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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  22767

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  23-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: £29,619 to £31,411 per annum

Research Associate: £32,348 to £34,308 per annum


Closing Date: 09 October 2022


The Role


You will be responsible for combining existing data sets on genomic characterisation of up to 100 cases of neuroblastoma and may include further laboratory work on telomere maintenance assays.  You will perform the final analyses on the datasets including some bioinformatics analysis with appropriate support, present the results at an international meeting and prepare at least one high impact, peer reviewed manuscript for publication.


Your role will involve close collaboration with other members of the group on ongoing related projects as well as supervision of students and minor administrative tasks with regards to Health and Safety, Human tissue act and sample storage.


The overall goal of this project is to undertake a genome wide examination of neuroblastoma (NB) from 4 cohorts of patients with a rare subgroup of intermediate risk NB with a relatively unfavourable prognosis compared with other intermediate risk NB in order to further our understanding of the biology of this type of NB. This group of intermediate risk patients are > 18 months of age with localised, unresectable non-MYCN amplified neuroblastoma with unfavourable histology, so called “Group 8” within the Low and Intermediate Risk Neuroblastoma (LINES) clinical trial. By combining datasets from UK patients who were treated according to, but not on an international trial, the LINES clinical trial, and subsets of German Paediatric Oncology & Haematology (GPOH) cases and Dutch cases which fall into this category, this study will be one of the largest studies of this group of patients anywhere in the world. The project will involve combining the data already obtained from copy number analysis, sequencing (both targeted and whole exome), transcriptomic and telomere maintenance (including additional analyses to be undertaken) to clinical outcome. The results will determine if some of these patients should be reclassified as high risk in the future to achieve a better clinical outcome.


This post is full time and fixed term until 30th September 2023.

Candidates are advised that interviews for this post will take place week commencing 17th October 2022.


For informal enquiries contact: Professor Deborah Tweddle,


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.


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
  • Contributions to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club
  • The performance of risk assessments and maintaining safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH) in consultation with academic staff
  • Organisation and assistance in general laboratory duties e.g. stores, equipment maintenance, and oversight of cell line and tissue storage
  • Liaise with international research colleagues for completion of research data and clinical follow up
  • Completion of material and transfer agreements as required to share data and undertake additional analyses on clinical samples


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge in cancer genetics, genetics or molecular biology
  • Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research project including next generation sequencing technologies, RNAseq and copy number analyses
  • 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
  • Oral presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications
  • Experience of standard molecular and cellular biology techniques within last 3 years
  • Very Good IT and computing skills
  • Bioinformatics experience or experience with specialist genetics software e.g Nexus copy number
  • First authorship of high impact factor peer reviewed publication


  • Experience with R or similar software
  • Previous involvement with Patients and Public in research
  • Previous Laboratory supervision of students (PhD, MSc, BSc)
  • Awareness of regulations related to use of human tissue in research
  • Engagement experience with fundraisers/charities
  • Other Bioinformatics experience 


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Enthusiastic and hard working
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills
  • Commitment to continuing professional development
  • Willingness to undertake work outside of normal working hours
  • Attention to Detail with high standard of record keeping


  • Clear commitment to a career in research



  • A PhD in the area of Genomics, Molecular Biology or Molecular Oncology (required for appointment at Associate level).  Candidates that have submitted their thesis will be considered at Assistant level
  • Honors degree in relevant subject (for appointment at Assistant level)
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject, preferably biomedical (for appointment at Assistant Level)


  • Masters degree in a 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: 22767