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Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  24961

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  17-Jan-2023


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 £42,155 per annum


Closing Date: 15 February 2023


The Role

This research position is suitable for an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual to work within the Reynard laboratory at the International Centre for Life. Reporting directly to the Principal Investigator, your role will be to examine the role of RNA splicing in the pathogenesis of the disease Osteoarthritis, the leading cause of chronic disability in the UK.


The project will comprise laboratory-based analysis of human tissue samples and cell lines together with in silico data analysis and data mining. Lab based assays will focus on RNA splice isoform quantification, in vitro splicing manipulation and function of different protein isoforms. Specific techniques include mammalian cell culture,  transfection, siRNA mediated knock down, protein overexpression, nucleic acid and protein extraction, cDNA synthesis, PCR and qRT-PCR, western blot analysis, plasmid cloning and immunohistochemistry. The post-holder will also provide technical support for other research studies within the Reynard laboratory. 


This post is fixed term for a period of 8 months. For informal enquiries contact Dr Louise Reynard:

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
•    Undertake extensive reading and literature review in appropriate fields with particular reference to gene transcription regulation including RNA splicing and make desirable modifications to methods/apparatus from relevant literature review
•    Provision of training and supervision of research staff and UG, PGR and PhD students regarding the setting up of specific experimental systems and research apparatus
•    Determining requirements and initiating orders within specified laboratory ordering procedures. Direct liaison with chemical and equipment suppliers to obtain quotations for best value purchases. Monitor Laboratory expenditure from Research grants using SAP reports supplied
•    Ensuring correct storage and handling of bio-chemicals and biological materials and organisms including the safe disposal and storage of hazardous waste in accordance with local rules and legal requirements

The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Detailed subject knowledge of RNA splicing, especially alternative RNA splicing
•    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 
•    Substantial, relevant experience working under laboratory conditions and 
practical experience of laboratory skills in broad range of cell biology and molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid extraction, cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR and qRT-PCR, western blot analysis, cloning, mammalian cell culture, transfection and immunohistochemistry.
•    Good coordination, time management, data collection, numeracy and presentation skills.
•    Present and critically discuss own data at lab, departmental, theme and institute meetings

•    Competency with on-line genomic databases, such as UCSC Genome Browser, Ensembl Genome Browser and UNIPROT. Information technology, computing and bioinformatics skills are desirable.
•    Extensive experience in transcriptomics technologies and methodologies, inclusive of equipment and optimised techniques. 

Attributes and Behaviour
•    Ability to work independently and organise own work-load, including, researching, designing and planning of experiments.
•    Self-starter with a high degree of enthusiasm, drive and capacity for original thought coupled with excellent time management and record keeping skills and the ability to prioritise experiments
•    Willingness to undertake work outside core working hours when experiments require this
•    Able to work well with, supervise and teach other group members


•    Minimum 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in any life or biomedical science with some subject knowledge of gene transcription, RNAseq, RNA splicing, miRNA mediated post transcriptional regulation and protein translation
•    May possess (or be working towards) a higher research degree including MSc, MRes or PhD in life or biomedical sciences
•    Strong background in cell and molecular biology
•    A PhD in in life or biomedical sciences, ideally within the transcription/RNA splicing field (Research 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 is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24961