Research Associate - Cancer Studies

Requisition ID:  26386

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  15 Nov 2023


Salary: £33,966 to £38,205 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: 15 December 2023



The Role


We are looking for an experienced Research Associate to join the Cancer Research Horizons Therapeutic Innovation (CRH-TI) group, based in the Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute.


This group, organised over six drug discovery sites, aims to drive therapeutic innovation in oncology. A key element of the post will be to enable projects using contemporary structural, biochemical, and biophysical techniques in support of medicinal chemistry and target validation for drug discovery. The post will require excellent communication and organisational skills.


You will work closely with colleagues at the Diamond Light Source and CRH-TI and will be required to travel to CRH-TI laboratories and the DLS to carry out collaborative projects as part of the role. 


This is a significant opportunity for an experienced researcher in the field of cancer studies with excellent protein chemistry, structural biology and in vitro biochemical and biophysical assay development and implementation skills. You will work within a large multi-disciplinary team that includes biologists and chemists. 


You will work within the Cancer Research Horizons Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit based in the Paul O’Gorman Building and will plan and organise your work under direct supervision from Professor Martin Noble. 


The position is full time, fixed term until 25 October 2025


For informal enquiries regarding the role, please contact Professor Martin Noble (


Information about the Drug Discovery Unit can be found at:

and about CRH-TI at:

Information about the Faculty of Medical Sciences is available at:

Key Accountabilities

  • You will have a major role in the design, implementation and delivery of strategies that address structure and function at the molecular level
  • You will prepare and characterise recombinant protein and protein complexes in E. coli and insect cells
  • You will devise and implement appropriate biophysical assays in support of medicinal chemistry
  • You will devise protocols that are robust and transferable for subsequent use within other CRH drug discovery groups
  • You will carry out sample preparation and data collection for X-ray crystallography 
  • You will provide structural support and analysis to drug discovery projects for staff and students in CRH-TI. You will enable colleagues to interpret and analyse research outputs from structural investigations and make recommendations for future research directions
  • You will perform statistical analyses for experimental readouts to produce robust and reproducible data
  • You will make a substantial contribution to planning and preparing scientific reports and publications
  • You will be able to keep excellent laboratory records of all experimental procedures and outcomes, enabling interpretation with team members located at different institutes
  • You must be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, to share information with colleagues
  • You will liaise regularly with the line manager to prioritise tasks and organise workload for the satisfactory completion of inter-institute research activities, requiring access to multiple facilities and equipment
  • You will provide advice, assistance and training to academic, technical and research staff and students (based across the six CRH-TI drug discovery sites), on specific experimental techniques and in the use of specialised laboratory equipment
  • You will assist in the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory
  • You will contribute to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club
  • You will have responsibility for risk assessments and maintaining safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH)
  • You will assist in general laboratory duties e.g. stores, equipment maintenance, and general cleaning
  • You will maintain a high level of up-to-date specialist knowledge, by participating in relevant conferences, courses and through collaboration


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Expertise in contemporary molecular biology techniques
  • Expertise in expressing diverse recombinant proteins in insect and bacterial cell culture
  • Expertise in biochemical and biophysical techniques for assessing protein-ligand interactions: Inventive assay design and implementation
  • Experience in multiple programmes executed at the XChem beamline, Diamond Light Source
  • Experience in managing multi-site collaborations
  • Presentation of results at internal and external meetings, and assistance with writing publications
  • Assistance in the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory
  • Contributions to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club
  • Responsibility for the writing of risk assessments and maintaining safety laboratory records, (e.g. COSHH)
  • Organisation and assistance in general laboratory duties e.g. stores, equipment maintenance, and general cleaning


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Capacity for original thought
  • Enthusiastic, flexible and hard working with the ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Excellent oral communication and writing skills
  • The ability to work flexibly as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • High level analytical skills and capacity for original thought
  • Commitment to continuing professional development
  • Good IT and computing skills
  • Ability to take an active role in determining the future directions of research project



  • A PhD in the area of protein biochemistry, protein biophysics or X-ray crystallography
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject – preferably biomedical

 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: 26386