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Research Associate

Requisition ID:  25014

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  24-Jan-2023


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: £32,348 to £34,308 per annum


Closing Date: 08 February 2023


The Role


This is an exciting opportunity to join the Newcastle University Clinical and Translational Research Institute as a Research Associate to work on a cross-disciplinary project embedded in the national PITCH study (Protective Immunity from T cells in Healthcare Workers). Working with this highly effective team will provide links to five partner universities in Oxford, Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham, as well as links to partners in the UK Health Security Agency.


The project aims to explore the role of T cells in responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. You will use high dimensional flow cytometry techniques to characterise immune memory from blood and upper airway samples and computational techniques from established data analyses pipelines. There will also be the opportunity to collaborate with partners to develop T cell/airway epithelial co-culture models to explore T cell interactions at immunologically relevant sites.


This post is full time and fixed term for a period of 18 months.


For informal enquiries contact: Dr Christopher Duncan  or Dr Rebecca Payne


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
  • Work with PITCH partners in the development and delivery of functional COVID-19 assays
  • Lead and contribute to high-dimensional phenotyping of T cells from blood and mucosal samples
  • Be responsible for governance, management and archiving of clinical samples using relevant software (Achiever)
  • Develop protocols and procedures for containment level 2 and 3 pathogen work


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge in T cell immunology and/or virology
  • 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
  • Experience in primary cell culture
  • Expertise in flow cytometry data collection and analysis


  • Experience in PBMC isolation and FACS sorting
  • Experience in computational techniques including R / Rstudio
  • Experience in viral propagation and culture at containment level 2 +/- 3
  • Awareness of research governance and management of human tissue


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Commitment to team science
  • Openness to continuous learning and development
  • Willingness to adopt leadership responsibilities appropriate to skills and experience
  • Highest standards of probity and commitment to delivering reproducible scientific outputs
  • Professionalism


  • Commitment to a career in scientific research  



  • A PhD in a relevant research area (immunology, virology, microbiology)




The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 25014