Share this Job

Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  3201

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date: 


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: £28,331.00 - £31,866.00 

Closing Date: 12 March 2020

The role


This is an exciting opportunity to work on a project exploiting glycan sugars to develop a new non-invasive test to diagnose prostate cancer. The project is funded by the JGW Patterson Foundation, and will run alongside a Research Innovation Award from Prostate Cancer UK (https://prostatecanceruk.org/research/research-we-fund/ria16-st2-011). New diagnostic tests for prostate cancer are urgently needed, and a non-invasive ‘liquid biopsy’ test would be ideal. In unpublished data, we have demonstrated that 3 glycan sugars are upregulated in the blood and urine of men with prostate cancer and this can be detected using a simple sandwich ELISA test. The combined levels of these glycans (GlycoScore) can be used diagnostically to differentiate benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer more accurately than PSA. This project will help further develop/validate GlycoScore in multiple large patient cohorts, to ultimately work towards commercialising the test and making it available to men with prostate cancer.


You will also assist with other projects in the lab when needed. For more information see: PMIDs 27428423, 27091662, 27007155 and 30893936.


This post is tenable for 12 months, contact Jennifer.Munkley@ncl.ac.uk for informal enquiries.


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.


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.


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.


Key Accountabilities

  • Design and carry out experiments and develop new tools for the project where required.
  • To keep excellent laboratory records of all experimental procedures and outcomes, enabling their implementation by current and future team members.
  • To organise personal workload, whilst working effectively within the team.
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of the relevant literature and apply this to the project where applicable.
  • Critically analyse data and interpret results.
  • Contribute to manuscript preparation for publication in high impact journals.
  • Present data at local, national and international meetings.
  • Exchange knowledge and skills with other members of the research group, and assist in the supervision of other members of the team, including undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students
  • Participate fully as a member of the research group including input into other on-going projects in the laboratory and also in the day-to-day organisation and running of the laboratory.


The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Knowledge of cancer genetics, biomarkers, molecular biology and statistics.
  • Excellent generic laboratory skills and evidence of ability to deliver technically difficult experiments and acquire new techniques quickly
  • Experienced in ELISA assays, western blotting, immunohistochemistry and cell culture
  • Excellent spoken and written English


  • Some postdoctoral experience
  • Knowledge of prostate cancer, glycosylation and biomarker validation
  • Culture of primary cells
  • Experience of in vitro cell behaviour assays (cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, invasion) and in vivo models of cancer
  • Record of completing research, including writing for publications and presentation of data at conferences
  • Publication record in cancer research (or related field)


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Clear commitment to research
  • Excellent team working and communication skills
  • Professional attitude to scholarship and research
  • Strong analytical and experimental planning skills
  • Excellent personal organisation, record keeping and attention to detail
  • Flexibility and willingness to undertake work outside normal hours when necessary



  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a science subject – preferably molecular biology, cell biology, or genetics
  • A PhD in cancer research or related field (or close to submission of PhD for Research Assistant level)


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: 3201