Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  26152

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  18 Sep 2023



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

Research Associate: £33,966 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: 20 October 2023



The Role


We have an exciting opportunity for a Research Assistant/Associate to join our biosciences institute in the medical sciences department on a BBSRC-funded project.

In this role, you will be embedded within the Biosciences Institute hosting one of the UK’s largest groupings of neuroscientists, spanning the full range of approaches from molecular genetics to behaviour with a particular strength in system neuroscience. The Biosciences Institute is home to the largest community of non-human primate (NHP) researchers in the UK, benefiting from outstanding animal facilities and veterinary support.


What will I be doing?

Hand function is fundamental to daily life, for our technology, communication, culture and social interaction, and loss of hand function is devastating. But there is still a lack of understanding of how precisely grasping unfolds in time, from the first sight of an object through hand pre-shaping to the actual grasp and how it is influenced by interactions between grasping brain areas.


You will use electrophysiological methods, including large-scale Neuropixel recordings and causal manipulations using pharmacological and optogenetic interference techniques, to investigate interactions in the brain network controlling visually guided grasping. You will assist with animal training and sterile implant surgeries, and then perform daily electrophysiological recordings of neural and muscle activity during trained behavioural task performance. Further key tasks include; data analysis, producing drafts of publications as well as giving presentations on the findings at international conferences.


Assuming a highly successful grant outcome leading to publications of high-impact papers, you will have strong career prospects within and outside of academia.


This post is fixed term until 24 September 2026. 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 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 
•    Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
•    Detailed subject knowledge such as neuroscience, signal processing, statistics and computer programming
•    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
•    An excellent record of academic achievement
•    Willing to work with non-human primates in neuroscience research
•    Strong commitment to Reduction, Replacement and Refinement (3Rs) and animal welfare
•    Ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word
•    The ability to work collaboratively with colleagues
•    The ability to use personal initiative and creativity to solve research problems

•    Strong analytical skills, including ability to program analysis scripts in the Matlab environment
•    Experience of in-vivo electrophysiological recordings
•    Experience with aseptic surgical techniques

Attributes and Behaviour
•    Collegiate
•    Open-minded
•    Conscientious and meticulous to detail


•    A PhD in Neuroscience (for appointment at Associate level)
•    Honors degree in Neuroscience (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: 26152