Research Technician

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817 per annum
06 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
07 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Biosciences

Grade 6: - £26,715 - £32,817 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 36 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 07-Dec-2020, 7:59:00 AM

Job Family: Technical, Research and Teaching Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.

OUR VALUESWe are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide creative and analytical input to facilitate the delivery of world-class teaching, learning and research activities.

 Overall family purpose

  • Support stakeholders to ensure the delivery of research, teaching and scholarly activities.
  • Align and tailor services to meet strategic and operational research, teaching and learning objectives.
  • Prepare and set-up equipment, apparatus and resources to ensure the successful delivery of scheduled academic activities.
  • Monitor, manage and maintain teaching, learning or research facilities, workshops, laboratories and experimental environments to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Contribute guidance, advice and/or professional expertise to increase intellectual and creative capacity for world-class teaching and research outputs.
  • Actively participate with peers and specialists internally and externally to expand knowledge and practice.
  • Design and construct equipment, environments, tools, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning objectives.
  • Adapt and develop equipment, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning outputs and timescales.
  • Engage and network with internal and external specialists and experts to facilitate knowledge exchange and enhance research, teaching and learning activities.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering technical and experimental support services across the University;
  • Support and facilitate world-leading research across all academic departments;
  • Support and facilitate research that has a positive impact on global, national and regional challenges and which benefits culture, society, health, the economy and the physical environment;
  • Support and facilitate a rewarding research environment and an exceptional research-led learning experience;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose

The Department of Biosciences is composed of academic staff and research fellows with research and teaching interests that span the broad spectrum of the Biosciences. The Department studies biology from the smallest to the largest scales; from the structures and functions of biological molecules, through to cells, tissues and organisms and to the entire global ecosystem. The interests of academic staff include all types of living organisms, from bacteria, through the plant and animal kingdoms, to human health and disease.

Research Technician to undertake technical and research support to deliver the goals and milestones of a BHF funded project entitled “How do renal sensory afferents influence central cardiovascular neurons to regulate sympathetic outflow?” The project will use in vivo animal (rat) models to determine neural communication between the kidney and autonomic centres within the brain.

The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Susan Pyner and will be required to carry out technical activities including reagent preparation, ordering lab supplies as well as performing laboratory manipulations to ensure project progression that prepares animal tissue for immunohistochemical processing. He/she will also perform image analysis to record and interpret data arising from the experiments. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to become proficient in all novel procedures associated with the project. The ideal candidate would have a background in autonomic cardiovascular regulation and have experience of working with in vivo animal models.

Core responsibilities: 

  • Experienced service practitioner, planning and co-ordinating of projects and work streams with inter-related activities.
  • Plan and organise own workload with or without involvement with project work streams.
  • Specialist support with problem solving and query handling.
  • Reactive and proactive service provision with others to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience.
  • Relationship building, network participation internally and externally to build and update knowledge and skills.
  • Engage with external peers and specialists to exchange knowledge and information.
  • Supervises service users and stakeholders undertaking activities, events, project work and exhibitions.
  • Interpret, curate, design and present artefacts, information, data, equipment and resources.
  • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations.
  • Monitor and report incidents.
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Take responsibility for day to day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of service delivery, translating external requirements into practical application and advice.
  • Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and committees to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations.
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records and reconciling consumable expenditure queries.
  • Involved in the purchase and return of goods and services.
  • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision.

Role responsibilities: 

  • Provide high-level technical guidance, support, and advice to academic stakeholders, including PI, to support teaching, research and learning activities within a defined area.
  • Responsible for organising and maintaining technical and experimental facilities, teaching, learning and research environments as directed by the PI.
  • Provide technical guidance and advice to solve problems and help shape the delivery of teaching, learning and research outcomes.
  • Carry out a range of activities that includes the commissioning, construction and set-up of test and experimental scenarios and practical sessions; including but not limited to animal experimental protocols (recovery surgery/nerve stimulation), carrying out immunohistochemical processing of mammalian processing of mammalian tissue, and acquire suitably prepared mammalian tissues (eg. brain, kidney heart).
  • Construct, test, repair and calibrate tools, resources, equipment, components and instrumentation.
  • Set-up, demonstrate, instruct and supervise the use and operation of specialist pieces of equipment.
  • Supervise key stakeholders where necessary.
  • Deliver projects that demonstrate a high standard of accuracy, complexity, originality and excellence; including contributing to project outputs such as journal paper preparation and conference paper preparation.
  • Provide support to team members to share technical knowledge and expertise.
  • Liaise and network with specialist professionals to exchange knowledge and ideas internally and externally to the organisation.
  • Expert user with a range of machinery and equipment either physical, virtual or digital.
  • Take responsibility for carrying out more specialist risk assessments and incident resolution.
  • Record, monitor and collate information, analyse patterns and trends as part of teaching and research activities, including carrying out data acquisition and analysis (image analysis). 

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria: 

  • A good first degree in Biomedical Science (Physiology, Neuroscience)
  • Experience of working with in vivo animal models
  • Demonstrable ability of immunohistochemical techniques in mammalian tissues
  • Image acquisition and analysis
  • Demonstrable ability to maintain a research laboratory
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Follow Good Laboratory Practice and set an example at all times.
  • Experience of working in a team.
  • Ability to work independently on specific projects
  • Experience of managing time in order to meet deadlines
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  • Demonstrable ability to provide advice, training and guidance to a range of colleagues.
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures.
  • Experience of teaching/research project working within an educational, commercial or industrial environment.
  • Experience of monitoring activities of self and others to ensure health and safety regulations are adhered to
  • Demonstrable ability to deliver high precision technical skills and the operation of standard and complex scientific and technical equipment.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Home Office Licence (PIL)
  • Knowledge and expertise with the application of skills to create, build and construct resources, tools and equipment to meet research outputs 

Realising Your Potential Approach

Providing excellent professional technical support:

  • Engaging positively with PI and other colleagues

Delivering consistent service standards. 

  • Using resources effectively Proactive in identifying the information and knowledge needed and why it is needed
  • Drawing on others’ knowledge, skills and experience
  • Liaising outside of immediate work environs to maximise use of resources within the University

Working together

  • Co-operate willingly to support the achievement of the project goals
  • Using understanding of others people’s perspectives to help reach agreement
  • Communicate effectively by sharing relevant information and keeping others informed

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage. 

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV;
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. Examples of how you satisfy both the person specification, this will require completion of the 'Questionnaire' application section.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage. 

Candidates applying via Redeployment are only eligible to apply for a post at the same Grade or lower.

Contact details

For further information please contact;

Dr Susan Pyner: susan.pyner@durham.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails. 

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.