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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  19801

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  13-May-2022


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.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


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.



Research Assistant £28,746 to £30,947 per annum

Research Associate £31,406 to £32,344 per annum


Closing Date: 11 June 2022


The Role

This is an exciting opportunity to work on a project developing new treatments for prostate cancer. The project is funded by the Newcastle Hospitals Charity, and will run alongside a Prostate Cancer Research funded project ‘targeting sugars to block prostate cancer spread’. For more information visit here.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and claims the lives of more than 11,000 men every year. New treatments for prostate cancer are urgently needed and could significantly impact patient quality of life and survival times. Glycans are sugars attached to proteins and lipids on the cell surface, and are a major building block of life essential for virtually every biological process. Glycans can play major roles in all of the established cancer hallmarks and hold huge potential for cancer research. Our latest research has identified a set of glycan sugars that are found at high levels in tumours and blood from men with prostate cancer. Our studies show these glycans drive prostate tumour growth and metastasis – making them excellent potential therapeutic targets.


This project will explore if glycan-targeting drugs can be exploited to inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer. The post holder will utilise 2D and 3D cell line and patient derived xenograft (PDX) models of prostate cancer to screen a panel of inhibitors, and ultimately work towards developing these drugs as new therapies for prostate cancer. You will also assist with other projects in the lab when needed. For more information see: PMIDs 27428423, 27091662, 27007155 and 30893936.


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.


This post is tenable for 12 months.


For informal enquiries regarding this role please contact (

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


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Detailed subject knowledge of cancer 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 

•    Some postdoctoral experience
•     Knowledge of prostate cancer, glycosylation, and drug discovery
•    Culture of primary cells, experience of in vitro cell behaviour assays (e.g. cell proliferation and invasion) and in vivo models of cancer

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 



•    A PhD in Cancer Research or related area. For Research Associate (or be close to submission of a PhD for Research Assistant level)

•    Honors degree in relevant subject 


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.


Requisition ID: 19801