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Senior Research Associate in Synthetic Biology

Requisition ID:  3425

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date: 


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.


Salary: £41,526.00 - £45,361.00 

Closing Date: 15 March 2020


The role


This exciting research opening is looking for a Senior Research Associate in Synthetic Biology to work as part of a highly interdisciplinary team in project EnDROIDS, our recently funded Royal Academy of Engineering ten years long quest to bridge nanotechnology and synthetic biology to achieve sophisticated in vivo information processing.


You will have responsibility for carrying out world-leading research on engineered information processing inside cells. This will include information delivery into a cell, information extraction without destruction from a cell as well as unconventional ways of replicating information within cells. You will operate at the very cutting edge of in vivo information storage and will seek to utilise the whole gamut of molecular biology techniques to store, sort and retrieve information into/from a cell (including, but not limited, use of recent CRISPR prime and related techniques).


You will have the opportunity to work closely with computational scientist and bioinformaticians and will have access to a state-of-the-art synthetic biology laboratory, nanotechnology facilities as well as computational equipment to test, debug and improve its experimental work.


The role will require regular liaison with the other investigators in the project (specifically) and the research group (more generally) to aid in designing experiments to refine the protocols for in vivo information storage. More specifically, you will work collaboratively with our other nanotechnologists and scientific computing experts to achieve project goals. You will also provide assistance to, and training of, academic, technical and research staff and students on specific experimental techniques and in the use of specialised experimental equipment when necessary. To keep excellent records of all laboratory experiments, procedures, protocols, workflows and outcomes, enabling reuse, interpretation with team members and delivery of project milestones.


For informal enquiries please contact Professor Krasnogor at Natalio.Krasnogor@newcastle.ac.uk


Key Accountabilities


  • Design, experimentally implement, test and debug in vivo information storage
  • Development of repeatable experimental protocols for the above in both prokaryotes (initially E.coli and B.subtilis) and eukaryotes (initially S.cerevisiae)
  • Contribute to the design of scalable, high-throughput workflows to speed-up laboratory operations for points 1 & 2
  • Contribution to the writing of scientific papers
  • Provide oral presentations at meetings, workshops and conferences
  • Developing the social media strategy for the project
  • Contributing to the writing of grants
  • Contributing to the public communication of the project’s science


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience



  • A PhD or equivalent professional qualification in synthetic biology or a relevant area of microbiology or molecular biology
  • Demonstrable laboratory experience-based postdoc or research position in synthetic biology (minimum 2 years)
  • Practical laboratory experience in microbiology and molecular biological techniques, e.g., DNA sequencing and synthesis, plasmids and chromosomal manipulation techniques, operons design and assembly, DNA replication, stability, cloning and transformation in Bacillus spp., E. coli and S. cerevisiae
  • Publication of work in peer-reviewed conferences and journals



  • Demonstrable experience with advanced molecular techniques such as utilisation of reverse transcriptase, flipase, CRISPR/CAS system, CRISPR prime, etc.
  • Experience of, or at least an understanding of, fluorescence microscopy and it application
  • Use standard bioinformatics and statistical computer programs to analyse laboratory data
  • Demonstrable experience working with computer scientists, mathematicians or modellers more generally
  • Presentation of work at group meetings scientific events
  • Experience contributing to grant writing
  • Experience in the utilisation and development of social media for public dissemination


Attributes and Behaviour



  • An ability to communicate effectively via oral and written media (e.g technical reports, papers, presentations)
  • Capacity for original thought
  • Enthusiastic, hardworking and goal-setter
  • Ability to interact with people from different disciplines
  • Ability to supervise student projects
  • Punctual and generally dependable



  • Communication skills with the public





  • An undergraduate degree in synthetic biology, biology, biotechnology or related life science discipline
  • A PhD degree in synthetic biology, biotechnology or relevant area of microbiology or molecular biology




  • Candidates must be able to spend time away from Newcastle visiting collaborators' labs and attending business meetings outside Newcastle, including international conferences


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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.


Requisition ID: 3425