Research Assistant - Human and Applied Physiological Sciences

London (Greater)
£32,676, including London Weighting Allowance
13 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
26 Nov 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description
The main purpose of this post is to support high-quality research on a Nadace The JetBrains Foundation-funded project within the Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences. 

The post holder will provide a range of support (including technical and administrative) to a project investigating healthy human ageing in which an in-depth physiological phenotyping of both sedentary and highly active younger and older individuals will be performed. The project will utilise in vivo protocols for the assessment of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and cognitive function. This will include cardiopulmonary exercise testing, pulmonary function testing, bone mineral density/fat free mass assessment (DXA), strength and power testing (dynamometry and functional assessment), neuromuscular assessment (motoneuron excitability, voluntary activation and balance) and resting cardiovascular function (ECG and Finometery). Furthermore in vitro protocols will be used to analyses muscle, fat, skin biopsy samples as well as serum, PBMC, plasma, saliva, faecal and urine samples. This will involve ATPase histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis and an array of techniques required for a detailed molecular phenotyping on individuals.

The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on the project under the supervision of Prof Stephen Harridge. The work will be conducted on the Guy's Campus of King's College London although occasional trips to our collaborators at the University of Birmingham and Washington University in St Louis may be required.

This advertisement does not meet the requirements for a Certificate of Sponsorship under Home Office regulations and therefore the university will not be able to offer sponsorship for this role

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until 31/10/2023.
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide support to the research team which includes a clinical research fellow and post-doctoral researcher.
  • Contribute to the general day-to-day running of the research laboratory, including assisting with testing and data analysis
  • To assist with participant recruitment, scheduling and handling expense claims.
  • To perform the general administration required for the project including organising transfer of samples, ensuring appropriate storage of samples and research data in accordance with ethical and other relevant regulatory principles
  • To maintain laboratory cleanliness and tidiness as appropriate for safe testing in light of Covid-19.
  • To be familiar with the specialised equipment and techniques associated with the project
  • To comply with the College's Health and Safety regulations and policies and good laboratory practice.
  • Contribute to publications arising from the research projects.
  • From time to time, the jobholder maybe required to perform other duties as appropriate to the grade of the post within the department.

Communication & networking

  • Communicate complex information orally and in writing
  • Communicate material of a specialist or highly technical nature at regular lab meetings and if required conferences
  • Liaise with research colleagues and staff at all levels
  • Assist in the production of research and progress reports and prepare data for publication

Analysis & research

  • To assist with data collection and analysis of both in vivo and in vitro assessments
  • Develop the skills required to perform a range of techniques associated with whole body human testing and tissue/blood sample analysis

Team work, teaching & learning support

  • Work as part of a collaborative team to ensure the successful completion of the project
  • Collaborate with colleagues on joint projects as required

Pastoral care

  • Show consideration to others
  • Respect confidentiality

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • Degree and / or MSc in Human Physiology or a closely related discipline
  • Ability to perform set tasks
  • Ability to communicate effectively with research participants and team members
  • Experience of conducting in vivo human physiological/exercise testing
  • Able to collate data and use appropriate standard software platforms
  • Able to work independently under own direction and show initiative
  • Experience of collaboration/working as part of a team
  • Self-motivated and willing to learn and develop new skills
  • Excellent record keeping & attention to detail
  • To be able to present data to team members clearly and effectively

Desirable criteria

  • Previous experience working in a research environment
  • Familiarity with software used routinely for research purposes (e.g. LabChart, Spike, SPSS)

This post is subject to Occupational Health clearance.