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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  24704

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  25-Nov-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 £37,474 per annum


Closing Date: 04 January 2023


The Role


We are looking for a microbiologist or biophysicist for a project that integrates genetic modification of bacteria and advanced fluorescence microscopy.   You will join the group of Henrik Strahl at the Centre of Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB), a vibrant research centre within the Newcastle University Biosciences Institute focused on the molecular and cellular biology of bacteria. Working as part of the CBCB and the interuniversity research consortium provides you with an outstanding experience in modern interdisciplinary team science.


You will work as part of a BBSRC-funded research programme that brings together groups from the Universities of York, Cambridge, Nottingham, and Newcastle to study how bacteria safeguard the integrity of their membranes utilising a conserved class of stress-induced proteins (PspA/LiaH/IM30).   As part of the consortium, your work will focus on using fluorescence microscopy to study the dynamic localisation and membrane interactions of these proteins in vivo, their role in maintaining proton motive force (pmf), and their ability to protect cells from the activity of membrane-targeting antimicrobial agents. Most of the planned research will be carried out using the Gram+ and Gram- model organisms Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, respectively. A background in bacterial membrane biology, bioenergetics, fluorescence microscopy or antibiotics research would position you well to carry out the planned research programme.  Prior experience in either molecular cloning and strain construction, or fluorescence microscopy is essential and experience in working with B. subtilis or E. coli is desirable. Prior experience in collaborative research is seen favourably


This post is fixed term for a period of 5 years. 


Further information can be obtained by contacting Dr Henrik Strahl via email ( ) or twitter (@HenrikStrahl), or Prof. Susanne Gebhard (


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
•    Work closely collaboratively within your own research group, and with external collaboration partners

The Person (Essential)


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 
•    A publication record that matches the career stage 
•    Excellent team-working skills
•    Experience in working with bacterial model organisms as a research focus
•    Experience in either molecular biology (molecular cloning, plasmid and strain construction) or fluorescence microscopy
•    Expertise in fluorescence microscopy with bacteria 
•    Expertise in antimicrobial mode of action or antibiotic-induced stress responses
•    Expertise in membrane biology
•    Experience in working with B. subtilis or E. coli  
•    Experience in genetic manipulation of B. subtilis or E. coli  

Attributes and Behaviour
•    Excellent interpersonal skills
•    Excellent team-working skills
•    Well organised, with ability to work on several parallel research lines 


•    PhD in bacteriology, microbiology, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a comparable field. (Essential for Research Associate
•    Honors Degree or Close to submission/completion of PhD for Research Assistant




The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24704