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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

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Assistant/Associate to join our research team. Initially, there is a project to study a potential metabolic link between DNA replication and envelope biogenesis in Gram-negative bacteria in place. However, we strongly encourage our Research Assistant/Associate to bring or develop their own ideas to transition to scientific independence after this post.

In order to grow, bacteria enlarge their cell envelope, replicate their DNA and then segregate chromosomes between two daughter cells. These processes are commonly studied in isolation with determinants that coordinate them currently being unidentified. By using an unbiased genetic approach, we have uncovered an important genetic link between the processes of outer membrane (OM) protein biogenesis, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis and DNA replication in Escherichia coli.

The main objective of your post is to study cross-talk between OM biogenesis, LPS synthesis and DNA replication control. The idea is to use a mix of structural biology, biochemistry and high-throughput genetic approaches to determine how initiation of DNA replication is coordinated with cell envelope synthesis for the first time.

This post is full time, fixed term for 2 years with the possibility to extend to up to 3 years. Please note that if you are successful to this role, you will require medical clearance before you can commence in the role.

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

The person

Essential knowledge, skills and experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge in the area of microbiology and molecular biology
  • 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


  • Previous experience in Gram-negative envelope biology
  • Previous experience in protein biochemistry
  • Previous experience in molecular genetics and/or TraDIS or similar genetic high-throughput methods

Attributes and behaviour

  • Highly motivated and actively pursue a career in academic science or R&D
  • Ambitious with a demonstrable drive to succeed and produce work at the highest level
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Capacity for original thought
  • Ability to write publications in collaboration with other team members


  • Good honours degree (or equivalent) with some subject knowledge in the relevant area (Research Assistant)
  • A PhD in natural science discipline required (Research Associate)

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.