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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  7322

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-Apr-2021


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.



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

Research Associate: - £30,942 - £35,845 per annum


Closing Date: 23 May 2021


The Role


The host-microbiome research group is seeking you as an enthusiastic Post-Doctoral Research Associate funded by the Wellcome Trust. The research post offers an exciting opportunity to work within an established group that combines clinical and academic research expertise. You will undertake research focused on breast milk and gut microbiome in preterm infant health and disease. The project is interdisciplinary, spanning molecular- and micro-biology, biochemistry, and immunology. Relevant techniques include microbiome sequencing, RNA-sequencing, organoid / tissue culture, immune profiling, and data analysis.


The host lab is focused on microbial-host interaction in the gut of infants born premature, utilising multi-omic analysis of clinical samples (e.g., microbiome, human milk oligosaccharide (HMO), and metabolite profiling) in combination with basic microbiology and an experimental organoid co-culture system.  The overarching goal is to better understanding the potential mechanisms leading to necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and late onset sepsis. By better understanding diet-microbe-host interaction, we hope to develop novel disease biomarkers and targeted therapeutic interventions to promote health in preterm infants.


This is a full time, fixed term post for a period of 2 years.


For informal enquiries contact: Dr Chris Stewart - christopher.stewart@newcastle.ac.uk

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.

Find out more about our Research Institutes here.


As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, 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


  • Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, the postholder will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial 'added value'
  • Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
  • Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
  • Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
  • Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
  • Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
  • Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
  • Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
  • May be involved in the supervision, with guidance, of final year undergraduate research projects and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
  • Will need to work with the support staff and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute.
  • May contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
  • Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience



  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge (PI to describe subject knowledge required) in the area of research
  • Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects
  • High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others
  • Experience of research with clear transferable skills and some experience or awareness of the research environment
  • Presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications



  • Research experience in gut microbiome
  • Tissue culture and/or organoid culture
  • Research experience with breast milk


Attributes and Behaviour



  • Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work flexibly and cooperatively with others



  • Willing to assist with the supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate students





  • Good honours degree (or equivalent) with some subject knowledge in the relevant area (Research Assistant)
  • A PhD in the research area required (Research Associate)


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: 7322


The Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in addition to the University’s silver 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.