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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  20347

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  13-Jun-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: £28,756 to £30,497 per annum

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


Closing Date: 5 July 2022


The Role

We offer an excellent opportunity for a Research Assistant/Associate to join a collaborative team within the Biosciences Institute at the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre to support a new and exciting project funded by the JGW Patterson Foundation. 


Translocations involving the immunoglobulin loci and the transcription factor MYC are universal in Burkitt lymphoma (BL) but they are also reported in cases presenting with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL). Until now, these rare cases have presented a dilemma for clinical management and trial enrolment. Recently, however, we characterised the cytogenetic, mutational, and epigenetic and transcriptomic changes in a large international cohort of these cases, clearly demonstrating them to be high-risk B-ALL. We now want to leverage that knowledge and experience for patient benefit by identifying new treatment targets and developing pre-clinical models. 


This project will use patient-derived xenograft models to generate MYC CUT&RUN-seq data to identify MYC-bound genes. Together with transcriptomic data, we will begin to understand how MYC overexpression is functioning in our B-ALL patients. Using existing BL data we will directly compare the two malignancies to identify differing roles for MYC in immature vs mature B-cell malignancies, identifying B-ALL specific therapy targets. You will develop and carry out the specified project in collaboration with other members of the group leading to the discovery of new knowledge. You will also have the opportunity to interact with a broad range of researchers within the Newcastle Centre for Cancer and more widely across the Faculty of Medical Sciences.


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 fixed term for a period of 12 months. For informal enquiries contact: Lisa Russell:


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 (cancer/ haematological malignancies/ epigenomics) 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
•    Extensive experience and sound understanding of cell culture techniques 
•    Experience and sound understanding of nucleotide isolation, purification and quantification
•    Experience in generating epigenomic data (ChIP-seq, CUT&RUN, RNA-seq etc) 
•    Experience and sound understanding of mRNA and protein quantification methods including qPCR, western blotting and FACS  

•    Experience in analysing epigenomic data (ChIP-seq, CUT&RUN-seq, RNA-seq) 


Attributes and Behaviour
•    Ability to work independently
•    Able to effectively organise allocated work activities
•    Ability to demonstrate resilience in dealing with challenging environments and behaviours
•    Excellent organisational, communication and interpersonal skills
•    Ability to carry out research project work within agreed timelines, meeting project milestones and producing research to an appropriate standard



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


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: 20347