisms, Living Construction and Microbial Environments. The candidate will work alongside science, engineering and design teams to trial and develop appropriate engagement projects with industry and other significant audiences, in order to showcase the work of the HBBE.


Some knowledge or experience of emerging biotechnologies would be welcome but is not essential. Along with the standard application documents (including CV and cover letter) applicants are asked to provide a ‘portfolio of projects’ which evidence a range of communication and engagement skills and a track record in research.

The nature of this role will require the successful candidate to work predominantly on the campus.

The post is full-time (or part-time if a suitable job share can be arranged) and fixed term, starting as soon as possible and ending 31st  March 2024.  

Informal queries to: Prof Ruth Morrow,

For more information about the project see our website.


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

  • Lead on the communication of the scientific concepts, design prototypes, and biotechnologies emerging from HBBE, devising a plan of engagement activities across the year, with particular focus on communicating with industry
  • Take responsibility for any administration related to the research and engagement processes, including procurement, budget control and completing ethics and research applications
  • Communicate across the HBBE, and work closely with colleagues in different research themes
  • Build relationships with other international researchers, external professional bodies and industry partners
  • Collaborate on publishing original research at international conferences, exhibitions and in peer reviewed journals
  • Develop presentations for a range of audiences to increase HBBE impact
  • Contribute to funding bids and support the growth of HBBE
  • Assist in the management and development of the OME, HBBE’s experimental and engagement building
  • Work as part of a team of research assistants/ associates


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Evidence of strong engagement and communication skills 
  • Experience communicating research or complex data and ideas through a range of tools (written and/or visual)
  • Experience publishing research through papers and/or other outputs


  • Knowledge of Biotechnologies and/or construction of the built environment (Desirable)
  • Experience of working with the Construction Industry or related fields (Desirable)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Good communication and engagement skills and ability to describe complex concepts to non-experts (Essential)
  • Good team working ability, in particular an ability to work productively with people across many different disciplines (Essential)
  • Flexibility and adaptability to respond to the needs of the project (Essential)
  • Willingness to travel where required (Essential)



  • 2.1 Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) 
  • Masters degree (or equivalent experience) in a related field
  • PhD (or equivalent experience) in related field 




The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24888