Share this Job

Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  1223

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  21-Nov-2019

Research Assistant/Associate

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 - £40,322 

Closing Date: 5 January 2020


The role

This antibiotic drug discovery project is based in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Discovery of Medicines Research Theme within the laboratory of Dr Julia Hubbard. You will participate in projects at the interface of microbiology and structural biology, biophysical analysis, and assay development to support the design and synthesis of novel small-molecules for the production of a new class of antibiotic agent. This is an excellent opportunity for a researcher with experience in molecular biology, protein production (expression, purification) and crystallography, who is highly motivated to contribute to structure-based drug design.


You will develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the person specification. You will be required to plan and carry out independent original research encompassing investigations leading to the discovery of new knowledge and initiate, or participate in, inter-disciplinary collaborations. You will provide guidance, where necessary, to other staff and students including possible supervision of PhD and undergraduate project students.


You will have an undergraduate degree in a relevant science subject; a PhD (or be close to completion for appointment at Research Assistant) in the area of protein biochemistry or biophysics, X-ray crystallography or similar, along with experience of recombinant protein expression in bacteria systems for structural studies. Experience in membrane protein structural biology is desirable.


The position is tenable for 2 years and is available from 1st January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. 


Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Julia Hubbard (Julia.Hubbard@ncl.ac.uk).

Further Information about the Faculty can be found at: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/fms/.


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.


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.


Key Accountabilities

  • Recombinant expression of proteins in bacterial cell culture.
  • Protein characterisation and assay development.
  • Protein crystallisation, X-ray diffraction data collection and computational crystallography.
  • Contributing to the drug design process.
  • Presentation of results at internal and external meetings, and assistance with writing publications.
  • Assistance in the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory.
  • Contributions to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club.
  • The performance of risk assessments and maintaining safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH) in consultation with academic staff.
  • Organisation and assistance in general laboratory duties e.g. stores, equipment maintenance, and general cleaning.
  • Any other duties within the remit of the grade as required by the relevant PIs.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Expertise in contemporary molecular biology techniques.
  • Expertise in recombinant protein expression in bacteria for structural studies.
  • Expertise in protein purification.
  • Expertise in computational X-ray crystallography and/or small molecule drug design.
  • Presentation of work at scientific meetings.
  • Expertise in membrane protein expression in bacterial expression systems for structural studies.
  • Familiarity with biochemical and biophysical techniques for assessing protein quality and/or protein-ligand interactions.
  • Familiarity with computational chemistry, chemical database and electronic notebook systems.
  • Publication of work in peer-reviewed journals.

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Capacity for original thought.
  • Enthusiastic and hard working.
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills.
  • Team-working skills.
  • High level analytical skills.
  • Commitment to continuing professional development.
  • Good IT and computing skills.
  • Ability to take an active role in determining the future directions of a research project.
  • Interest to a career in research.



  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject. 
  • A PhD in the area of protein biochemistry, protein biophysics, X-ray crystallography or similiar (or be close to completion for appointment at Research Assistant).


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.


Requisition ID: 1223