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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  14381

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  22-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.


Salary: Research Assistant  £28,756 - £30,497  per annum

            Research Associate: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum

Closing Date: 6 December 2021


The Role


The post is to support on-going research within the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research. You will have a very strong background in mitochondrial biology, in particular the neurological basis of mitochondrial disease. 


You will be working in the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research under the supervision of Dr Nichola Lax and Professor Grainne Gorman and will be investigating the mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration in mitochondrial disease. You will be highly skilled in a variety of techniques that are essential for this project, including mouse phenotyping, neurophysiology, neurohistopathology, molecular biology techniques (including qPCR) and fluorescent confocal microscopy.


The post is available on a full time, fixed term basis for 12 months. 


For informal enquiries regarding the role, please contact Dr Grainne Gorman Grainne.Gorman@newcastle.ac.uk


More information is available here:  Faculty of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research


Key Accountabilities


  • Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, you 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 and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the person specification
  • Plan and carry out independent original research encompassing investigations leading to the discovery of new knowledge
  • Analyse data, interpret and bring new insights
  • Initiate or participate in inter-disciplinary collaborations as agreed with supervisor
  • Regular liaison with the Principal Investigators to organise workload and research activities, using appropriate materials, facilities and equipment
  • Write up research findings for publication and dissemination
  • Where suitable, present data at international conferences


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills 
  • Detailed subject knowledge of mitochondrial biology 
  • 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  
  • Excellent communication
  • Experience in mouse handling and husbandry
  • Mouse behaviour expertise
  • Electrophysiology experience in acute brain slices
  • Preparation of mouse and human tissues for various techniques, including extraction and handling of DNA and RNA
  • Techniques involving PCR and sequencing technologies
  • Skilled in immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry
  • Competent in fluorescent microscopy
  • Histological techniques and immunohistochemistry experience
  • Able to provide and present reports on research to high standard
  • Able to collaborate effectively across disciplinary boundaries
  • Able to organise and oversee projects
  • Public engagement experience


Attributes and Behaviour


  • Able to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Enthusiastic and hard working
  • Willingness to work flexibly by mutual agreement
  • A commitment to research as evidenced by completion of previous research projects and publications
  • Willingness to engage with and disseminate research to the public




  • Excellent (1st/2:1) primary degree, or equivalent international degree 
  • Possession of a doctoral degree in mitochondrial biology/genetics for Associate level or nearing PhD completion for Assistant level





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: 14381