Closing soon
Closing soon

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.

The role

Based in the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre, a Research Assistant/Associate position is available for an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual to join the multi-disciplinary Paediatric Brain Tumour Group in the Newcastle University Cancer Centre and the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

80% of children diagnosed with a brain tumour now become 5-year survivors, driven by the delivery of combination and intensified treatments. However, this exposure to intensive treatments leaves paediatric survivors at increased risk of detrimental life-long late-effects associated with their disease and its therapy.

You will become part of the SMILE network, our International network for Medulloblastoma Survivorship and Late-Effects. This network has generated a wide range of clinical, survivorship and genomic/biological datasets across large cohorts from European clinical trials.

What skills are required for this job?

You will be PhD-qualified, or have submitted your PhD thesis for examination. You will have experience with data handling, databasing and statistical/bioinformatic analysis as applied to translational cancer research, and a keen interest to develop your research skills and career in these areas.

You will work with these childhood cancer datasets to understand the key clinico-molecular correlates of late-effects. You will develop and support the project through the provision of analytical, statistical and bioinformatic expertise. Some previous lab skills and a background in the project area would also be desirable.

About us (optional) - If applicable brief information about the research group or department (NOTE: Links to specific web pages in 'Weblinks' is preferred) This post is full time, fixed Term for 2 years. Please note that if you are successful to this role, you will require medical clearance before you can commence in the role.

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 community 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.

Key accountabilities

  • Although working under the general guidance the 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 tools 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
  • Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
  • Generate, analyse and integrate clinical, survivorship and biological data from human datasets, and use these to identify critical features for further investigation and validation
  • Maintain a high level of up-to-date specialist knowledge, by reading relevant journals and participating in relevant conferences, so as to support the programme team in making strategic decisions
  • Work alongside, and liaise with, colleagues and collaborative partners within the research project
  • Ensure intellectual rigour and adherence to ethical standards in the research for which they are responsible; all experiments conducted will be expected to meet the Wolfson Centre’s rigorous scientific standards
  • Perform any other duties within the remit of the grade as required by the PI

The person

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge relevant to cancer late effects, bioinformatics and biostatistics
  • 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 and/or substantial contributions to advanced research programmes
  • Experience of curating omics data such as next generation sequencing, microarray, transcriptomics and epigenomics.
  • Experience of curating clinical data.
  • Experience of data analysis using statistical and bioinformatic software and methodologies (e.g. R/Bioconductor statistical environment, SPSS)
  • Previous specialist experience and in-depth specialist understanding of relevant technologies, and interest in evaluation and possible acquisition of, the latest breakthrough technologies


  • Experience in cancer research
  • Experience of management of database and sample resources

Attributes and behaviour

  • Experience at doctoral level (Research Associate) or equivalent (Research Assistant) with a substantial research background, of strong relevance to the aims of the project
  • Clear evidence of the ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team
  • Evidence of good oral communication skills; flexible independent working; initiative
  • Proven analytical and problem solving skills and experience


  • Experience in oncology research


  • Good honours degree (or equivalent)
  • A PhD in a relevant topic (Research Associate) or have submitted a PhD for examination (Research Assistant)

About us

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.