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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  21681

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  05-Aug-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: £29,619 - £30,502, with progression to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 - £34,308, with progression to £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 04 September 2022 


The Role


A research position is available to a motivated and enthusiastic researcher interested in studying the mechanism of replication and segregation of the human mitochondrial genome.


The position is in the recently established research group of Dr Tom Nicholls at the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research. The project will use a range of molecular, biochemical and cell biology techniques to study the mechanism of mtDNA segregation on a molecular and cellular level. The integration of basic science with clinical work at the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research also provides excellent opportunities for collaborative work into the molecular basis of human mitochondrial diseases.


You must have an excellent primary degree in the life sciences and a PhD in mammalian or bacterial genetics, biochemistry or cell biology (or be studying towards a PhD for Research Assistant level). You must have a strong grounding in molecular biology techniques. Previous experience of confocal and super-resolution microscopy for the study of cultured cells (especially for the study of mitochondria) is desirable. You should have a strong capacity for independent scientific thought and be able to design and carry out research projects individually or as part of a team.


Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.

Find out more about our Research Institutes here.


This post is fixed term for a period of 19 months. 


For further information about the post please contact Dr Tom Nicholls at


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
•    Work to promote and uphold a positive research culture within the research environment

The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Detailed subject knowledge on the topic of molecular genetics and cell 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 

•    Experience of high-resolution microscopy
•    Prior knowledge of mitochondrial biology
•    Experience of molecular biology techniques, such as PCR and western blotting



•    A PhD in molecular biology, cell biology or biochemistry (Research Associate) 
•    Candidates studying for a PhD will be considered at Research Assistant level
•    Primary degree in the life sciences


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: 21681