Share this Job

Research Assistant/Associate in Prototyping Biological Architecture

Requisition ID:  5419

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  18-Nov-2020


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: Research Assistant: £28,331 - £30,046 per annum

            Research Associate: £30,942 - £31,866 per annum


Closing Date: 3 January 2021


The Role


We are seeking a dynamic and creative Researcher to join the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment with a profound interest in the development of new materials, systems and processes for the built environment. The Hub (HBBE) is an exciting new collaboration between Newcastle University and Northumbria University supported by £8M of research funding. Our vision is to develop biotechnologies to create a new generation of Living Buildings which are 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 wellbeing.

We are looking for a creative, highly motivated and adaptable design-led researcher to help design and develop experimental prototypes for our experimental house, the OME. You may work across any of our themes which include Building Metabolism, Responsible Interactions, Microbial Environments and Living Construction. You will work along-side our science and engineering teams to develop working prototypes which seek to demonstrate closed loop systems within the OME by intergrating technologies and disciplines.  Some knowledge or experience of emerging biotechnologies in design would be welcome, but is not essential. A strong design portfolios is essential with evidence of a range of prototyping skills and a track record in research through design.

Along with the standard application documents (including CV and cover letter) potential candidates are asked to provide a portfolio of projects which demonstrate strong design skills and expertise prototyping with experimental technologies.  

The post is full-time, fixed-term from February 2021 – March 2023. In some circumstances flexible part time positions can be discussed.   

For Informal queries please contact: Prof Ruth Morrow, ruth.morrow@newcastle.ac.uk

For more information about the project see our website: www.bbe.ac.uk  


Key Accountabilities


  1. Lead on the design, specification, development and testing of new biotechnology prototypes for installation into the OME
  2. Communicate your findings to, and work closely with, colleagues in different disciplines across the HBBE
  3. Build relationships with other international researchers, external bodies and industry partners
  4. Publish original research at international conferences, exhibitions and in peer reviewed journals
  5. Develop presentations for a range of audiences to increase our impact
  6. Help develop new funding bids and support the growth of HBBE


The Person 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Demonstrable design skills with evidence of the design and prototyping of building components and/or systems
  • Experience conducing experimental research with emerging technologies, generating data and/or using design as a research method
  • Experience publishing research through papers and/or design practice outputs (Desirable)
  • Experience of Biomaterials and Biotechnologies (Desirable)
  • Excellent creative design and graphical skill demonstrable through a design portfolio


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Demonstrable interest in new and emerging technologies in design
  • Good communication skills and ability to describe complex concepts to non-experts
  • Good team working ability, in particular an ability to work productively with people across many different disciplines
  • Flexibility and adaptability to respond to the needs of the project
  • Willingness to travel internationally




  • 2.1 Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Architecture, Design or Civil Engineering (or a combination of these) or other creative design fields related to design and new technologies 
  • Masters degree (or equivalent experience) in Architecture, Design, Architectural Technology or similar 
  • PhD for Associate level (or equivalent experience for Assistant level) in Architecture, Design, Architectural Technology or similar (Desirable)


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.



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.


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.


Requisition ID: 5419