Research Fellow in Imaging and Evolutionary Biology

Southampton, United Kingdom
£31,406 per annum
Oct 25, 2021
End of advertisement period
Nov 19, 2021
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Human Development and Health

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Salary:   £31,406 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/08/2023
Closing Date:  Friday 19 November 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1563421AF

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow position within Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine based at Southampton General Hospital. This exciting opportunity is offered on a fixed term basis until 31/08/2023, joining a project funded by The Leverhulme Trust. The successful applicant will use state of the art 3D imaging techniques to study comparative placentology as part of an interdisciplinary team including placental and evolutionary biologists.

Project Overview:

The placenta is a multifunctional organ that nourishes the fetus in the womb. Different species have incredibly diverse placental structures, reflecting how evolutionary pressures shape the placenta to optimise fetal survival. This project will use advanced microscopy techniques to generate three-dimensional images of the smallest structures in the placenta. The aim of the study is to determine whether the unique nanoscale structures we observe in the human placenta have been evolutionarily conserved. This project will explore the different ways biological structures can achieve the same outcomes (e.g. fetal survival) and may help explain why placental structures are so diverse. 

The successful candidate will use serial block-face scanning electron microscopy and microCT to perform multiscale 3D imaging of placentas from a range of species. 

We are looking for applicants with a PhD or equivalent qualifications and experience in biological sciences. Experience with sample preparation, electron microscopy or image analysis is desirable, although specific training will be provided. The ability to work flexible hours on occasion to facilitate sample collection is highly desirable. A background in placental biology, evolutionary biology or morphology would be an advantage. Good communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team are essential.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Rohan Lewis ( or Dr Neil Gostling (

Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The Faculty of Medicine holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award demonstrating commitment to equal opportunities and gender balance in the workplace.  The Faculty recognises that applicants may seek flexible working patterns which will be considered as part of the recruitment process.  For further information including key benefits designed to help maintain and support employees' well-being and work-life balance, please see our working with us website pages.

Application Procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The vacancy will close at midnight on the closing date as shown above. If you need any assistance, please contact Hannah Farrance on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote vacancy reference number 1563421AF on all correspondence.