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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 talented researcher with strong background in molecular biology and microbiology. You will join our multidisciplinary consortium dedicated to the mission of restoring natural environments.

Working at the forefront of molecular and computational biology you will engineer cyanobacteria as a bio-based organic devices to deliver environmental solutions. You will thrive in an intellectually stimulating environment while collaborating with our commercial and academic partners. You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise.

In the project “Cyanobacteria engineering for restoring environments (CYBER)” https://cyber-mission.github.io/join/ our goal is to engineer organisms for environmental solutions and ensure their utmost cyber-bio safety and traceability before deploying them into complex ecosystems. Engineered components will be genetically insulated from the native genome, we will study their spatial expression and assess their stability across generations. Additionally, we will equip bacteria with inducible buoyancy and magnetic properties to aid their removal from environment.

The project is built at the interface of synthetic biology, machine learning, and artificial lab ecosystems. Methods will include genetics, protein expression and purification, nanopore sequencing and advanced microscopy. This post is offered on a fixed term basis to 30/04/2026.

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, you 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

Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
  • Detailed subject knowledge in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics and related subjects
  • 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 bacterial genetics and bacterial strain construction
  • Experience in growth of cyanobacteria
  • Experience in protein expression and purification

Attributes and behaviour

  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Ability to develop and maintain working relationships and actively collaborate with other technical and non-technical staff, teams and groups


  • Drive to develop and grow professionally


  • A PhD (or close to finishing a PhD) ideally in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics and related subjects. Those nearing completion of a PhD will be offered the role as Research Assistant and those with a PhD will be offered the role as 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.