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Research Assistant/Associate in Visualisation and Design for Biological Architecture

Requisition ID:  5418

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 communication 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 visualise and communicate our scientific and design concepts to a range of audiences. You may work across any of our themes which includes: Responsible Interactions, Microbial Environments, Building Metabolisms and Living Construction.  You will work along-side our science and engineering teams to develop visualisation of our design prototypes, of biological data as well as visualising the invisible biological world around us.  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 communication skills and an emerging track record in research through design and/or design communication.

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, a range of visualisation processes 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.   

Informal queries to: Professor 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 visual communication of scientific concepts and design prototypes in relation to HBBE biotechnologies and biological data
  2. Communicate across the HBBE, and work closely with colleagues in different disciplines
  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 strong visual communication skills for a range of audiences
  • Experience communicating research or complex data and ideas through diagrams and other graphics
  • Experience publishing research through papers and/or design practice outputs (Desirable)
  • Experience of Biotechnologies (Desirable)
  • Excellent creative design and graphical skill demonstrable through a design portfolio


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Demonstrable interest in new and emerging technologies and/or biological communication and visualisation
  • 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 a Creative Design related field which might include Graphic Design/Communication, Architecture, or related design fields 
  • Masters degree (or equivalent experience) in Creative Design related field which might include Graphic Design/Communication, Architecture, or similar 
  • PhD for Associate level (or equivalent experience for Assistant level) in Creative Design related field which might include Graphic Design/Communication, Architecture (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: 5418