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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  13887

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  19-Nov-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.


Starting Salary for Research Assistant:  £28,756 to £30,497 per annum

Starting Salary for Research Associate:  £31,406 to £33,309 per annum

Closing Date:   3rd January 2021


The Role


Your role will be to develop and apply advanced statistical analysis methods to multi-omics data (SNP genotypes,  gene-expression, CpG methylation and serum proteomics) derived from patients with liver disease and healthy controls, to identify causal pathways in disease development/progression. This is an exciting opportunity for a methodologically-focussed researcher with strong computational/statistical skills to contribute to cutting-edge methods development in a clinically relevant research area with strong translational potential.


The project forms part of a Wellcome Investigator Award in Science awarded to Professor Heather Cordell. The overall goal of this research is to develop and apply advanced statistical methods to help elucidate the biological mechanisms and causal pathways underpinning the correlations seen between genotype and phenotype in complex genetic disorders, with specific emphasis on liver and kidney disease. This will allow us to better understand the biological processes leading to disease development, thus enabling the development of potential therapies and cures. Identifying genes and their protein products which alter disease risk will point to potential new drug targets and allow opportunities for re-purposing of existing drugs. We will use measurements of genetic factors and potential intermediate processes such as gene expression, DNA methylation and protein levels, available through long-standing collaborations with clinical colleagues. A key goal of our research is to develop methods that integrate these different data types with one another, and with similar data from external sources.


This post is fixed term until 31st March 2026.


For informal enquiries contact: Professor Heather Cordell (heather.cordell@newcastle.ac.uk)


Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/


Find out more about our Research Institutes here:  https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/research/institutes/


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
  • Develop user-friendly software implementations of any novel analytical methods generated
  • Contribute to the deposit of software and study data to appropriate repositories


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
  • Scripting/programming ability using a command line interface
  • Some knowledge of one or more programming languages suitable for working in the area of statistics and data science (e.g. R, Python, Julia, C/C++)
  • Detailed subject knowledge of existing statistical/computational methods and approaches for analysing high-dimensional data
  • Proven ability in statistical or statistical genetics methods development



  • A high level of proficiency with one or more programming languages suitable for working in the area of statistics and data science (e.g. R, Python, Julia, C/C++)
  • Familiarity with analysing multi-omics data
  • Familiarity with using genetic data for inferring causal relationships between variables, for fine-mapping and for performing colocalisation analysis 



  • Good honours degree (or equivalent) in a quantitative discipline (e.g. mathematics, physics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics) with some subject knowledge in statistics, genetics or computational biology (Research Assistant)
  • A PhD in an appropriate research area (e.g. statistics, statistical genetics, computational biology, genetic epidemiology) (Research Associate)


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID: 13887