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Research Associate (Newcastle University Centre for Cancer)

Requisition ID:  20161

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  12-May-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.


Salary: £31,406 to £40,927 per annum


Closing Date: 23 May 2022


The Role


You will take a leading role in the execution and planning of the project, under the supervision of the research team comprised of Dr Luke Gaughan, Prof Rakesh Heer and Prof Craig Robson. You will be expected to demonstrate initiative and project planning capability to oversee and conduct the day-to-day experimental aspects of the study and to report and present their findings to members of the research team on a weekly basis.


The project offers an exciting opportunity to undertake several innovative and bespoke CRISPR-based approaches alongside contemporary molecular and cellular techniques to expand your technical skill-set. Furthermore, you will play a leading role in supervising a PhD student working on the project which will provide an exciting opportunity to develop research management skills. It is expected that you will lead in the preparation of publications arising from the work and to present work at national and international conferences. 


Project Description
Prostate cancer kills approximately 11,500 men in the UK each year. A protein found in prostate cells called the androgen receptor is a critical driver of prostate cancer development and is the main drug target in both early and advanced stages of disease. Although initially effective, patients routinely become resistant to these treatments and it is commonly due to the appearance of truncated forms of the androgen receptor, termed androgen receptor variants that drive the re-emergence of prostate cancer. 

The important questions we will address in this study are how are androgen receptor variants generated and how can we stop this process? To do this, we have developed novel methods that will provide us with a powerful insight into how androgen receptor variants are made in advanced prostate cancer cells and which will identify key cellular proteins that are involved in their production. These proteins will then be manipulated in translational models of advanced prostate cancer to determine whether they are critical for driving androgen receptor variant production and growth of prostate cancer. Ultimately, we aim to develop drugs to inactivate these proteins as more effective therapies in advanced prostate cancer. 


This post is fixed term until 31/12/2023 


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.


For informal enquiries contact Dr Luke Gaughan ( (Luke Gaughan University Profile)


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 of prostate cancer, androgen receptor signalling and splicing 
•    Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects, including application of CRISPR-based approaches
•    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 

•    Application and experience of immunoprecipitation approaches 
•    Generated CRISPR-derived knockout and knock-in cell derivatives 
•    Knowledge of bioinformatics and utility of R 


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Highly analytical approach to problem solving
•    Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Able to communicate effectively with research partners from widely differing academic backgrounds
•    Excellent time management skills with the ability to deliver results within a defined timescale
•    Comfortable working independently or as part of a multidisciplinary team

•    Experience supervising and managing post-graduate students 



•    A PhD in the research area required

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: 20161