Research Associate (in Insect Behaviour)

Requisition ID:  27348

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  8 Jul 2024


Salary: £33,966 to £39,347 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: 06 October 2024



The Role


Are you passionate about pursuing a cutting-edge biological question as part of an interdisciplinary team spanning the sciences, arts and humanities?


You will be working at the Newcastle University Biosciences Institute (NUBI). We are a vibrant, multidisciplinary community that researches the fundamental biology of life. You will also be affiliated with the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, a cross-faculty University research centre that unites researchers with a common goal of understanding animal and human behaviour.


We provide an inclusive environment for everyone and recognize that our community of researchers are crucial to our success. You will benefit from a range of opportunities for career development including training opportunities, networking groups and mentoring networks. You will also have access to dedicated facilities and lab space for your research.


  • You will join a Leverhulme Trust funded project investigating emotion-like processes in bees through a collaboration across the arts, humanities and biology. Your role will be based in the Biosciences Institute of the Faculty of Medical Sciences working in the laboratory of Dr Vivek Nityananda. You will have significant responsibility in the running of the project including designing and implementing experiments as well as the evaluation, publication and presentation of results. You will also liaise with lab members and collaborators and supervise students as necessary. You will be comfortable working with bees and ready to follow appropriate health and safety norms.
  • You will be an outstanding scientist with a PhD involving research experience in animal behaviour, ideally with bees or other insects.
  • You will have excellent all-round technical skills and demonstrate independence and initiative. The ability to work as part of a team and good written and oral communication skills are essential. Expertise in statistical modelling and video data analysis would be beneficial.


We would welcome requests for flexible working and depending on the needs of the role, blended working opportunities to work remotely as well as on campus may be considered. The hiring manager will discuss the requirements of the role, should you be invited to interview.


Informal enquiries are very welcome. Any interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Vivek Nityananda, BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow,


Please provide evidence of how you meet the essential criteria required for the role outlined in ‘The Person’ by uploading a letter of application along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV)


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.


This post is fixed term and available from November 2024 until September 2025.  Please note that this post is at advert until 6 October 2024 and interviews will take place mid-late October 2024.


Informal enquiries may be made to


Key Accountabilities

  • Designing and implementing set-ups and stimuli investigating emotion-like behaviours and cognitive biases in bees
  • Designing and implementing experiments investigating these behaviours
  • Liaising with lab members and collaborators through research meetings and discussions
  • Evaluating behavioural data using video recordings as well as statistical models
  • Writing up the work for publication, including preparing figures
  • Presenting the research at internal and external meetings, including to researchers in the humanities
  • Contribute to outreach efforts through interactions with the collaborators on the project
  • Supervising junior lab members and students as necessary
  • Taking advantage of the resources available in the project to acquire new skills required to advance the project


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience researching animal behaviour
  • Excellent all-round technical skills



  • Knowledge of and experience researching insect behaviour, especially bee behaviour
  • Knowledge and experience of scientific practices promoting open science and reproducibility
  • Statistical modelling, especially using R
  • Video data analysis


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Ability to interact with researchers in other disciplines
  • Capacity to work independently and take the initiative on projects


  • Ability to interact with researchers in the arts or humanities



  • PhD in a scientific area involving animal behaviour



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.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


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

Requisition ID: 27348