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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  22931

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  14-Sep-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 Salary: £29,619 - £31,411 per annum

Research Associate Salary: £32,348 - £34,308 per annum


Closing Date: 13 October 2022


The Role 


The prospective candidate will join our team and lead research into circadian mechanisms of gene expression regulation. This position provides an opportunity to work on a fascinating research project in a world-class Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, renowned for its scientific excellence, state-of-the-art equipment and supportive collaborative community. 


The project will be focused on a molecular mechanism of gene transcription regulation by circadian clock in cyanobacteria. Ultimately relying on energy of Sun for photosynthesis, cyanobacteria possess simplest in nature circadian clock. The clock schedules expression of functional groups of genes in a 24-hours cycle. In this project we aim to investigate how RNA polymerase interprets signals from the clock and converts them into a transcription output in the form of mRNA. Additionally, we will address a potential direct communication and feedback between transcription machinery and clock components. We will use biochemistry, nanopore sequencing and microscopy-based approaches, and collaborate with groups in USA, China and UK for structural biology, mathematical modelling and bioinformatics. This work is relevant for understanding the life’s ultimate reliance on energy of Sun and its programming by day/night cycles. Apart from being ecologically important, cyanobacteria are gaining popularity as carbon neutral producers for biotech, and as a source of building parts for synthetic biology applications.


This post is fixed term for a period of 36 months. 


Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here.

Find out more about our Research Institutes here.


For informal enquiries contact: Yulia Yuzenkova,


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


The Person 


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
•    Good knowledge of gene expression mechanisms 
•    Good quantitative skills
•    Molecular cloning expertise
•    Protein expression and purification experience

•    Familiarity with growth and genetic modifications of cyanobacteria
•    NGS data analysis experience 
•    Familiarity with Cryo-EM techniques


Attributes and Behaviour
•    Dedication to the research 
•    Ability to work flexibly
•    Tolerance and ability to reach compromise with colleagues  



•    A PhD in relevant area (required for appointment at Associate level)




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: 22931