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Research Associate in Insect Behaviour

Requisition ID:  19803

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  03-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.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.


Salary: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum


Closing Date: 31 May 2022


The Role


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


We are seeking to appoint a postdoctoral Research Associate (1 FTE for three years with a start date of 1st September 2022). 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. You 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.


If you are considering relocating to join us, should you be successful in your application, you can find out about our relocation package options here


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)


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


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 with occasional travel to labs of collaborators
  • 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 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.


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: 19803