Research Engineer/Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Systems

Dublin, Ireland
Friday, 11 October 2019
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Research Centre: Fraunhofer Project Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Systems at Dublin City University (FPC@DCU) – a joint initiative of Science Foundation Ireland and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Post title: Research Engineer / Postdoctoral Researcher in Systems integration and control, instrumentation, fluidic flow control implementation and testing (Research Assistant or Postdoctoral Researcher Level 1)   

Post duration: Fixed term 12 months

Background & Role

An opportunity has arisen to join an exciting research project where the stated ambition is to spin-out the technology into a start-up company on the successful conclusion of the project. The position is located in the innovative, Fraunhofer Project Centre for Embedded Bioanalytical Systems at Dublin City University – Ireland’s University of Enterprise (FPC@DCU). This technology-led centre develops next-generation life-science technologies for the benefit of people and society.

The role involves development of systems to high technology readiness levels (TRLs) within the FPC@DCU which operates at the challenging crossroads of microsystems engineering and life sciences. Common fields of application are Point-of-Care in-vitro diagnostics, pharma, life-science research, agrifood and environmental monitoring. Furthermore, you will support the business development and project management teams of the FPC@DCU in their interactions with industry, academia and funding agencies.

Project Summary:

Nucleic acid handling towards Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). FPC@DCU is developing a Lab-on-a-Disc (LoaD) product based on its extensive expertise and background IP in microfluidics. FPC@DCU will develop an affordable, automated, microfluidic system, which delivers reproducible, high-quality outputs while minimising reagent use. FPC@DCU’s patented, event-triggered dissolvable-film (DF) valve technology provides an unparalleled level of robust, multiplexed flow control which enables development of highly integrated, single-use LoaD cartridges for handling samples and reagents. Pursuing a design-for-manufacture and scale-up strategy compatible with industry standard mass manufacturing practices, FPC@DCU will deliver early prototypes that can be rapidly replicated for evaluation by early adopter customers.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities Reporting to the NGS PREP project PI. 

Technical duties will include but will not be limited to:

  • Conduct a specified programme of research within the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Project under the supervision and direction of the project PI.
  • Leading all activities relating to the Systems Design, implementation and integration of the key instrument/s that will operate the disposable “Lab-on-a-Disc” (LoaD) cartridge. The control protocol will include operations such as on-disc temperature control, external actuation control, spindle motor assembly and control, software interface and communication (LabVIEW and/or others).
  • Testing the developed instrument prototype under various conditions and working in coordination with the biological team to enable key operations required for microfluidic implementation of the said protocols.
  • User interaction and design.
  • Developing and maintaining relevant design control documentation.
  • Assisting development and testing of microfluidic disc solutions for the sequencing prep chemistry and attaining required KPIs.
  • Sourcing components and methods to implement required system operations.
  • Support, quality control and testing of developed microfluidic products.
  • Microfluidic LoaD product system integration.

Additional duties will include:

  • Support of project management, reporting and interactions with key project members.
  • Carry out administrative work to support the programme of research where required, including regular funding agency reports and internal reports etc.
  • Support engagement with industry and other external parties in areas relevant to the project.
  • Authoring of scientific publications, technical reports and marketing activities as may be required to support the commercialisation activities of the project as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of the Principal Investigator
  • Gain experience and contribute to grant writing with the support of and under the supervision of the Principal Investigator
  • Engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Director, FPC@DCU or University in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • Take leadership and contribute to generation of papers, reports and funding proposals as agreed with the Principal Investigator.

The role may involve domestic and international travel.

Mandatory Training The post holder will be required to undertake the following mandatory compliance training: Orientation, Health and Safety and Intellectual Property and Data Protection training. Other training may need to be undertaken when required.

Minimum Criteria Applicants must have a solid technical expertise in instrumentation, systems control & integration and communication esp. for dealing with microfluidic systems and have a track record of successful research and development projects and of bringing prototypes from concept to functional products. Industry experience in the key areas is highly desirable.

A background in a subset of the following areas is required:

  • A Ph.D. or MSc with a Bachelor Degree in Electrical/ Mechanical / Biomedical Engineering /Physics or related Engineering/ Science degree.
  • Demonstrable experience designing electro-mechanical systems integration platforms and cross-interactivity of sensors and flow control preferably in the centrifugal microfluidics space.
  • Solid working knowledge of designing with hardware and software communication interfaces for multi-sensor platforms, SolidWorks and Electronics/software interfacing of devices with hands-on ability to build, test and validate functional prototypes preferably to the TRL of a spin-out company.
  • Design, development and system level integration of microfluidic platform with actuation, temperature and centrifugal flow control systems among others.
  • Understanding of polymer microfabrication techniques and rapid prototyping for microfluidics.
  • Understanding of handling biological fluids (esp. Nucleic Acids towards next gen sequencing) and protocols associated with their chemistries esp. on a microfluidic system.

Research Career Framework

As part of this role you will be required to participate in the DCU Research Career Framework http://dcu.ie/hr/ResearchersFramework/index.shtml. This framework is designed to provide significant professional development opportunities to researchers and offer the best opportunities in terms of a wider career path.

Salary: €22,496 - €35,218 (Research Assistant scale) or €37,874 - €40,221 (Postdoctoral Researcher scale)

*Appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience will be made on the appropriate point of the salary scale, in line with current Government pay policy.

Closing date: 23rd October 2019

Candidates will be assessed on the following competencies:

Discipline specific knowledge and Research Skills

(demonstrates knowledge of a research discipline and the ability to conduct a specific programme of research within that discipline)

Communicating Research

(Demonstrates the ability to communicate their research with their peers and the wider research community (for example presenting at conferences and publishing research in relevant journals) and the potential to teach and tutor students)

Managing & Leadership skills

(demonstrates the potential to manage a research project including the supervision of undergraduate students)

Understanding the Research Environment

(demonstrates an awareness of the research environment (e.g. funding bodies) and takes responsibility for how their research is conducted

Informal enquiries to: Dr. Rohit Mishra  - rohit.mishra@dcu.ie

Please do not send applications to this email address, instead apply as described below.

Application Procedure To apply for this role, application forms are available from the DCU Current Vacancies (open Competitions) website at http://www.dcu.ie/vacancies/current.shtml and also from the Human Resources Department, Dublin City University, Dublin 9. Tel: +353 (0) 1 7005149.

Please clearly state the role that you are applying for in your application and email subject line: Job Ref #RF1263A Research Engineer / Postdoctoral Researcher

Applications should be submitted by email to hr.applications@dcu.ie or by Fax: +353 (0)1 7005500 or by post to the Human Resources Department, Dublin City University, Dublin 9.Human Resources Department, Dublin City University, Dublin 9. Tel: +353 1 700 5149; Fax: +353 1 700 5500 Email: hr.applications@dcu.ie

Dublin City University is an equal opportunities employer