Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  26154

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Term Time
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  14 Sep 2023



Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £44,263 per annum


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.


Closing Date: 22 October 2023



The Role

A post is available for an enthusiastic and highly motivated Research Assistant or Research Associate to join the laboratory of Professor Heath Murray. This Wellcome Trust funded position is based at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (CBCB) within the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University. 

Bacteria are the most abundant species on Earth, playing central roles in human health and in the environment. A molecular understanding of bacterial cell cycle activities is necessary to control their growth and proliferation. Despite years of study, fundamental aspects of DNA replication initiation in bacteria remain poorly understood. Specifically, the architecture of nucleoprotein complexes required to load helicase(s), and the temporal set of activities that replication initiation proteins perform during the helicase loading reactions, are unclear. This project will combine chromatin immunoprecipitation assays with next-generation sequencing technology to unravel the temporal steps and spatial protein localization required for bacterial helicase loading, at both a chromosome origin and a repaired replication fork.

The Murray lab believes in the merits of a diverse, inclusive, and sympathetic research culture. We aim to foster a positive research environment that rewards logic, honesty, curiosity, accountability, and respect. Each member of the Murray lab has their own project so that direct competition is avoided; knowledge sharing, organic collaborations, and constructive ideas are welcomed.

The Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology provides an exceptional setting in which to carry out the proposed research project on bacterial DNA replication. Newcastle University has a critical mass of excellent laboratories working on fundamental aspects of bacterial cell structure and function. Mixing research groups with this range of experimental themes and approaches, but all focused on fundamental questions about bacterial cells, makes for a stimulating and synergistic research environment and an inspiring training ground for postdocs and students.

The PDRA will be encouraged to join the Faculty Early Careers Mentoring Network and they will be made aware of access to the University Wellbeing & Support Services. Moreover, Newcastle University provides several training and development courses that the PDRA will have the opportunity to undertake.

This post is fixed term for a period of 36 months, with a start date early in 2024. 


For informal enquiries contact: (,


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

The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Knowledge and expertise in the replication and recombination of DNA molecules 
•    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 
•    Strong understanding of protein:nucleic acid interactions
•    Evidence of previous high-quality work published in this or a relevant/related area
•    Knowledge and expertise combining chromatin immunoprecipitation assays with next-generation sequencing technology (ChIP-Seq) to study nucleoprotein complexes
•    Excellent scientific writing skills 
•    Knowledge and expertise in the replication and recombination of DNA molecules

•    Bacillus subtilis genetics
•    Fluorescence microscopy
•    Bioinformatics training
•    Ability to write publications in collaboration with other team members
•    Protein purification and biochemical characterization in vitro
•    Established information technology and computing skills


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Capacity for original thought
•    Willingness to work flexibly by mutual arrangement
•    Clear commitment to a career in research
•    Applicants should be ambitious with a demonstrable drive to succeed and produce work at the highest level
•    Ability to work independently or as part of a team
•    Willingness to supervise Undergraduate and MRes students



•    A PhD in in genetics, microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry and/or molecular biology (required for appointment at Associate level)
•    Honors degree in genetics, microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry and/or molecular biology (for appointment at Assistant level).


Newcastle University is a global University 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.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive 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 of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26154